When I first started playing poker many moons ago, it was the Swedes who were dominating the game. They still do to an extent, but their domination isn't as strong as it once was thanks to the Germans taking over.
Look at the results of the biggest tournaments live and online and you will almost always see a German name at the top of the payouts or at least near the summit. Only they know why they're so awesome at poker, but I thought I would list 10 of the best Germans from the current crop of superstars.
Not only is Ole Schemion the best German player at the moment, he's the best No Limit Hold'em tournament player in the world. Prior to the 2014 World Series of Poker, I had only heard of the hype that surrounded the hyper-aggressive youngster, but after seeing him in action at the WSOP, I can confirm that the kid is a sicko!
I've never seen anyone control the game like he does, except perhaps the legendary Phil Ivey -- and we all know about him. Schemion may have only become old enough to play in the USA, but he's already accumulated more than $6.2 million in live tournament winnings!
Philipp "philbort" Gruissem already had a reputation for being a high-stakes tournament specialist, only turning out for tournaments with €10,000 buy-ins or higher. Then the Super High Rollers came along, and the World Poker Tour Alpha8 in particular, and Gruissem excelled.
With back-to-back wins in London and St Kitts, Gruissem netted over $2.4 million and took his lifetime earnings past the $9.4 million barrier.
Triple Crown chasing Dominik Nitsche has been around on the tournament circuit for years and is one of th emost feared and respected regulars on it. With a WPT win and two WSOP bracelets under his belt, Nitsche only needs a European Poker Tour (EPT) title to complete the trio of major wins.
Those who are around Nitsche the most say that he is one of the deepest thinkers in the game and someone who works tirelessly in his studying of poker. It's a matter of when, not if, Nitsche completes the coveted Triple Crown.
A large mohawk, black leather jacket and beaming smile are the three trademarks of George Danzer, oh that and the fact he usually has a ton of chips in front of him, especially in non-Hold'em events.
At the 2014 WSOP, Danzer won two bracelets -- one in Stud, the other in Stud hi/lo -- and had a handful of cashes in mixed games. If there is a big non-Hold'em game being played online or live, Danzer will be there.
"Mad" Marvin Rettenmaier is a rare breed in that he rarely plays online poker, preferring to play in the live arena where he's notched up around $4.6 million in tournament winnings. Rettenmaier used his loose-aggressive style and love of playing big pots to full effect in 2012 when he won the WPT World Championship and WPT Cyprus back-to-back to become the first-ever player in WPT history to achieve such a feat.
Martin Finger was already a highly successful HUSNG player before he burst onto the live poker scene by winning EPT Prague. Since then, Finger has enjoyed even more success including a win in the £50,000 Super High Roller at EPT London and his first WSOP bracelet.
His fearless approach to the game means he will enjoy plenty more success in the coming years.
I used to think Fabian Quoss was a complete balla, and then he grew an epic beard to confirm that he is indeed a complete balla! Quoss is a regular in the high roller and super high roller events, his largest cash stems from one such event, the $100,000 Super High Roller at the 2014 PCA that netted the bearded-one $1,629,940.
Tobias Reinkemeier has been terrorising opponents at the live and virtual felt for as long as I can remember. Like some of his aforementioned German pals, Reinkemeier frequents the highest buy-in tournaments around the world and recently finished fifth in the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop and cashed for $2,053,334.
Manig Loeser is probably one of the best players that you've not heard of, but if he carries on with the same work ethic and approach to the game, he won't remain out of the limelight for much longer.
Loeser cashed eighth times at the 2014 WSOP incluing a third place finish in a $5,000 buy-in event that netted him $288,912 which was the largest of his career thus far.
Benny Spindler doesn't put in as much live tournament volume as some of his peers, but when he does he seems to have an uncanny way of going deep in the biggest events. When he finished third in the 2009 PCA Main Event, he won a lot more than the $1.1 million on his resume and he followed that up two years later with a win in the EPT London Main Event.
When he's not in the live arena, Spindler can be found playing Pot Limit Omaa cash games with stakes up to $200/$400.