It’s a rarity to share the words humble and professional poker champion in the same sentence, but recent 2011 EPT Season 8 Main Event champion Benny Spindler bears both of those characteristics.
The poker community is littered with high-strung personality types such as Scotty Nguyen, Daniel Negreanu and Tony Guoga, but finding a 26-year-old online upstart that embodies the poise and uncanny knowledge that Spindler possesses is very rare in this day and age.
Spindler, who has been playing both online and live for years and has earned a massive $3 million in live tournaments, has captured his first major tournament title when he defeated Steve O’ Dwyer heads-up to win €750,000.
There were 691 players who entered the Pokerstars.com sponsored tournament, and the field embodied lots of well-known pros who were dire to add an EPT crown to their list of accomplishments.
However, Spindler admits that while it’s nice to win tournament titles, his preference is to end in the money, as his personality lends itself to a more laid-back approach, one which doesn’t blend well with the publicity and exposure that the winner’s circle emits.
“It’s cool to win a big tournament but it comes with a lot of media attention which I don’t really enjoy,” Spindler said.
“I don’t play poker for titles, I play for the money.”
This time around, however, Spindler wouldn’t have such dumb luck, and although he did win a big live tournament, he’s not enthusiastic about potentially being labeled a rich poker wunderkind.
Much more intrigued by staying under the radar and blending in with the crowd, Spindler wants to amass enough cash to be set for life, not enough titles to be known as the best in the world.
“It would be really nice if I could earn enough money playing poker that I’d never have to worry for the rest of my life,” Spindler told.
With his latest cash, he’s well on his way to that aspiration.
Spindler carries a resume that includes a three-way split at the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for $1,100,000, a second-place ending at the 2011 EPT Grand Final in Madrid worth $469,017, and obviously his new EPT Main Event win worth $1,172,241 in U.S. funds.
Steve O’Dwyer, definitely shouldn’t fall into the shadows despite his second-place finish. He’s known as MrTimCaum online, and is a force within both the online and live tournament arenas. He’s approaching the $1.9 million mark for overall tournament collections.
O’Dwyer was the rare American participant at a largely-international final table.
Here are the final table results for the event:
€5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – EPT Season 8, Hilton Metropole, London, England
Entries: 691; Prize Pool: €3,351,350 ($5.17 million)
- Benjamin Spindler – €750,000
- Steve O’Dwyer – €465,000
- Andre Klebanov – €265,000
- Juan Manuel Pastor – €200,000
- Mattias Bergstrom – €155,000
- Kevin Iacofano – €120,000
- Martins Adeniya – €86,350
- Miroslav Benes – €64,000
Playing online poker? There are still sites for American residents. Use Bodog Poker, or try BetOnline Poker.