No player in the 2019 U.S. Poker Open is coming in with more momentum than Rainer Kempe. The 29-year old German born pro has already racked up over $2 million in live cashes this year after dominating the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and then traveling to Melbourne to continue raking at the Aussie Millions in January.
As he trots the globe on the high roller circuit, Kempe admitted “it’s hard not to” acknowledge his results entering the USPO in Las Vegas.
“I’m traditionally on the side of not believing in momentum of streaks in poker,” he told PokerCentral last month after winning his third tournament of the year’s first month.
But what else would you call his month of January? Kempe has won three consecutive tournaments – a $50,000 PCA No Limit Hold’em Event for $908,100; a $10,200 PCA No Limit Hold’em Event for $177,280; and a $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the Aussie Millions for $590,814. Those three wins are sandwiched between two fourth place finishes that yielded a collective half million dollars.
To date, his largest career cash came for $5 million when he took down the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl and this year he will likely surpass $20 million in career live earnings.
“I believe that poker is about being consistent and getting yourself into good spots and then you’ll win some tournaments eventually,” he told Poker Central.
Winning consistently is something Kempe has done since breaking through in 2015 and the early returns on 2019 indicate he’ll be one of the game’s top earners this year and a Player of the Year favorite for the next twelve months.
At the U.S. Poker Open, Kempe’s lone cash came last year in Event #2, a $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event that won him $83,200. He is yet to duplicate his PCA and Aussie Millions success at this year’s event; he headed to break in Event #5 inside the PokerGo Studio – a $25,000 No Limit Hold’em– nursing one of the tournament’s short stacks. But when you’ve won like he has lately, a double up is never far away.
As he told Poker Central last month, “there is a point to be made about confidence and people being intimidated when you’re on a heater like that.”