Pius Heinz: His Life, Background, Poker Career, and Net Worth
If you are familiar with the World Series of Poker, you definitely know who Pius Heinz is. The young professional poker player won the 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP) World Championship Main Event. He walked away from the event with over $8.7 million, winning against other poker professionals like Phil Collins and Ben Lamb at the 9 final-table. Pius Heinz net worth significantly rose after his winning at the WSOP event
Interestingly, it wasn’t as if Heinz has been in the poker community for so long. And more interesting is the fact that he didn’t stay long in the circuit long enough to show whether he is indeed up to the task of being called a poker pro or if luck just smiled on him at the 2011 event. In this blog article, we will look at everything about the German poker player, his early life, poker career, net worth, and personal. We will also look at some exceptional moments he had while at the table.
Early Life of Pius Heinz
Pius Heinz was born on the 4th of May, 1989. He is a German-born professional poker player with place of birth in Bonn. His popularity rose after he won the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, 2011 edition. As a matter of fact, he is the first German poker player to ever earn the Main Event bracelet. He went against the Czech poker pro, Martin Staszko to win at the event.
During the final hand of the 2011 WSOP main event, Hein’s final hand, A♠ K♣ defeated Martins hand of 10♣ 7♣. Ultimately, Staszko’s hand did not improve at the board of 5♣ 2♦ 9♠ J♥ 4♦, which gave Heinz the upper hand and led to his victory. Interestingly, Staszko seemed to be leading in all ramifications until the tide turned in Heinz favor. Suffice to mention that Pius was once a member of the Team PokerStars, a group of exceptional poker players that have become superstars in the world of poker.
After his birth in Bonn, Heinz moved to Odendorf village in Germany and had his early childhood there. He enrolled at the Hochschule Fresenius College in Cologne to study Business Psychology. However, he didn’t earn his college degree before jumping on the wagon of poker. He put his studies on hold in August of 2011 to take up a career in poker. He joined the Team PokerStars to grow his career in the industry.
Early Poker Career of Pius Heinz
Pius Heinz took an interest in poker after he watched the High Stakes Poker and Main Event on a German TV station. After watching the game, he began to mull over the possibility of stepping into the game himself. However, he didn’t have the necessary skills and expertise required to sit at tables with professional players. In other to rectify this, he began to play the game with a couple of his friends. After playing a couple of games, he realized that winning at a game of poker requires skills and strategy. Therefore, he took it upon himself to learn more about the game.
While learning, he decided to try his hands on some online game. He went ahead to win more than $700,000 through the online poker platform. In the year 2010, he proceeded to participate in the Full Tilt Poker Sunday Mulligan. He won at this event and this begins his poker journey and Pius Heinz net worth growth in the world of poker. In the year 2011, he also participated in a PokerStars tournament for the sum of $150,000.
Having grown his skills and crafted a gaming style for himself at the online platform, he decided to take it a step further. According to him, he has discovered that he is making an impressive impact at the online platform but he was yet to experience live game in the real sense of the world. The reason for his absence at live games was basically because he felt the live games were boring and you will require a lot of patience to be able to pull through at a live table.
He had participated in some World Series of Poker events and had cashed only once in all these events. At the event he cashed, he finished in the 7th place when he participated in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament. He made a winning of $83,286 USD at the end of the event. Truly, this would be his first ever cash in live tournament.
Due to the size of the field of participants, the first day of the World Series of Poker Main Event is divided over a 4-day period. Pius registered for day One-A. According to him, the reason he enrolled for the specific event was so he could play and get out of the event and return home as soon as practicable if he got eliminated.
While at the final table, his mom, who was also watching the event, left the Penn & Teller Theater where she was watching the game. Her reason for leaving was because she thought the tournament was too stressful and exhilarating.
When it comes to online poker games, Heinz has done relatively well for himself. Indeed, he has followed basically the same path as a lot of other professional poker players. When he started at the online gaming platform, he registered as MastaP89. He began to play at very low stakes online. In fact, he reportedly started at the game with a free bankroll of $50 from Pokerstrategy.com. He began to build his bankroll from this stage and with time, he had a meaningful cash to play with.
Although Heinz started out as a committed students when he enrolled to study Business Psychology at a college but his academic journey was not the focus of attention a few years late. After winning his bank-breaking World Series of Poker main event in 2011, there was practically no indication that the young poker player would return back to school.
Suffice to mention that before his victory at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event, Pius had attained a level of success at his online gaming platform. In total, he had won more than $700,000 at the online poker tournaments. His biggest winning came from a Full Tilt Poker Sunday Mulligan victory, where he won $61,000. He also won big at a $320 No Limit Hold’em event at PokerStars. He won a total of $30,000 at this event.
Pius Heinz at the World Series of Poker in 2011
Heinz took the bold step into the world of live poker in early 2011 and no doubt, his efforts paid off beautifully. The young German professional poker player walked into the 2011 World Series of Poker and he didn’t just show up, he came to sweep off the first place prize and the bracelet. Before he stepped into live tournaments, he had raked up a number of online wins running into $700KUSD. At some point, he had to put his university studies on hold in order to pursue his poker career.
In addition to putting off school to prepare for his first World Series of Poker tournament appearance, he also made a couple of changes in his life. For one, he changed his diet and included a number of healthy food choices into his meal plan. Interestingly, it seems the changes made a significant effect on him. He was able to maintain full focus all through the grueling battle at the heads-up with Martin Staszko.
