Dominik Nitsche devoted the better part of his 27 years to mastering No Limit Hold’em. The four WSOP bracelets and reputation as a feared player are a testament to his work ethic. Today, Nitsche plays a game he admittedly is figuring out as he plays in the Poker Masters $10,000 Short Deck final table.
Amid the madness of all-ins in yesterday’s Day 1, Nitsche emerged as the chip leader for today’s PokerGO final table. Nitsche prepared for the event by reading the material available and then let his impulses take over come game time.
“It was quite the ride,” Nitsche said when describing Day 1. “I read a few things online and tried to figure it out as I went along. It’s a tournament at the end of the day so I figured once we get into the tournament stage, I’d probably make the best decisions purely from a tournament standpoint.”
Nitsche reasoned his errors would be minimized by the relative inexperience of the field in Short Deck. Early on, he developed a strategy and maneuvered toward the money using the tournament tools he is confident in regardless of the stakes.
“I figured, well, ‘How big of a mistake can I make playing Short Deck?’ In general, the strategy is to not fold too much preflop and if you get all-in, you always have some sort of equity. I think I did alright for the most part.”
The chase for the Purple Jacket points at the final table was aided by 2017 Poker Masters champion, Steffen Sontheimer. Nitsche and Sontheimer speak often about strategy and Sontheimer’s pursuit of Short Deck knowledge went over to Nitsche’s brain during a 30-minute training session this morning.
“I got some coaching from Steffen, he’s been working a lot on Short Deck,” Nitsche said. “He’s done the Short Deck work and taught me how to apply that to Short Deck tournaments. I know all the tournament stuff. We ran through a couple example hands, we worked out a couple of good strategies and I feel pretty well prepared.”
This week’s event jumpstarts Nitsche’s Short Deck career and he expects to play more moving forward. Everyone has an opinion on Short Deck and Nitsche knows he will be playing events of the highest stakes.
“Certainly, for me, I’m going to play in some Triton events and I will be playing the big Short Deck stuff there. If it keeps continuing like this in the future and there are more and more events, I’m probably going have to learn a bit more. Can’t just rely on my instincts the entire time. If I want to play, I’m certainly going to be putting in the hours but it is too early to say.”
Nitsche can jump up to 360 points today with a win and set himself up for a Purple Jacket run heading into the weekend. ICM considerations always factor in how Nitsche approaches a final table and today, there is a more up for grabs than normal. Second place awaits Nitsche if he claims victory but he’s keeping Purple Jacket hopes subdued until the right moment.
“You can’t really play for the Purple Jacket in a format like this. Every tournament is unique. Every tournament has more than six figures for the winner. The Purple Jacket is really nice and it looks pretty cool and I kind of want it but you can not really factor that into the decision making…but I do want the jacket.”
Watch the final table of the $10,000 Short Deck event live on PokerGO starting at 4:00 pm ET. On-demand replays of all Poker Masters event as are available on PokerGO after the live shows have finished. The Poker Masters runs until Sunday, September 16 when the series concludes with the $100,000 Main Event. New to PokerGO? Subscribe right now and never miss another minute of thrilling live high stakes action.