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William Hill Poker player Tim Hartmann managed to best a field of 385 players and claim the €100,000 first place prize, along with the Irish Winter Festival trophy. Hartmann won his Main Event seat by playing the William Hill Poker satellites, turning a €180 buy-in into this massive payday.
The 23-year old German had to play three days of solid poker before being declared IWF champion, but he had his share of ups and downs though.
Day 1 of the €1,000 + €125 Main Event in Dublin went well for our player. "I doubled up in the first level with just top pair against an older player who was on tilt after I 5-bet bluffed him and showed a deuce," Tim explained. Using a very aggressive playstyle, Hartmann chipped up quickly and quickly climbed to 90,000 chips. Unfortunately for him, he lost a large pot close just as play was reaching the end, but still had a sizeable stack to work with going into Day 2.
Not a bad day for Tim Hartmann
Day 2 was not so kind to our player, as he found himself on the losing side several times and his stack dropped to just 30,000 chips. However, he quickly doubled up and was back in contention when his pocket tens held up against an opponent's QJ. In regards to this particular hand, Tim jokingly added: "As you can see, my table image wasn't the best when they start shoving QJ after my 3-bet". After several more ups and downs, Hartmann won some important pots and finished the day with 579,000 chips - the 6th highest stack going into Day 3 of the Irish Winter Festival Main Event.
"Day 3 was just too sick", Hartmann continued. "I doubled up right at the start with AK against John O'Shea's JJ, then busted two opponents with 33 vs AT and 66 vs AK." While poker is mainly about skill, luck also tends to play a part and Hartmann witnessed that first hand when he went all-in with QQ and was up against pocket aces, only to hit a queen on the river.
The final table is set.
Tim Hartmann entered the nine-handed final table as the massive chip leader, but faced some tough competition from players like Ireland's Jay O'Toole and Ronan Gilligan, as well as former William Hill Poker Pro Julian Thew who started the final table with the second largest stack. "I was chip leader on the final table with about 2.4 million chips but quickly dropped to 1.2 million after just one level," he said. After getting lucky and winning with AJ against Jay O'Toole's AQ and eliminating him in 6th place, Hartmann ramped up the aggression. "From that point on, I open-raised every hand, 3-bet a lot and used my big stack to my advantage." He soon sent Marc McDonnell, Julian Thew and Ronan Gilligan to the rails, entering the heads-up stage with a massive 6:1 chip lead.
Tim Hartmann is one step away from claiming the Irish Winter Festival title
Hartmann faced Polish player Patryk Pietnoczko heads-up and given the stack sizes, it looked like everything was going to be over soon. "When we got to heads-up, I had a 6:1 chip lead. My opponent suggested a deal but I declined it. After that, my opponent started hitting everything", Harmann added. "Straight over straight, after we both hit our gutshots on the turn, then he hit a flush against my two pair, then he flopped a straight when I flopped a set and out of nowhere he was now chip leader!"
Things weren't going so well for our player, but it didn't take long for him to regain the chip lead and eventually defeat his adversary. "After my opponent got the chip lead, he asked for a deal but I declined again. We had a break soon after and I got some fresh air, went back, put my headphones on and started focusing on my game again. From that point on I semi-bluffed him out of every pot, made some good calls and got my 6:1 chip lead back."
The final hand of the Irish Winter Festival Main Event went down as follows: Hartmann pushed all-in with A4, his opponent thought for a while and decided to put his tournament life at risk with A8 - it proved to be the right decision. However the board ran 2-4-9-K-5 and our player claimed the coveted title, as well as the €100,000 cash prize!
What is he going to do with all that money? "I really don't know right now. I think I will make some investments so I can have some savings set aside for the future."
Tim Hartmann, €100,000 richer. Congratulations, Tim!
Time to put that first place money to good use. Cheers!