Home » Rainer Kempe Talks about His Poker Career and Being an Ambassador for GreySnowPoker

Rainer Kempe Talks about His Poker Career and Being an Ambassador for GreySnowPoker


The German #1 all-time money earner and #4 in GPI World Rankings, Rainer Kempe, has become the ambassador of the online poker room GreySnowPoker, owned by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma and licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. He has agreed to reveal more details on his partnership with the operator as well as on his own career.

Kempe Did Not Aim to Become an Ambassador Straight Away

The successful player admitted that being an ambassador was not something he was considering in the beginning. First of all, he entered the scene after the massive ambassador hype was over, and second of all, as a newbie in the game he did not feel like he would have anything valuable to offer. At that point he only focused on playing the game.

However, the further he progressed with his career, the more the idea to become an ambassador was making sense.

“There were many ‘pro’ arguments,” explains Kempe. “Rakeback for one, as I was one of the biggest grinders on the Sit n Go scene. As I matured, I also felt my input would be valuable for decision-making, so I thought I had something to offer. After I won the Super High Roller Bowl, I did some short-term things with some companies, and I also held talks on longer-term engagements, but nothing ever clicked.”

The Partnership May Seem Unlikely

Of all the brands that Rainer Kempe could have joined as their ambassador, the Oklahoma-based GreySnowPoker would certainly not be the first to come to mind; on the contrary, it feels like quite an odd match. Kempe stated that since the company does not offer games in the USA, they were looking for a representative in Europe.

“Their search pretty much stopped once we had our initial talks. I felt valued, and that was a big thing for me. I also wanted a chance to make this work. There are a lot of poker sites out there that feel dodgy and don’t have the opportunity to be sustainable whatsoever. With GSP I got the feeling that the people in charge know what’s happening and are willing to put some money in to grow the site,” said Kempe.

He went on to add that he wanted to do something more than just travel and play poker, which he has been doing all across the world since 2015. And while he has not stopped doing that, it is more fulfilling now that he feels the brand has faith in him and values his opinions.

“One of my roles is to bring GSP closer to the poker community,” he continued. “If you have an Oklahoma-base and run your business from the Isle of Man, you’re not always in the middle of what’s happening in poker. I am their eyes and ears in this part of the world, and my role is to bring the community and GSP closer. I will also be live streaming towards the end of the year.”

Live Streaming Will Be a New Experience for Kempe

The GreySnowPoker ambassador admitted he has never done live streaming before so he is a bit apprehensive about what it might bring. However, he also showed determination to make it work and has shared where he is going to turn for help if he needs any. “Through No-Limit Gaming (NLG) I have a few good friends who have been streaming for a while. I can ask them for help. I can also do the stream with my friends like Julian {Thomas} or Steffen {Sontheimer} sitting next to me. That will lighten up the situation for me. I am not absurdly worried about it, but it isn’t natural for me.”

Why Did He Choose GreySnowPoker?

Kempe revealed that when the company first reached out to him he was not familiar with the name, so he had to make his research.

“I checked the software. I checked to see if the site operated in legal markets. There was no reason that I could find for why I would feel uncomfortable. I don’t feel my money would be unsafe on the site. I don’t think it’s going to be a Ponzi scheme. They don’t operate in markets where the licensing side would worry me. They have an Isle of Man license. Everything seemed very legit.”

He also added that the representatives he dealt with were very pleasant and convincing.

“I met not only the people who run the poker room, but also the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the tribe itself. I had a good feeling about that, and it felt very natural. I didn’t have any reasons not to be excited about being on board with the company. Also, all profits from tribal operations go back into social, education and health programs for the community.”

Why Should Others Choose GreySnowPoker?

Considering the ever-growing number of online poker rooms, a company that wants to stand out really needs to offer something that will convince the players that they should use their particular platform rather than anyone else’s. When asked what GSP has that makes it worthwhile for users to turn to them, Kempe said:

“Neither the prize pools or the buy-ins are crazy big when you look at our MTT schedule. When I think about building a bankroll and getting into poker, then the MTTs on GSP are absurdly beneficial. There has been a bunch of tournaments with 30% overlay happening every day for months now.”

