A 22-year-old German is the world poker champion
November 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
Pius Heinz from Cologne came out on top shortly after midnight to win the gold bracelet and $8.7 million in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event in the Penn & Teller Theater of the Rio Hotel and Casino, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Starting heads-up play against Martin Staszko of the Czech Republic with less than 20 percent of Staszko's chip amount, Heinz struggled.
"The heads-up, for the most part, just didn't go my way," Heinz said. "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."
After more than two hours, things finally went Heinz's way -- although he still didn't get a hand, winning with just Ace-high in the final hand of the night when Staszko was unable to pair his 10-7.
"I'm disappointed because I had a lot of chips," Staszko, who made $5.3 million for second place, said. "But he played well."
When Heinz started the tournament along with 6,865 others, he had less than $100,000 career tournament earnings and was considering going back to college.
Now he's one of the richest card players in the world.
"It's just awesome," Heinz said. "It's just an amazing feeling."