WSOP 2012: Bosses watching Heitmann from home
For most professional players the World Series of Poker makes up their entire work schedule. They arrive in late May, stay till July and the world turns around them. But while that works when you're 21 years old and looking to spin up some initial success into a bracelet or big cash, for those with other commitments it's a hit and run opportunity before the regional tours restart. That also counts if you're a father and your wife has just given birth to your second child. That applies to the Heitmanns.
"I have two daughters," said Heitmann. "Now I have three bosses."
Jan Heitmann has been a member of Team PokerStars Pro Germany for several years, scoring big results in London and around Europe. He's among a new generation of German players who have scored well on the world poker scene.
But he is also among the few players to have a life outside of poker, something that seems to have helped Heitmann as a player, and which explains why he only arrived in Las Vegas on the eve of the Main Event.
"Usually I think I make it to World Series (early) but I just became father for second time eight weeks ago, so for the first couple of weeks I was at home and I was just a dad, which was really nice."
So while poker pros from around the world were arriving in town to change cash into chips, Heitmann was leaving the maternity ward for a few weeks of diapers and baby talk. He seemed pretty clear which option he preferred.
"It's an incredible luxury of my job that I can take off time when I want. And I really wanted that."
So while Heitmann was at home making the girls in his life happy, his friend George Danzer was going deep in World Series events, finishing second a few weeks ago, then third in the Deuce-to-Seven just days before the Main Event.
"He made one final table while I was still in Germany," said Heitmann, "and he got second and I thought 'that's nice of his to wait until I get there to win his first bracelet'. Then he made another final table and he got third. He's had a good run."
Jan Heitmann on the European Poker Tour
As for Heitmann himself, his opening day went as well as he could have expected.
"Every time you bag chips at the end of the day that's a good day," he said. "It went quite well. I've got 84,000 (at the start of play) so I almost tripled up."
Today though it was business as usual.
"The nice thing about the World Series is the two hour levels. It's a very long time and you can chip up without taking many risks. 150 big blinds for day two is huge."
It's also an event that is still a big draw, and one worth leaving the family at home and travelling half way around the world to play.
"It had the appeal again this year because I haven't been here for a long time so I was really looking forward to this event. And if you have a good start that makes it nicer. I think it does [have an appeal]. Judging from the numbers I think it still does."
Several hours later and Heitmann is still going strong, his stack now up to 115,000. A big win would certainly help pay for the paraphernalia of parenthood, but it seems, quite rightly, that Heitmann already considers himself a winner.
DINNER BREAK CHIP COUNT OF THE HOUR
Vanessa Selbst: "Big hands were cracked & flopping nothing the others on awesome table. Got moved to tougher table, made 1 big hand, got paid. 185k at dinner."
DENIED MENU ITEM OF THE HOUR
Steamed Chicken Soup, which apparently the members of Team PokerStars Blog aren't suited to order, according to the hostess as The Noodle Exchange. "The flavor is...very strong," she said.
REPLACEMENT MENU ITEM OF THE HOUR