WSOP 2012: Heinz in spotlight as title defence continues

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They may be entirely different days but they all had one shuffle up and deal this morning. As is now the custom a dignitary of sorts is presented with the microphone each morning to make the ceremonial first pitch, and today that task fell to the reigning main event champion, Pius Heinz.

The reign of the WSOP champion is brutally short. Just six months after winning the title the new campaign begins. Before you know it you're now a lame duck champion and the eyes of the poker world turn away from you and towards one of nine new applicants for your position.

Maybe that's how some champions like it. Either way Heinz has served as a great ambassador to the game (you wonder when a future champion will turn their back on all the trappings), and looks fit and well for his title defence.

As players took their seats Heinz made his own way into the Brasilia Room (he'll actually be playing across the hall in the Pavilion), wearing sports clothes, trainers, and carrying a backpack. He arrived on time and made his way to the stage, like a high school senior being called upon to accept a math prize.

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Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz

Tournament Director Jack Effel first explained the structure, the schedule and that all surviving players today will return on Thursday. Effel's voice then came to life to introduce Heinz.

"He's been a great ambassador over the last year. He's travelled all around the world, a friend of poker players everywhere and an all-round nice guy. Give a warm welcome as he tries to defend his title..."

Heinz, smiling, stepped forward to take the microphone. A few feet away Martin Staszko, who finished runner up to Heinz last November, looked on from the closest table to the stage.

Heinz kept it brief: "I want to wish you all the best of luck and dealers, shuffle up and deal."

The crowd appreciated his appearance, and his brevity, as cards were shuffled across the room. Heinz was then escorted from the stage and to his seat across the hallway, via a service tunnel. His title defence continues today.

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STARBUCKS CONVERSATION OF THE HOUR

"I'd like a very large latte without fat, 'skinny' and all that nonsense. And does sugar free syrup exist? If it does I'd like it with that."

ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR

Team PokerStars Pro David Williams who blinded down to 10 big blinds and ended up getting king-ten all-in against pocket tens. "Guess I'll have to wait until 2013," he said.

ANGRY TWEET OF THE HOUR

Marcin Horecki: "Day2 of WSOP ME. Got crazy bad spewtard playing every hand who once won PCA... Getting absolutely no hands and I am down to 14k from 25k."

INVESTIGATION OF THE HOUR

A quick investigation of the "crazy bad spewtard" in question reveals Horecki is sitting at same table as 2011 PCA winner Galen Hall.