2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Winner was Pius Heinz
The World Series of Poker Main Event has always been one of the most interesting poker tournaments on the calendar. You never know what is going to happen. While there are some illustrious names on the list of winners. And you can also find the occasional player whose success at the Main Event, was a fleeting moment of stardom. One such player is Pius Heinz.
Like many players in the early part of this century, Pius Heinz made a name for himself online before dipping his toe into the water of live poker. In 2011 he decided to head to the World Series of Poker. He played 15 different events before the ‘big one’, finishing 7th and winning $83,000 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event (his only cash of the series so far).
How the 2011 Main Event Unfolded for Heinz
The Main Event saw 6,865 players sign up, which at the time was the largest live tournament in the history of poker. Pius Heinz decided to play on Day 1A. His idea was that he could go home as soon as possible if he didn’t make it through.
Eight days of play would ensue, before the event would reach the final table.
Four Month Delay for the November Nine
Heinz eventually found himself at the final table with the seventh biggest chip stack of the nine. To make matters worse, there would be a four month wait for the ‘November Nine’ to finally play out to an end.
By the end of the first day of the final table, things had completely turned around for Heinz. There were now just three players left – Heinz, Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko. And Heinz had the chip lead.
Early on day two, Lamb and Staszko played a pivotal all-in hand which effectively dumped Lamb from the tournament (he was left severely short stacked and exited within 10 minutes).
Now heads up and Staszko (from the Czech Republic) had a slight chip lead over German Heinz. The heads-up stage went on for six hours, with the lead changing hands many times.
Eventually Heinz would build a big 5:1 chip lead and holding Ace-King would see his Ace high win unimproved, taking down the biggest win of his career.
Other Major Tournament Wins for Pius Heinz
Outside of the WSOP Main Event win, all of Heinz’s success has come online. In 2010, his first big win came at the Full Tilt Sunday Mulligan event. In 2011, he would warm up for the World Series of Poker with a first place in a $150,000 event on PokerStars.
Poker Playing Style of Pius Heinz
Heinz has been described as the ‘epitome of a whizz kid’. Like many young players in 2011, Heinz played with an aggressive style. He had the solid back up of his mathematical precision. This perfect mix for tournament poker paid dividends in the best possible way at the Main Event. All of his learning around the game came online, where he had been playing since the age of 18.
For online players looking for a break into the big leagues – Heinz is the perfect role model.
Heinz: Before and After the WSOP Win
Heinz was born in Bonn and raised in the town of Odendorf in Germany. He would begin to study Business Psychology at the Hochschule Fresenius college in Cologne, but this learning would be put on hold as Heinz decided to concentrate on online poker.
The German player would amass more than $700,000 playing online, setting him up to take his stab at the World Series of Poker in 2011 at the age of 22.
Since his Main Event win, Heinz has taken something of a step back from the game. In an interview in 2014 with Poker News, Heinz stated:
“Poker has basically turned back to a hobby for me I guess. I was kind of a professional before I won the Main, and I was a professional for a year and a half after I won the Main. Now I just play whenever I feel like it and when I enjoy it, when I don’t, I just don’t play.”
Could You Become the Next WSOP Champion?
Heinz would excel online before taking the jump and entering the World Series of Poker. Any player could choose the same route and achieve poker greatness. Many online sites offer satellites for the Main Event, where you could qualify with just an outlay of a few dollars. Or you could win big in a standard event - and use the prize money to buy-in to the Vegas event and sit with the best players on the planet.
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More WSOP Main Event Winners:
- Ryan Riess
- Johnny Chan
- John Cynn
- Martin Jacobson
- WSOP Main (all the qualifiers)