The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl Final Table awarded $15 million to seven players that are all returning for 2017 tournament. The final table had it all for viewers – a couple of Hall of Famers, two fresh-faced wunderkinds, two young guns that cut their teeth online and a Gordon Gecko-esque businessman with slicked hair. Over the next few days we’ll take a look at the year since for each player at the final table.
Two German superstars finished on top – Rainer Kempe won for $5 million and Fedor Holz won $3.5 million – and Kempe had one of the best years in recent memory earning $7.5 million since raising the SHR Bowl trophy.
2016 Super High Roller Bowl
1. Rainer Kempe – $5,000,000
2. Fedor Holz – $3,500,000
3. Erik Seidel – $2,400,000
4. Phil Hellmuth – $1,600,000
5. Matt Berkey – $1,100,000
6. Bryn Kenney – $800,000
7. Dan Shak – $600,000
Kempe had success on the European circuit prior to his SHR Bowl win with a few six-figure cashes at some of the biggest festivals. His largest score was a win at 2015 EPT Prague High Roller For $591,722. A few months later he finished runner-up at an ARIA $25,000 HR in March and was still mostly unknown to American audiences prior to winning what amounts to more than half of his career earnings.
Kempe followed up his win with another $1.07 million in cashes before the summer ended and he headed back to Europe. He earned six WSOP cashes, four ARIA High Roller final tables and cashed in the $25,500 High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.
Following his huge summer, Kempe returned to the international tournament circuit with cashes in Barcelona, Macau, Melbourne and returned to the States. Kempe crushed the nine months between the summer and leading up to the 2017 SHR Bowl with another $1.4 million in earnings – which included two months where didn’t collect a cash.
Kempe skyrocketed up Germany’s all-time money list: he went from 26th place to sixth in less than a year. Only $3 million separates him and second place Ole Schemion with $12.4 million. Then it’s a long haul to catch Holz who is first with $22 million in winnings.
Kempe has his 2017 SHR Bowl seat locked up, has been on fire playing against the competition he’ll face in a few short weeks and might have the most momentum heading into the tournament.