WSOP 2012: Reigning champ returns

wsop-130x100.pngThere is one man at the feature table of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event who isn't bothered by the lights, cameras, or action. He's seen it all before. He's lived it. The biggest moment of his life, the thing that will likely be the pinacle of his career, happened on TV in front of millions of people. So, when the TV producers chose to feature his table today, Pius Heinz greeted it with a shrug. He's the reigning WSOP champion. He's been here before.

Around seven months ago, the then-22-year-old German whiz kid rose up from relative obscurity to win Germany's first WSOP Main Event bracelet. It was worth $8.7 million for the Team PokerStars Pro. Since then, Heinz's biggest finish was a 5th place $45,980 cash in a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure side event.

Heinz played a light schedule at this year's WSOP and only managed to cash twice in the preliminary events. In total, he won $17,031, the bulk of it coming from a 43rd place finish in a $2,500 no-limit hold'em event. It was, again, something he shrugged off. He knows what event matters at the WSOP because he's already won it once before.


Pius Heinz at the 2012 WSOP

The reigning champion has some work to do if he wants to make it back to the final table. Earlier tonight his stack had been reduced to a third of what he started with. Just before the dinner break, he won a pot that moved him up to 15,000, half a starting stack.

Heinz has since declared himself to be in Grind Mode. He's got to make it through one more level tonight if he's going to move on to Day 2.

Here's what he had to say a little bit earlier today to our Lynn Gilmartin.



Alas it was not to be for Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer who moments ago busted from the Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball event in third place, earning $115,295. Danzer was eliminated by Nick Shulman to end his bracelet chances for a second time this summer after the German finished second in an Omaha event last month. Here was Danzer a little bit earlier with our Lynn Gilmartin.


"Cody. Cody. I'm here! Cody! CODY!!"