According to Kempe, people often do not realise how money is really made in poker — that it is not always through big tournaments.

“You can’t plan on winning tournaments. You can plan on playing the right tournaments. If I were building my bankroll, being able to play 2-3 times per week, then this would be a choice that I could happily recommend to people, because I don’t think there are a lot of sites that are better for you to make money in the early stages of your career.”

He continued by showing the contrast between GreySnowPoker and another provider:

“Compared to PokerStars, for example, you look at the low stakes, and the rake situation is completely absurd. The structure and rake situation makes it incredibly hard to make money in those tournaments. At GSP, for bankroll building purposes it makes things easier. It won’t be sustainable in the long run to constantly put money in the economy that way, but so far on GSP it’s been happening for months, and for players who take advantage of that it’s a great thing. At GSP, with the rake being effectively negative it’s a lot easier.”

Rainer Kempe Occupies Leading Positions in Several Major Rankings

The GSP ambassador can boast to be #1 all-time money earner in Germany, #2 in the 2019 Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year, and #4 in the GPI World Rankings. He also sits at the 22nd place in the All-Time Money List.

Kempe admitted that these labels probably mean to him more than they should but he finds them very relevant and would love to become the POY. However, he has no intention to actively chase it at the moment because there are 20 people trying to achieve that title and just because someone is leading right now does not mean they will end up winning.

“If I had to guess my equity of winning this year, it would be 10-15% or less, and that’s not the kind of equity that’s going to push me to chase it,” he explained. “If the situation changes at the end of the year, and it’s only me, Manig Loeser and Bryn Kenney who can win it, and I am one big score away from taking it down – I will do whatever it takes to win it because winning it would be a great achievement.”

Kempe’s Earnings from Live Tournaments Are Growing Exponentially

In the past five years, the German player has seen a massive increase in his earnings from live events. Where in 2014 his winnings totalled $3,362, a year later he was taking home $1,557,922 and another year later staggering $6,627,498. The numbers in 2017 were not that much different.

“2015 is the year that makes the least sense,” noted Kempe. “2014, I played hardly any live poker, so that makes sense. 2015 I played a decent amount of live poker, but no big buy-ins. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t play higher than the Main Event. I had a huge run in 2015 where I final tabled four Main Events in a row which shouldn’t happen. 2016 is not a good example, because I didn’t play a lot of super high rollers. I just got lucky and won $5m in one single tournament.”

Kempe declared that it was 2015 that was the turning point which played a major role in his following career.

His Success Made the Transition from Online Playing to Live Playing Easier

The player described how his luck began in 2015 when he managed to get a good score in a 1k in Australia. Then he made it to the final table in a 1k in Vegas and as the lucky streak continued with four final tables in a row, it was not hard to get hooked.
And as rarely as that should happen, things are taking similar turn this year, except this time there are a few small events in the mix. In a lot of those he ended up winning or at least making the final table.

“In regards to big fields, the only ones that come to mind are the Aussie Millions AUD 25k and the $600 Omaha/NLHE thing in Vegas – whatever happened there. The other ones are 30-150 people fields, and I play a lot. So you’re going to get some runs in those things. Main Events are different. You can be a pro for a decade and not make a final table in these things. It’s a great way to build a bankroll. Winning the $10k hyper in the PCA is not going to change your life too much. It’s a huge score and big money, but it’s not the tournament you took a shot at. In the Main Event – they are the ones you take a shot, and winning 60 buy-ins goes a long way.”

Source: https://calvinayre.com/2019/08/29/poker/rainer-kempe-on-his-ambassadorial-role-with-greysnowpoker/


About the author

Michaela Vavrusova

Michaela Vavrusova

Michaela is a freelance journalist, writer and a translator with passion for everything new. She has a university degree in Journalism and years of experience writing for various newspapers and magazines on a wide range of subjects. She takes her inspiration from travelling around the world discovering different cultures and lifestyles.

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