27-year-old German graphics designer, model and Full Tilt Poker pro Sandra ‘Black Mamba' Naujoks took home the European Poker Tour Dortmund trophy and the Euro 917 000 winner's prize over the weekend after an exciting heads up with fellow German Holger Kanisch, a 27-year-old economic science student at the University of Wuppertal.
The heads up was the culmination of a Euro 5 000 buy-in competition in Naujok's home city that pulled in 667 entrants and generated a prize pool of Euro 3 335 000, with all but one of the final eight tablers winning six-figure paydays.
The win gives Naujok's $280 622 career win stats a huge boost and adds lustre to a cv that already boasts a series of 2008 tournament cashes, including a ninth placing at EPT Budapest, a win in the CAPT Baden Open/Poker EM , Baden, a tenth place in the Bodensee Poker Championships and a fifth place at the 2008 CAPT Graz Open, Graz all late last year.
When the final table action started, Naujoks, a cool, smart and controlled player, was relatively low on the chip count totem pole, facing Holger Kanisch, Marc Gork, Johan Storakers, Mike McDonald, Luca Pagano, William Thorson and Cengizcan Ulusu across the felt.
But she steadily improved her position as other players fell by the wayside, eventually starting the heads up with Kanisch on almost even chip counts. One great hand in which her pocket aces beat her opponent's pocket jacks changed her fortunes dramatically at an early stage, enabling her to double up to over $5 million and giving her sufficient advantage to hold and beat Kanisch at the end of the day.
Kanisch put up a gallant and talented fight, at one time drawing even, and thoroughly deserved his second placing cheque for Euro 533 000.
Naujoks win made her only the second female winner of an EPT – the UK's Vicky Coren has the respect for being the first female to win EPT honours.