The final 27 players of the World Series of Poker have just sat down in the Rio’s Amazon Room. When the doors on the room close tonight, only nine survivors will remain. Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann hopes to be one of them.
As play begins today, Heitmann is in 17th place out of the final 27 players. His 6,390,000 may not seem huge against chip-leader Marc Ladouceur’s 15,875,000 until you consider Heitmann’s chips represent more than 50 big blinds at this stage. He needs to be in no hurry as he starts. Ninety minutes of the 60,000/120,000 level remain. It’s a ton of time to make something good happen.
If Heitmann manages to outlast just one player today, it will mark the deepest run in history for any active Team PokerStars Pros. Many people have become Team Pros after winning the WSOP Main Event or making the final table, but none has ever started the Main Event as a Team Pro and made it deeper than 27th place.
For now, Heittman is guaranteed $294,601 in prize money. If he manages to finish better than 12th, he will pass Vanessa Selbst as the winningest Team Pro at this year’s World Series of Poker.
For now, though, the chief concern is getting ready for a long night. Fourteen players have to be eliminated before the WSOP breaks for the summer, and it’s going to take a long time to make that happen. We’re hoping to see Heitmann among them.
We’ve just spoken to the Team Pro, and he obviously has a great deal on his mind. We’ll have a full report on that for you in just a bit.
For now, we settle in, begin our caffeine drip, and prepare for what we hope is a long night. Stick with us.