Christoph Vogelsang has reached dizzying heights that few poker stars could dream of. In his seven years as a pro, he has pulled in winnings of over $14 million to become Germany’s second highest poker earner of all time. Not bad for a man whose first steps into online gambling in 2010 saw him placing small $10 bets on online poker! A quick learner, within a month he had graduated to $5,000 no-limit Texas Hold’em…
If you don’t recognise the name, Christoph Vogelsang, you may recognise his alter egos. He is known to play on Pokerstars as 26071985 (his date of birth) and previously played on Full Tilt Poker as Tight-Man 1.
Born and raised in Sassanberg, Münster, Vogelsang considers his early wins nothing more than beginner’s luck. He believes it was because of this fortunate time that he continued his journey into poker stardom.
But it’s clear that the man is just being modest.
In the early days, Vogelsang sought help from his friends in London as he worked hard to improve his poker skills. In fact, the city holds a special place for Vogelsang, as he also studied economics at the London School of Economics before beginning his poker career. Vogelsang has since moved back to London and still spends time with the friends who helped his on his way to poker glory.
From his UK base, Vogelsang travels throughout the world performing in high-profile tournaments, such as The One Drop and the Super High Roller Bowl. The bright lights and crowds are a far cry from the farmland home of his childhood.
Rising Through the Ranks
Just one year after getting into poker, Vogelsang signed up on Full Tilt Poker under the screenname, Tight-Man 1. Since then, he’s played over 44,000 poker hands on the site, with wins totalling over $1.9 million.
In 2013, he stamped his authority on the game, becoming one of a group of no-limit Hold’em players who regularly took part in poker games on Full Tilt known as the MalACEsia games.
All the greatest players took part for a chance to play against Paul Phua, the mega-loaded Malaysian casino owner and businessman who began to play poker as a child after being taught by his mother.
But all eyes were on Vogelsang in the tournament.
He scooped an incredible $1.2 million in just two days and swiped the biggest pot of the tournament from Doug “WGCRider” Polk, a grand sum of $311,000!
After this incredible success, it was only natural that Vogelsang would decide to take the leap into live tournaments.
Enter London, the place he now calls home, and the European Poker Tour £50,000 Super High Roller in October 2013. Here, he won a staggering $621,321 and then, just seven months later, he netted $4,480,001 finishing a respectable third in the 2014 World Series of Poker’s Big One for One Drop. The tournament wasn’t for the little guys. With a $1 million buy-in, you have to know what you’re doing to play here, otherwise your bank balance will be destroyed in minutes. But Vogelsang wasn’t worried. In interviews, he cited his Christian beliefs as the reason behind his optimism.
While his faith no doubt helped, Vogelsang was also heavily bankrolled for the event. His take home was between 3% and 20%, according on figures stated in his post poker interviews, meaning it wasn’t just Vogelsang who kept the faith during the tournament.
While his success meant a healthy bank balance, Vogelsang was certainly not content to sit back and rest.
In 2017, he took the Super High Roller Bowl by storm, following in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Rainer Kempe, who had enjoyed
success the previous year. The tournament, which hosted 56 players quickly broke down to just three players by day five of play. These were Jake Schindler, Stefan Schillhabel and Vogelsang. Small stack player Schillhabel was quickly dispatched. The it was down to just Schindler and Vogelsang.
In a tough game, high-stakes specialist, Schindler, was bested by Vogelsang’s tough offense. But it didn’t look that way at first.
The game went down to heads-up play. Schindler had a larger kitty and held an ace of spades and a king of clubs. Vogelsang had a king of diamonds and a jack of diamonds. He raised to $400,000. In a tense moment, Schindler raised the stakes to $1.2m. Vogelsang called. The flop was a five of diamonds, seven of diamonds and a four of hearts. Vogelsang checked and Schindler carried on with a continuation bet of $650,000. Surely Vogelsang would put it all in, right? Well, wrong. He called. Schindler turned his first card over, an ace of clubs. A dream hand for Schindler seemed imminent, but again, Vogelsang called. He received a nine of diamonds and checked to put the pressure on Schindler. Schindler went all in and a snap was eventually called, with Vogelsang winning a huge chip advantage. From there, the tides had turned and he romped home to victory with $6 million in his pocket.
It was no doubt that Vogelsang’s famous analytical skills came into play here. Not one to rush into a hand, his caution has clawed him back from the jaws of defeat on many occasions.
What Does the Future Hold?
With his keen mind and perfect poker face, there’s every chance Vogelsang will enjoy even greater success in the future. He is, after all, the second highest German poker player, behind the wonderful Fedor Holz. But he still has a long way to go before he bests the 24-year-old, who has amassed $9 million more than Vogelsang during his eventful career. Still, $14 million is not to be sniffed at, and we’re sure that Vogelsang will continue his awesome rise in the years to come.
And it all started with those $10 bets on online poker.
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