Dominik Nitsche becomes youngest triple-bracelet winner

wsop 2014Three’s a lucky number at this year’s World Series of Poker. Right out of the gates, Vanessa Selbst picked up her third bracelet to tie Barbara Enright as the most decorated woman in the WSOP, and now Dominik Nitsche has picked up a third as well, winning Event #21, a straight-up No Limit Hold’em tournament with a $1000 buy-in.

This is Nitsche’s second bracelet of the year, having won the WSOPC championship last month. That might sound impressive, but is a relatively commonplace feat in the modern poker world, most recently pulled off by Phil Hellmuth in 2012. Nitsche is making history in a number of other ways, however; his first bracelet marked the first win by a European player in the WSOPC Championship, and his latest now makes him the youngest player ever to score a hat trick, at 23 years of age.

What makes that record even sweeter is the name he’s erasing in the process: The last player to hold that honor is none other than Phil Ivey, who won his third bracelet at 24. To eclipse Ivey at anything is no small feat, so it’s safe to say Nitsche has a bright future ahead of him.

Just how bright remains to be seen, but Nitsche is not one to play down his success, stating in a post-tournament interview that he feels at this rate he will overtake Phil Hellmuth for the largest number of lifetime bracelets. Simple math would seem to support his boast; Nitsche is currently running at an average of one per year that he’s been old enough to attend the WSOP. Although he’s unlikely to sustain quite that pace, even half of that would put him well ahead of Hellmuth, assuming he has a 40-year career.

Is Nitsche the next big thing, or just a kid who’s running hot? Time will tell. In the meantime, there are plenty of events left to come in this year’s World Series of Poker, and plenty of chances for him to write his name in the history books yet again.

Alex Weldon is a game designer by day and poker tournament wizard by night. You can read more from Alex at www.benefactum.ca and follow him on Twitter at @benefactumgames

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