Sebastian Ruthenberg won his first career WSOP bracelet last night after an epic heads up battle with Chris Jesus Ferguson in the Event 33 – $5,000 buy-in Stud Hi/Lo World Championship. With his victory he became just the sixth German bracelet winner in history and the second German bracelet this Series. His reward in addition to the bracelet was the $328,756 top place prize money.
Final Table Recap:
This event had started with 261 players including many of the world’s best. When tonight’s final table started there were just eight players remaining including five-time bracelet winner Chris Ferguson, the once highly respected female pro Annie Duke, top rated Netherland pro Marcel Luske, multi time WSOP and WPT final tablist Steve Sung, Italian poker pro Alessio Isaia
Here were the chip counts when the night began:
Sebastian Ruthenberg — 663,000
Chris Ferguson — 434,000
Alessio Isaia — 398,000
Marcel Luske — 308,000
Bob Beveridge — 280,000
Annie Duke — 277,000
Steve Sung — 207,000
Bob Lauria — 44,000
Marcel Luske took a hit early, but would then get all his chips into the middle often, and during the early stages his first three all is resulted in two double ups and a third nice pot where he picked up half. After Luske flirted with elimination it was Bob Beveridge who ended up being the first player to go. He had gotten all his money in short stacked on third and by showdown his (Ad Ks) 6h 9s 4s 8h (5d) fell to Marcel Luske’s (Ah 2h) 5h 5s 7h 6d (8d). Bob Beveridge received $36,801 for his eight place finish.
The next player out was Steve Sung who received $46,001. He got all his chips in with 7c 6d 7s Kh against Annie Duke’s 6c Kc 2c 4d. Duke caught Ad Ks 3c to earn the scoop. Next out was Italian poker pro Alessio Isaia who finished in sixth receiving $58,268 courtesy of the eventual champion Sebastian Ruthenberg who caught an Ace on sixth to make aces for this high and a 7-5 low for the scoop.
Annie Duke’s hopes at a second bracelet fell waste side when she got all her chips in the middle against both both Chris Ferguson and Ruthenberg. In the end the show down was between Ferguson’s (Ks Kd) Js 7s 3h 9h (Jh) and Duke’s (10s 10h) 5h 2s 8h 9c (Ac), Duke took home $73,602 for her fifth place finish.
The seventh time was not a charm for Marcel Luske and this is a double pun. He was eliminated on his seventh all in of the night to leave his seventh career final table with still no bracelet. On this hand he was all in on 6th street with (Ac 5c) 10s Js 5s 9c against Lauria; (Ah 2c) 3d 8c 7c Qs…On seventh Lauria flipped first revealing a seven for a pair of sevens and Luske peeled and eight and headed to the rail to collect $95,069 for his forth place finish.
Bob Lauria was the next to go collecting $125,737 for third place, when his trip-eights were no match for Chris Ferguson’s full house.
When heads up play started the chip counts were:
Ferguson – 1,600,000
Ruthenberg – 1,150,000
The heads up match was a back and forth battle that lasted over three hours, with the chip lead changing back and forth. At one point late in the night it looked like Ferguson was in great position to capture his sixth bracelet as he had Ruthenberg down to just 400K chips after a hand which was aggressively bet by both players ended with Ferguson showing (A-Q) 8 Q K 8 (5) against Ruthenberg’s (A-Q) 7 7 3 9 (9) and then another big pot on the very next hand.
Ruthenberg put on a valiant fight and performance and within another seven to eight hands was up to 940K chips. A little while later he took a commanding chip lead on a hand where he had (A-2) Ac 6h 6c 3c (9) against Ferguson’s (7-8) 2h 10d 5c 5h (10). At this point the chips counts were Ruthenberg 1.85 million to Ferguson’s 760,000. Ferguson never recovered from this set back and was finally eliminated on a hand where all his chips went in on fifth and Ruthenberg showed (6-2) 7 4 Q 4 (7) two pair and Ferguson (A-9) 5 A 4 J (3) for just a pair of aces. It took Ruthenberg a moment to realize the river three of spades was a blank for Ferguson and he then erupted into celebration.
Feguson was eliminated in second place taking home the $202,406 runner up prize money while Ruthenberg won the tournament, his first bracelet, and $328,756 top place prize money. The 24 year-old German poker pro also become the sixth German bracelet winner earning Germany their second bracelet of this Series and their seventh of all time.
All German WSOP bracelet winners:
Sebastian Ruthenberg – 2008 WSOP
Jens Voertmann – 2008 WSOP
Katja Thater – 2007 WSOP
Michael Keiner – 2007 WSOP
Eddy Scharf – 2003 WSOP & 2001 WSOP
Matthias Rohnacher – 1997 WSOP
Editor’s note: Poker had become very popular in Germany and most large online poker rooms now offer their software in German. The first site to really focus on this market though was Everest Poker, who happens also to be the official final table sponsor of the 2008 WSOP.