Pius Heinz has just become the first German player ever to capture a WSOP Main Event, as well as the fourth straight winner to be 22-years old or younger.
Going into yesterday’s exciting finale, the blinds resumed at 600K/1.2M and an ante of 200K, with chip leader Pius Heinz on a 107,800,000 stack, followed by Ben Lamb (USA) on 55,400,000 and Martin Staszko (CZE) on 42,700,000.
Aside from the outcome, however, nothing went the way the German pro had planned and his path to victory hit many a bump along the way.
First, Ben Lamb was eliminated by Staszko within four hands after re-raising all-in with K-J versus pocket sevens before pushing his remaining chips with Q-6 into Staszko’s pocket Jacks.
After Lamb was eliminated in 3rd place ($4,021,138), Martin Staszko became the chip leader on a 117,300,000 stack with Pius Heinz trailing on 88,600,000 chips.
In that moment, Heinz’s advantage going into the last day’s play had evaporated and things didn’t improve much, as Heinz confessed:
“The heads-up, for the most part, just didn’t go my way. I just never made a hand. I just thought I’m going to play my game, play as good as I can and hope the cards eventually fall my way.”
Despite at one point sinking to a 4 to 1 chip disadvantage, Heinz’ tenacity and aggression helped him to ride the waves in a swingy heads-up encounter which saw the lead change nine times.
Eventually coming back from a short-stack to go just 2 to 1 behind, Pius Heinz pulled off a brave bluff with A-Q on 10c-7c-Ks flop, in which he bet out and then re raised all-in against Staszko’ Qc-9c monster draw.
With no help for Staszko on the turn and river, Pius Heinz’s stack shot up to 161,500,000 while Staszko’s dropped to just 44,400,000 chips and twelve hands later he was out after shoving 10c-7c pre-flop into Heinz’ As-Kc, with once again neither player hitting a pair.
Martin Staszko then collected $5,433,086 for his runner-up finish, and commenting after the match said:
“I’m disappointed because I had a lot of chips. But he played well…I’m never happy if I don’t win. But it’s not too bad. Second place is OK…I’ll come back next year. I hope I can win a bracelet.”
Meanwhile, Pius Heinz was crowned the 2011 WSOP Main Event Champion and received a diamond encrusted gold bracelet for his victory plus a cheque for $8,715,638. Commenting on his remarkable win, Pius Heinz said:
“It’s got to be the happiest day of my life. But I can’t believe what happened – it’s unreal.”