The pot-limit Omaha world championship is always one of the premier events at the World Series of Poker. Some of the best in the game have claimed this title in the past, including Ben Lamb, Daniel Alaei and Robert Mizrachi. Now, Jan-Peter Jachtmann can be added to that list, as he defeated the field of 293 to earn his first WSOP bracelet. Jachtmann, a publisher and semi-professional poker player, ran over the final table in just four hours to capture $661,000 in prize money. He came to Las Vegas to play in three events; after cashing in the first but busting early in the second, he capitalized on his final opportunity.
The 44-year-old has played poker for more than two decades and seen his share of success across Europe. However, nothing he's accomplished came close to the title he now possesses today.
"It was a dream to reach the final table," he said. "And I even get the championship! It's great, unbelievable. Pot-limit Omaha is my game that I play almost every day. It is my best game, for sure."
Jachtmann's victory came at the demise of one of the most-decorated Omaha players in the world, Sammy Farha. The two were involved in a massive pot and a hand that Farha recalled by saying, "If I would have won that hand, I would have won the tournament."
With 11 players remaining, it was heads-up to a flop of 9d-5c-5s between Jachtmann and Farha. Jachtmann checked and Farha bet out for 150,000 with both players having nearly one million in chips to start the hand. The turn was the 8c and Jachtmann checked again. Farha bet 600,000 and Jachtmann moved all-in. Jachtmann had a made straight with 7d-7c-6c-6d and Farha had trips with Jd-Jc-6h-5h. After a 3 hit the river, Farha was out and Jachtmann was one of the chip leaders.
"The crazy thing is that Sammy Farha is one of my absolute idols and I didn't tell him before," said Jachtmann. "I wanted to tell him afterwards, because I don't say 'You're my idol,' and then he plays differently against me. I really liked his play and he's a really nice guy. I feel a little sorry, but then I said, 'Wow, that's crazy.' And now, I move on."
Farha has three WSOP titles in Omaha and more than $2.5 million in WSOP earnings.
After that pot, Jachtmann and Andrew Brown had officially separated themselves from the rest of their competition with Brown holding the chip lead entering the final table. ESPN.com's No. 1-ranked player Jason Mercier finished in eighth place at his first final table of the 2012 WSOP. Once he fell, it just seemed like a constant flow of players out of the event.
Nikolai Yakovenko (seventh), Benjamin Sage (sixth), Andy Seth (fifth), Micah Smith (fourth) and Steven Silverman (third) were all eliminated by either Brown or Jachtmann. For spectators either online or in Vegas, it was no surprise that heads-up would be between the German journalist and the 2008 pot-limit Omaha high-low WSOP champion Brown. Jachtmann started with the chip lead and never looked back. He chipped away at Brown's stack until finally Brown was all-in with top set and a flush draw against Jachtmann's wrap (straight draw). The river gave Jachtmann the straight and he collected his first gold bracelet.
Other notable finishers included Ville Wahlbeck (10th), Allen Cunningham (17th) and Alexander Kravchenko (20th).
Below are the complete results of Event 39 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:
Event 39: Pot-limit Omaha world championship
Prize pool: $2,754,200
Players in the money: 36
1. Jan-Peter Jachtmann ($661,000)
2. Andrew Brown ($408,393)
3. Steven Silverman ($299,960)
4. Micah Smith ($222,044)
5. Andy Seth ($165,665)
6. Benjamin Sage ($124,600)
7. Nikolai Yakovenko ($94,442)
8. Jason Mercier ($72,132)
9. Joe Kusher ($55,525)
10. Ville Wahlbeck ($43,076)
11. Sammy Farha ($43,076)
12. Adam Kornuth ($43,076)
13. John Kabbaj ($33,794)
14. Josh Tieman ($33,794)
15. Keith Lehr ($33,794)
16. Konstantin Bucherl ($26,495)
17. Allen Cunningham ($26,495)
18. Timothy Flanders ($26,495)
19. Joe Beevers ($21,015)
20. Alexander Kravchenko ($21,015)
21. Hasan Habib ($21,015)
22. Ted Lawson ($21,015)
23. Bryn Kenney ($21,015)
24. John Shipley ($21,015)
25. Naoya Kihara ($21,015)
26. Bahram Zohri ($21,015)
27. Jan Collado ($21,015)
28. Michael Binger ($16,801)
29. Loren Klein ($16,801)
30. Allan Le ($16,801)
31. Tristan Clemencon ($16,801)
32. David Callaghan ($16,801)
33. Matthew Kirk ($16,801)
34. Robert Williamson III ($16,801)
35. Wilfried Haerig ($16,801)
36. Nenad Medic ($16,801)