One of the top tournament players in the world Ole Schemion has accomplished quite a bit before he ever turned 21 –he was last year’s Global Poker Index Player of the Year after all– and now the German poker prodigy is ready to take his talents to South Beach Las Vegas, as he gets ready for his first World Series of Poker.
However, Ole’s presence in Las Vegas is still up in the air at this point, and fantasy poker managers are scrambling to find out if one of the most sought after picks will be in Vegas for the 2014 WSOP.
At 21 Schemion already has booked over $5 million in tournament winnings, including a dozen scores of at least six-figures. He’s also proved capable in larger field events and in High-Roller and Super-High-Roller settings, making him the perfect competitor for WSOP events.
The one area that may cause Schemion trouble is that he is a bit No Limit Holdem-centric at this point in his career, with only two of his 40+ cashes coming in non-NLHE tournaments ( a win in a PLO side event at the 2013 EPT Grand Final and a 3rd place showing in an 8-Game mix at the same festival) and with the WSOP fields numbering in the thousands it can be hard to navigate through them with variance playing a far bigger role.
Still, considering his abilities, would it surprise me if Schemion entered a 2-7 event and won it? Absolutely not… ElkY’s first bracelet came in a 7-Card-Stud tournament, a tournament variant he had never played prior to his win.
Expect a big WSOP from Ole… if he plays
Schemion has a number of things working in his favor that could lead to an impressive debut at the WSOP.
Firstly, he has a lot of experience in live tournaments despite his age. Previous WSOP rookies were for the most part online players, who not only had to adjust to live play but had to do so at the biggest madhouse in the poker world, the WSOP.
Schemion is already an “old soul” when it comes to live tournaments, having spent the entirety of 2012 and 2013 on the live tournament trail in Europe, so the only thing that might be a bit overwhelming is the pace and frenetic atmosphere of the WSOP where thousands of players are milling around all day every day.
Furthermore, because of the added angle of his age and with a POY award already on his resume, Schemion could be the first German to break into that Negreanu, Hellmuth, Trickett tier with a big WSOP. If Ole does something amazing (a couple bracelets, a big win like One Drop or the Poker Players Championship, or a Main Event final table) his story will garner a ton of mainstream press headlines.
Schemion is also part of a strong contingent of German players and other pros who can help guide him through his first WSOP experience.
All that being said, it doesn’t mean anything if Schemion doesn’t play a full WSOP schedule, and rumors have started circulating that Schemion might not make the trip to Las Vegas at all. According to Jessica Wellman, Ole’s countryman Dominick Nitsche is unsure if the 21 year-old will make the trip, and if he does how many tournament he will play. Wellman spoke to Nitsche following his WSOPC National Championship victory and fired off the following tweet:
Spoke w/ Dominik Nietsche after he won and he says @WSOP rookie Ole Schemion actually not sure if he'll make the trip to Vegas this year
— Jessica Welman (@jesswelman) May 24, 2014
I’m not sure what Ole has going on that would cause him to miss his first WSOP, but he could come to regret it down the road. When he starts looking back and thinking of what could have been in his career, skipping the 2014 WSOP might be one of his biggest regrets (if he even intends to skip it of course).
Chances to do something historic only happen once, and considering the fanfare he has already garnered he could miss his chance at being poker’s next superstar.
Schemion wouldn’t be the first big name player who was not “into” the WSOP. Last year Steve O’Dwyer told the PokerStars blog he doesn’t enjoy Las Vegas:
“Yeah, but I was already planning on skipping most of the World Series because I’ve had terrible results there and I don’t particularly like Vegas. I really don’t like the Rio, it’s not a fun place to play poker. When you go deep in a big event the excitement that surrounds it is a lot of fun but it’s not a well-run operation; the dealers suck, the floor sucks, they treat you like shit, there’s no good food, everything is insanely expensive, the rake is ridiculous, you have to wait in massive lines,”
This year another big name is passing on the WSOP, but for a far different reason, as Eugene Katchalov is skipping the WSOP in order to appear on a Ukrainian TV show.
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