– General Information –
Steffen Sontheimer is a German professional poker player. He was born on September 13th, 1990 in Gernsbach, Germany.
Sontheimer started off as an online cash game player. He then moved on to achieve great success at the live tournament scene as well. He amassed over $13.7 million in live tournament cashes during his career.
Also, it was him who took down the very first Poker Masters Purple Jacket, the grand prize of the new high roller tournament series in 2017. However, he’s yet to win his first WSOP bracelet.
Sontheimer is close friends with many famous German poker players, including Fedor Holz, Stefan Schillhabel and others. His next door neighbor in Vienna, Austria is Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger – however, they’re not particularly close.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2014: He decides to play poker for a living after a trip to visit his German poker player friends in Canada.
- 2017: He wins the inaugural Poker Masters Purple Jacket.
- 2018: He wins the $250,000 NLHE Super High Roller event at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party for $3.685 million. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
– Steffen Sontheimer ’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Sontheimer studied industrial engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. By that time, he was a big poker fan and avid recreational online poker player. He found the game during his high school years. He even wrote his bachelor’s thesis on the “behavioral economics of poker”.
Sontheimer gave an interview to our website in May 2019. In it, he recalled the moment he decided to become a professional poker player as such:
“I started poker playing cash games, and I was only playing that, and the moment I went pro was during a trip with my buddies to Canada, to play Scoops, in May 2014. They invited me to start playing some tournaments. I was with Reiner Kempe, Fedor Holz, and a few others. It was pretty easy because I kept grinding cash games, and I was playing tournaments on Sundays.
A bit after PokerStars changed the supernova elite system and I was seeing my friends winning everything, I thought why not give it a shot. If they can do it, I can do it!”
→ Live Tournaments ←
According to his Hendon page, Sontheimer has cashed for over $13.7 million in live tournaments during his career. Sontheimer started off as an online cash game pro, and started regularly playing live tournaments around the world in 2016.
In our interview we quoted above, he likens tournament poker to the decathlon. By that he means that an elite tournament player has to master all kinds of aspects of the game – playing shallow stacked, deep stacked, ICM, chip EV, etc.
The first result on his page is from the 2015 World Series of Poker. The first time he made a live cash for over $100,000 was in June 2016, when he came in 3rd place in a $25K Aria high roller for $131,040.
In 2017, he won the Purple Jacket at the inaugural Poker Masters. Poker Masters is an annual high roller series played at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas, NV. After all of the high (usually $50,000 or $100,000) buy-in events on the schedule are played, the player with the best overall performance receives the Purple Jacket.
At the 2017 Poker Masters, Sontheimer won a $50K and a $100K tournament, and managed to cash in two other $50K events.
He regularly plays high rollers at the Aria. In May 2017, he finished 2nd in a $100K NLHE Super High Roller at that casino and earned a $1.223 million paycheck.
In November 2017, he came in 5th in the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the WSOP Europe in Rozvadov for €806,758. A year later, in November 2018, he won the $250,000 Super High Roller event at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party for $3.685 million. That is his biggest single live tournament score to date.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Steffen Sontheimer has not won a WSOP gold bracelet so far.
His biggest WSOP score is from 2019, when he finished 11th in the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for $195,862
A year earlier, in 2018, he cashed in the same event – that time he finished 16th for $155,378. In 2019, he took 19th place in the $50,000 Final Fifty No Limit Hold’em event for $75,483.
Overall, Sontheimer has cashed 7 World Series events for a combined $497,593.
However, the WSOP didn’t always serve him too well. After the 2018 series, he published his scoresheet revealing that he lost almost $2 million in Vegas that summer. However, he returned the following year and delivered some major scores at the 2019 WSOP – as you can see above.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Sontheimer started his career as an online cash game player. He still sits down at high stakes online cash tables from time to time. However, he doesn’t play live cash – not publicly, at least.
He hasn’t appeared on any of the shows streaming live cash games, such as Poker After Dark or Live at the Bike.
→ Online Poker ←
Sontheimer plays under the screen name “Go0se.core!” on PokerStars.
Online, unlike in live poker, his main focus is high stakes cash games. He has around 3,600 hands tracked on his PS account in an online poker database. In that small sample, he’s up $44,432 playing mostly $50/$100 NLHE. Evidently, he’s played a lot more hands than that that are untracked.
The German poker pro sometimes streams himself on Twitch playing online poker.
Also, he mixes it up from time to time by playing MTT’s instead of cash. Although his lifetime online MTT winnings aren’t available online, he has made some major scores that were reported on by poker sites.
For example, in September 2017, he won a $5,200 NLHE event on PokerStars for $99,900. At the final table, he had to be faced with such online poker greats as László “omaha4rollz” Bujtás or Niklas “lena900” Åstedt.
→ Sponsorships ←
In 2018, Sontheimer and his German poker pro friends decided to found an online poker and eSports team. They named their project “NoLimitGG”.
→ Scandals ←
His criticism of Phil Hellmuth on Joe Ingram’s podcast
In October 2017, Sontheimer appeared on Joe Ingram’s popular podcast Poker Life.
In that interview, he went on a rant, sharing his harsh opinions about Phil Hellmuth’s poker skills. Hellmuth has won more WSOP bracelets than anyone, 15, yet he’s often criticized by the online poker community for the odd plays he tends to make.
Hellmuth counters that by claiming that while those decisions don’t make sense from a GTO standpoint, he makes them based on his reading ability he calls “white magic”, and that’s how he remains successful in the game.
Sontheimer had this to say about Hellmuth’s “white magic”:
“I don’t know what white magic is. If it’s like, talking a lot when you face a bet and then fold the best hand, it works out perfectly. It’s something he does super well.”
Despite his harsh words, Sontheimer has also stated publicly multiple times that he personally likes Hellmuth. In our 2019 interview with him, he described his feelings towards “the Poker Brat” as a “love/hate relationship”.