It was back to work for Jan Heitmann today, to a job he’d made look so easy up to now. Each morning Heitmann has taken his seat and unbagged his chips looking like a player having the time of his life, enjoying the experience, getting increasingly excited as each day passed. His routine–that was largely sleep, talk to family and play poker–was as effective as it was simple. At times it looked certain to sweep him into October.
Alas, that story just came crashing down around us, with Heitmann eliminated in 26th place.
Unlike other days this week, it had been a tough start to the day. News of the first few hands he played was not good, slashing his stack by half, and up against several big stacks at his table the pressure was everywhere.
“I had to give up a couple of pots,” he said. “I four-bet bluffed once in a really good spot, but he pretty much put me in so I had to fold. I was down to about 3.1 million and I had sixes, and I got three bet. I jammed and he had eights.”
Despite obvious disappointment Heitmann was pragmatic as he made his way to the pay-out desk, not oblivious to his achievement which is one to celebrate, even if in the eyes of many it finished a day short.
It seems wrong to dwell on the end when what had come before had been so exciting. In an event often dominated by theatrics, swagger and ego, Heitmann displayed only the best qualities a poker player need possess – talent, good grace and a touch of flair. For seven days of top draw play, Heitmann takes home $294,601.
As one non-partisan member of the press room said as news reached them: “Well, the main event just got a lot less interesting.”
That might not be strictly true, there are still plenty of good players and great stories that will make the final table as gripping as it always is, but the tournament has certainly lost one of its most popular players, and one who has been pleasure to write about.
While Heitmann’s exit marks the end of Team Pro’s run at the World Series of Poker, it doesn’t take away from a great performance put on by PokerStars’ stable during the past seven weeks. Seven Team Pros cashed in the main event to put a bow on the millions of dollars won during the whole festival. To see all the cashes, see the 2012 WSOP Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online overall results page.
TEAM PRO 2012 WSOP MAIN EVENT CASHES
26th. Jan Heitmann ($294,601)
73rd. Vanessa Selbst ($88,070)
102nd. Marcel Luske ($52,718)
160th. Daniel Negreanu ($52,718)
474th. Salvatore Bonavena ($24,808)
631st. Liv Boeree ($19,227)
659th. Jason Mercier ($19,227)
TEAM PRO 2012 WSOP OVERALL MONEY LEADERS
1. Vanessa Selbst: $534,675
2. Joe Cada: $415,344
3. Jan Heitmann: $294,601
4. George Danzer: $256,120
5. Jason Mercier: $165,869
Now we look to the remaining field to see who among the final 25 will make it to October’s final table. While the official Team Pro stable’s Series is done, you never know who among the remaining finalists may someday join the PokerStars clan.
For now, though, our heartfelt congratulations to Jan Heitmann for his performance in the Main Event. It was a brilliant show to watch, and he did Team PokerStars Pro proud.