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Arne Kern Wins 2018 World Series of Poker $1,500 Millionaire Maker Event

German Outlasts Field of 7,361 To Win $1,173,223 and His First Bracelet


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The 2018 World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em Millionaire Maker event drew a field of 7,361 total entries, the third largest field in the event’s six-year history. The strong turnout built a total prize pool of $9,937,350. In the end the lion’s share of that was awarded to Germany’s Arne Kern, who defeated a stacked final table to capture the $1,173,223 top prize and his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was the 26-year-old student and poker player’s biggest score of his career, being more than 40 times larger as any other live tournament cash he had previously made.

In addition to the bracelet and the money, Kern also took home 1,320 Card Player Player of the Year points. This score was enough on its own to catapult him into 80th place in the Player of the Year rankings, which are presented in 2018 by Global Poker.

Kern came into the final day of this event in 11th chip position with 17 players remaining. Despite the massive field, there were plenty of recognizable names that made it to day 4 of this event, including Manig Loeser (17th place – $51,188), 2017 Colossus final tablist Ralph Massey (8th place – $135,383), two-time bracelet winner Barney Boatman (7th place – $175,865) and 2015 WSOP $3,000 six-max no-limit hold’em champion Justin Liberto (5th place – $303,294).

Two-time bracelet winner and 2015 WSOP main event champion Joe McKeehen took control of the lead during the early part of the day, but as action got short-handed at the final table Kern and Sam Razavi won some key hands that saw each of them take turns sitting atop the leader board. McKeehen has a chance to regain the lead when he called Razavi’s preflop all-in with the KHeart SuitKClub Suit. He was in great shape against the ASpade Suit8Diamond Suit, at least until the board came down ADiamond Suit10Heart Suit6Spade Suit10Club Suit3Club Suit to give Razavi the superior pair and the double up to essentially tie Kern atop the leaderboard.

Third-place finisher Joe McKeehenMcKeehen was left with just a handful of big blinds, and was eliminated shortly afterward in third place. He earned $538,276 and 880 Player of the Year points for his deep run. This was his seventh final table of 2018, and as a result, he has climbed into 5th place in the overall rankings presented by Global Poker.

Heads-up play began with Razavi holding a slight lead. The two traded the advantage a few times, with a number of big double ups along the way. By the time the final hand arose Kern had roughly a 4-to-1 lead. With blinds of 400,000-800,000 Kern moved all in from the button and Razavi quickly called for 11,700,000 with the AHeart SuitJDiamond Suit. He was ahead of Kern’s 4Spade Suit2Spade Suit for the time being, but the runout of 8Spade Suit3Spade Suit3Heart Suit5Spade Suit4Diamond Suit gave Kern the flush to lock up the pot and the title. Razavi was elimianted in second place, earnign $724,756.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Arne Kern $1,173,223 1320
2 Sam Razavi $724,756 1100
3 Joseph McKeehen $538,276 880
4 Michael Souza $402,614 660
5 Justin Liberto $303,294 550
6 Manuel Ruivo $230,120 440
7 Barny Boatman $175,865 330
8 Ralph Massey $135,383 220
9 Sean Marshall $104,987 110

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2018 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.