Thursday, 23rd May 2024 15:01
Home / Twitch / German Twitch legend Frank “Knueppel” Stockhaus on his wild ride to the PSPC and EPT Barcelona

Knueppel’s journey to the PSPC and EPT Barcelona involves a 90,000-viewer Twitch stream, a one-day 1,500-kilometre drive, and a $117,000 poker score. Buckle up.

There aren’t many poker fans who would turn down an opportunity to potentially win themselves a Platinum Pass to the PSPC 2023. But a couple of years ago, the entire German Twitch poker community–in unison–did exactly that.

Instead of voting for a raffle in which a Platinum Pass would be up for grabs to someone watching, an audience voted in their thousands for one particular man to be awarded the prize:

Jens “TheRealKnossi” Knossalla

Jens “Knossi” Knossalla

Frank “Knueppel” Stockhaus (almost always referred to by his nickname).

Cast your minds back to the Stadium Series on PokerStars during July 2020. Popular German Twitch streamer Jens “Knossi” Knossalla was streaming some poker alongside Knueppel, his moderator and long-time friend.

They had an audience of around 17,000 viewers–incredible for a poker stream, but not uncommon for Knossi’s channel which regularly pulls in large audiences. (Knossi has been a famous television presenter in Germany for over a decade and now calls himself the “king of the internet”–hence the crown. Poker is just a part of his streaming output.)

Knossi figured that amount of viewers must surely be a record for a poker stream on Twitch, only to then find out that Lex Veldhuis held the record with the 58,799 concurrent viewers he recorded during the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) 2020.

Determined to break the record, PokerStars offered Knossi a Platinum Pass to give away should he reach his target. That’s when the entire community voted for the Platinum Pass to go to Knueppel.

Ten minutes later, they’d broken the record.

“It was crazy,” Knueppel tells me at EPT Barcelona. “It’s indescribable. Unreal. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m not a poker pro, I’m just a hobby player. But I love this game.”

Things were about to get even crazier.

To add to the record-breaking celebrations, PokerStars also gifted Knossi and Knueppel a ticket to play a $1,050 Stadium Series event with $1 million guaranteed in the prize pool.

“We both made the money,” Knueppel says. “But then I finished second for $117,000.”

Yes, you read that number right. In the biggest event of his life, Knueppel ran deeper than he ever had before and banked a six-figure score.

Moreover, Knossi streamed Knueppel’s run on his Twitch channel and they broke the Twitch record again, this time attracting an audience of 90,000.

That remains the biggest poker stream to date and will take some beating.

“The community means a lot to me, and streaming means a lot to me,” says Knueppel. “I love that people tune in and watch me play. I love that smaller streamers can find support in the German community and that we all help each other out.”

Fast forward two years. Knossi has arranged a poker tournament for his community in which the winner will win a package to EPT Barcelona.

“I live in the North of Germany and the tournament was in the south,” says Knueppel. “I drove there in the morning, slept two hours in a hotel, played the tournament, won the tournament, and drove back that same day.”

Knueppel had to defeat PokerStars Team Pro Felix “xflixx” Schneiders heads-up. Schneiders wasn’t eligible to win the package, but if he did win, the prize would go to a member of his community instead.

With the pressure on, the two played a pot in which Schneiders flopped two pair and Knueppel flopped an open-ender. He drilled the straight on the turn and when Schneiders shoved, he called and won.

Now he’s here in Barcelona, but alas, no longer in the Main Event. “I had a lot of fun playing but I busted during Level 6,” he says. “I had a very tough table. There were so many three bets, four bets and bad beats.”

Read: All PokerStars Blog coverage from Barcelona

There’s plenty more poker to be played during this festival, though, and Knueppel had his sights on the €3,000 Mystery Bounty Championship. He took a shot in a €340 buy-in ‘Win Your Seat’ satellite, in which players win a seat immediately when their 10,000 starting stack reaches 100,000.

Knueppel got his stack as high as 97,000 and was agonisingly close to making it through, but the blinds got so high that when he was shoved on and looked down at pocket sevens, he gladly made the call. The problem was that his opponent had pocket nines. “We both flopped a set,” he says. “Too bad.”

But just because the poker didn’t go to plan, that doesn’t mean he isn’t having an incredible time here in the capital of Catalonia. “I’m really enjoying the trip, it’s very exciting,” he tells us. “I recognise so many faces and I’ve met so many people from Twitch.”

They don’t much more recognisable in Twitch poker than Lex Veldhuis, who Knueppel met here for the first time. “I was in the hotel bar with my wife and I saw Lex at the bar,” he says. “I called over to him and he actually knew who I was from the stream, so we took a photo together.

“He remembered that I’d bluffed him twice in a tournament and so that’s why he posed like that!”

Knueppel now has five months to prepare for the PSPC 2023 next January. He purchased a poker training course, but it’s difficult for him to study as it’s in English. “I’m hoping to ask a German speaker for help in my preparation,” he says.

“I’ve played the game for many years and I have a good understanding of what to do. But it’s very different when you play the really big events, like the EPT Barcelona Main Event and the PSPC.”

At least he’ll have the entire German Twitch community cheering him on.

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