In 2017, the prestigious Poker Masters series was born. Poker Masters has undergone a few changes over the years, but one thing that has always remained is the competitive chase for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket.
The inaugural Poker Masters was held in 2017 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas before the luxurious PokerGO Studio was built. The series took place September 13-20, 2017, and featured five tournaments. Four of the five tournaments had $50,000 buy-ins, and the final event was a $100,000 finale.
After picking up some steam earlier in the year, German Steffan Sontheimer put together a breakout run during the 2017 Poker Masters and proved far and away the top competitor of the series. Sontheimer won the second $50,000 event and the $100,000 finale. He also cashed in two other events and hauled in a total of $2,733,000 in prize money. That was good enough to earn Sontheimer the first-ever Poker Masters Purple Jacket.
For the first-ever Poker Masters, the Purple Jacket was awarded to the player with the most money won during the series. It wasn't really close. Sontheimer won $2,733,000 and the next closest competitor was Bryn Kenney with $1,085,000 in winnings. It truly was all Sontheimer.
|Event||Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||First Prize|
|#1: $50,000 NL Hold'em||51||$2,550,000||Nick Schulman||$918,000|
|#2: $50,000 NL Hold'em||50||$2,500,000||Steffen Sontheimer||$900,000|
|#3: $50,000 NL Hold'em||48||$2,400,000||Bryn Kenney||$960,000|
|#4: $50,000 NL Hold'em||39||$1,950,000||Brandon Adams||$819,000|
|#5: $100,000 NL Hold'em||36||$3,600,000||Steffen Sontheimer||$1,512,000|
In the opening 2017 Poker Masters event, 51 entries were tallied in the $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, creating a prize pool of $2,550,000. Four German players reached the final table, including Steffen Sontheimer, but it was two Americans who reached heads-up play when Nick Schulman found himself up against Matthew Hyman. Schulman got the best of this duel and won the $918,000 first-place prize.
Event #2: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em attracted 50 entries to create a prize pool of $2,500,000. Another group of German players reached the final table, this time three of them, but only Sontheimer was repeating. As things would turn out, Sontheimer got heads up with countryman Fedor Holz. Sontheimer came out on top to win the $900,000 top prize.
The third event of the series, Event #3: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em, was a largely American affair at the final table, with six of the final seven players being from the United States. In the end, Bryn Kenney got the $960,000 win for topping the field of 48 entries. He defeated Erik Seidel in heads-up play.
Sontheimer found himself back in the money and at a final table for the third time during the series in Event #4: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em, but his run came to an end in fifth place for $117,000. Winning this event was Brandon Adams after he beat Doug Polk in heads-up play. Adams took home a first-place payday of $819,000 for topping the field of 39 entries.
The finale to a successful first run of the Poker Masters was a $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. It drew a field of 36 entries and ballooned the prize pool to $3,600,000. Once again, Germans dominated the final table, taking up four of the six in-the-money spots. Three-handed play saw three Germans, Sontheimer, Christian Christner, and Holz, go for the gold, and it was Sontheimer beating Christner to win it all. Sontheimer scored $1,512,000 for the victory.