WSOP 2011 Champion Pius Heinz: Analysis Of Final Play

On Sunday night, the November Nine were whittled down to just three players who then took centre stage at the Rio in Las Vegas to decide the 2011 WSOP Main Event winner.
Making it through to Tuesday’s final play was eventual champion Pius Heinz, 22, of Germany, who started Sunday in 7th place and at one stage slipped to 9th spot, before finishing the day in pole position.
Whereas Heinz continued to use his aggression and skill to jostle himself into position, start of the day chip leader Martin Staszko, 35, from the Czech Republic was practically card dead throughout the day, but managed to play a consolidated and patient game to ensure his place in the final three.
Lastly, an in form and running well Ben Lamb managed to advance from 5th to 2nd
by the day’s end, helped along by being several times all-in and behind only to
then hit his cards.
It was an interesting contrast in play going into the final three, ranging from aggressive to even-keeled to perhaps, extremely lucky.
Unfortunately for Ben Lamb, his winning streak came to an end in dramatic fashion as he tried to push the players around and ride his luck. Instead, he walked into Martin Staszko, who had been dealt three pocket pairs in the first four hands of play, and totally mistimed the situation to be eliminated within just four hands.
Lamb explained his fateful K-J shove over Staszko’s pocket sevens raise as a misread as to his opponent’s strength, yet Ben Lamb’s final session play has been criticised as amateurish. Apparently, Staszko had previously been giving off ample tells with Daniel Negreanu calling him a ‘tell box.’ One commentator also said it was painfully obvious Staszko had a hand the way he flashed a wry little smile before reaching to make a raise.
The final analysis is that Ben Lamb never managed to produce his A game in the match and was eliminated in 3rd place ($4,021,138) when his luck finally ran out.
By contrast, the heads-up battle between Pius Heinz and Martin Staszko was a more considered affair in which Heinz had the sort of hands Staszko was subjected to on his card dead Sunday grind.
Pius Heinz had sufficient aggression in his game to ride the tide against him, and was able to make things happen by applying constant pressure on his opponent.
“You can’t be afraid. I was good at playing my game and being fearless. That’s one of my biggest strengths,” explained Heinz.
However, Heinz would repeatedly lose a big pot after winning several smaller ones to set his efforts back over the 6 hour heads-up battle. In the meantime, Staszko was playing his patient, even-keeled game and was assisted by a favourable deck. As Heinz explained:
“He knows that the biggest part of my game is preflop aggression and by limping a lot he kind of took that away from me. I wasn’t able to punish his limps as much because when he limps your big blind and you’ve 5-3 off-suit every time there’s not much you can do about it. So I was forced to try to outplay him post-flop but he played very well post-flop also.”
Nonetheless, Heinz was able to draw confidence from the new format which enabled the players to view each other hands during breaks:
“It was good to know that Martin just had a hand every time he made a big bet or a big raise because when you think you’re getting bluffed or outplayed it messes with your confidence,” said Heinz.
Consequently, Pius Heinz continued to play his tenacious,aggressive game to eventually emerge deserved champion at this year’s WSOP Main Event. For his part, Staszko played very well indeed, but with a little inexperience creeping into some decisions in the final spell of play.
Here are the final payouts for the final table:
1st – Pius Heinz – $8,715,638
2nd – Martin Staszko – $5,433,086
3rd – Ben Lamb – $4,021,138
4th – Matt Giannetti – $3,012,700
5th – Phil Collins – $2,269,599
6th – Eoghan O’Dea – $1,720,831
7th – Bob Bounahra – $1,314,097
8th – Anton Makiievskyi – $1,010,015
9th – Sam Holden – $782,115

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