Poker Columns
Monday, June 24, 2024
open/closeGary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's Editor in Chief and has worked as a writer and editor more than 25 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask website:!/casinocityGT

open/closeFeatured Authors

Around the WSOP: German semi-pro seeking a “Christmas Miracle” at Main Event Final Table

German Jan-Peter Jachtmann

German Jan-Peter Jachtmann

LAS VEGAS - As Christmas Eve unfolded in 2014, Jan-Peter Jachtmann returned to his home in Hamburg, Germany, after a night of merry festivities, only to be greeted by a shocking discovery. While celebrating at a friend's house, he had fallen prey to a Grinch-like burglary.

Among the stolen possessions, including over €20,000 in cash, Jachtmann's most cherished item had vanished — a World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

The coveted piece of jewelry had been won by Jachtmann at the 2012 WSOP during a $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event. Although the accompanying career-best cash prize of $661,000 held great significance, it was the bracelet itself that held an irreplaceable sentimental value.

“It was heartbreaking,” Jachtmann recalled. “I was single at the time and didn’t have any security or cameras at my house and I probably shouldn’t have had that kind of cash and the bracelet just hanging around. But I did, and I paid for it.”

Desperate to retrieve his stolen treasure, Jachtmann offered a €20,000 reward for its safe return. But his plea went unanswered, and the bracelet remained elusive, failing to materialize.

“I could have paid to have a replacement made, but I don’t want a ‘fake’ bracelet,” he said. “I want the real thing.”

Nine years later, Jachtmann is on the precipice of making a substitute of epic proportions for that stolen bracelet.

The 55-year-old has navigated his way through the largest field in WSOP Main Event history, all the way to the final table. When he sits down in Seat 9 at the final table when play resumes at Horseshoe Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, Jachtmann will have the fourth-largest stack. He didn’t mince words when he was asked what it would mean to him if he could go home to Germany with the most prestigious bracelet in poker, not to mention a $12.1 million check in his name.

“Oh, my word, it would mean the world to me . . . everything and more,” he said after a brief pause. “To win this tournament – after having the first bracelet taken away from me – would be amazing. I can’t even really put into words what it would mean.”

Despite the fact that Jachtmann is a semi-pro and will be surrounded by some wildly talented and decorated players at the final table, it would by no means be a huge upset if he were to be crowned the new Main Event champ. Not only does he possess a formidable chip stack, but he also boasts 20 years of experience on the felt, accumulating over $1.9 million in career earnings. The Main Event final table marks his 18th WSOP cash, including an impressive 11th-place finish at the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2019.

Moreover, as the elder statesman of the table, Jachtmann, who knocked Jose Aguilera to the rail on the final table bubble Friday night when he caught a straight on the turn, radiates poise and composure. The founder of his own marketing company, Jachtmann Marketing, 25 years ago, the gentlemanly German seldom reveals signs of fluster or excitement, an attribute that has served him well throughout his poker career.

“I like to remain calm at all times,” said Jachtmann, who is also usually the best dressed at the table, as he was on Friday with his blue suit and gray, untucked dress shirt.

“I definitely have more life experience than most of these guys, but they’re all really, really talented players," he told Casino City during a break in Friday's action when there were 10 players remaining. "I won’t mention names, but there are a couple players who sometimes don’t control their emotion or their body language. Hopefully, I can take advantage.”

One detriment to Jachtmann chances may be the fact that he is not considered a Hold’em specialist.

Fourteen of his 18 WSOP cashes have been in Omaha events, earning him the nickname “Mr. Omaha.”

“I’ve definitely been more of an Omaha player over the years, but I also believe that if you are a good poker player, you can play any game,” he said. “So, I don’t see it as a disadvantage.”

Final Table Breakdown
Jachtmann, who, like his fellow final table mates, is guaranteed a $900,000 payday for finishing at least ninth, will be trying to become the fourth German to win the WSOP Main Event and the third in the last five years. The previous winners were Pius Heinz in 2011, Hossein Ensan in 2019 and Koray Aldemir in 2021.

Ensan was the same age as Jachtmann (55) when he took down the 2019 championship and became the oldest Main Event Champion since 1999 when Noel Furlong won it as a 62-year-old.

The record for the oldest winner of the Main Event is, of course, safe (Johnny Moss in 1974 as a 66-year-old), as is the mark for youngest Main Event champ. Joe Cada still holds that record after winning as a 21-year-old in 2009.

Weinman’s Jacks Cracks King and Queens for Momentous Pot
Never mind hand of the day, this one may have been the most insane hand of the entire summer here at the WSOP.

During Level 36, holding pocket Kings, Joshua Payne made a 1.6 million raise and Jose Aguilera three-bet to 4.5 on the button with pocket Queens.

From the small blind, Daniel Weinman tanked for nearly two minutes before calling all-in with, unknowingly the worst hand with pocket Jacks, prompting calls from both Payne and Aguilera, creating a 60.4 million pot and sending a shiver through the entire room when the hole cards were flipped over.

An Ace-7-4 flop didn’t improve anyone’s hand, with Payne clinging to his tournament life and remaining in the lead. But Weinman caught a Jack of hearts on the turn and his set prevailed when the river was a 3, catapulting him up the leader board and sending Payne to the rail in 14th place.

How close did Weinman come to folding the jacks preflop?

“Close, very close,” he told Casino City with a huge grin.

At 35 years old and with $3.7 million in career earnings, Weinman is one of the more experienced players at the final table. But even in all of his days at the poker table, he said this was probably the craziest hand he’s been involved with when you consider what was at stake.

“I’m sure there have been crazier hands at the WSOP, but for me this takes the cake,” he said in disbelief. “It was absolutely insane.”

Back to Columns

open/closeExpert Poker Strategy

open/closeLatest Poker News

PokerZone is owned by Casino City, an independent directory and information service not affiliated with any casino. Warning: You must ensure you meet all age and other regulatory requirements before entering a casino or placing a wager. There are hundreds of jurisdictions in the world with Internet access and hundreds of different games and gambling opportunities available on the Internet. Do not assume that Internet gaming sites are in compliance with the rules and regulations of every jurisdiction from which they accept players. YOU are responsible for determining if it is legal for YOU to play any particular game or place any particular wager under the laws of the jurisdiction where you are located.