Before he participated at the main event, he had traveled to Las Vegas earlier in 2011 to participate in a couple of tournament. He made it to the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event final table. At the end of the day, he finished in the 7th place and earned over $83,000. Some days later, he bought into the $10,000 Buy-in Main Event and made it to the 9th of November section.
A couple of months later, he returned to Las Vegas to compete for the $8.7 million USD first place cash prize. At his return, he was a mere green horn, 7th in chips of the total nine players at the table. He was heads-up with a number of more experienced live poker players at the table. No one paid him much attention at the table because he was practically a ‘nobody’ among the caliber of people at the table.
However, Pius Heinz proved everyone wrong. He proved that you don’t necessarily have to be a don in the world of poker to win at a tournament. He showed the world of poker that he’s got what it takes to be the prestigious owner of the much coveted WSOP bracelet. Against all odds, Pius Heinz won the first place at the event and walked away with the spectacular World Series of Poker bracelet and a whopping $8.7 million USD first place prize.
After the winning, Heinz spent the following months traveling the world and promoting the brand of his sponsor, PokerStars. It wasn’t strange in the world of poker to have sponsors for events. As a matter of fact, many of the professional poker players who have made it big in the world of poker and who have participated in big tournaments are products of sponsors.
It was not strange therefore to learn that PokerStars sponsored Heinz for his tournament participation. After his win, he was all out to promote his sponsor and while at it, he participated in the €1,050 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Bounty tournament at European Poker Tour, Barcelona. He won at the event and made a winning of €17,450 at that summer event. He also made it to the final table at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure the following January.
Strangely from this point onward, it seemed Pius Heinz dropped off the poker radar. His poker results became stunted and he wasn’t doing anything significant in the industry. Not long after this, his sponsorship with PokerStars came to an end. And Pius Heinz literally disappeared from the poker scene.
Once in a while, he makes appearances at different tournament events in Europe. Since he left the poker scene, he had relocated to Vienna, Austria. He now spends his time playing video games, like the Hearthstone.
Highlights of Pius Heinz Poker Career
Pius Heinz’s presence in the world of poker spans five years. According to thehendonmob.com, Heinz made his first appearance on the 28th of June, 2001. He participated in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event at the 42nd World Series of Poker 2011, in Las Vegas United States. He placed 7th at the event and made a winning of $83,286. This seems to be the beginning of the growth of the young poker player and Pius Heinz net worth.
Within a few weeks, he returned to the table to compete for the first prize at the WSOP Main Event. On 7th of July 2011, he entered for the $10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold’em at the same World Series of Poker 2011 and went heads-up against some prominent players in the industry. He broke through the crowd and won the first prize. Defeating a field of 6,865, he went ahead to win the prize of $8,715,368 and the Main Event bracelet.
In August of 2011, he also participated in the €1,000 + 50 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Bounty at the European Poker Tour 8. The event, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, saw Pius Heinz made it to the final table. He didn’t just make it to the final table; he also placed first in the event. He won the sum of €17,450, which amounts to $25,140 USD.
He went on to participate in the €2,000 + 150 No Limit Hold’em event at the European Poker Tour 8 Eureka. The event took place in Prague, Czech Republic. Pius placed 23rd at the event and made a winning of €4,700, which totals $6,293 USD.
In the January of 2012, Pius Heinz made his first winning of five figures after his big win in 2011. He participated at the $5,000 + 250 No Limit Hold’em 8 Max in PokerStar Caribbean Adventure, Paradise Island Bahamas. He finished in the 5th place and made a winning of $45,980. This seems to be his first major win after the World Series of Poker boom.
In June of 2012, he also entered for the 43rd World Series of Poker tournament. This event took place in Las Vegas. Heinz participated in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event #43 and didn’t make any impactful win. He finished in the 236th place and made a winning of $2,992 at the end of the game. Two days later, he also put in for the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em Event #46 at the same World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. This time around, he finished in the 43rd place and made a winning of $14,039 USD.
In October of the same 2012, he went all the way to Czech Republic again to participate in the €10,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Event at the GCOP II Vol. 5/6, Rozvadov. He finished in the 3rd place at the event and made a winning of €60,000. This amounts to $78,011 USD.
On the 1st of July, 2013, Pius Heinz also participated in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em Event #56 at the 44th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Although it’s been long that Heinz showed his face at live tournaments, it seemed he has started losing his touch with the game. At this event, he finished in the 112th place and made a winning of $5,371.
After his presence at the World Series of Poker in 2013, he didn’t make any appearance again until the year 2014. He entered for the European Poker Tour 10 Eureka, at Vienna Austria. He played at the €1,000 + 100 No Limit Hold’em – Eureka Main Event and finished in the 98th place. He made a winning of €2,420, which translate to $3,368 USD. After this tiny winning, Pius Heinz disappeared from the world of poker again. He didn’t make a return until the year 2016. At his appearance, he participated in the €5,000 + 200 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller Event #1 Eureka 6. The event took place in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. He placed 1st at this event and made a winning of €44,814. This translates to $48,721 USD.
The year 2016 was the year we last saw Pius Heinz at the poker table. It seems he has dropped off from the radar. Many critics are of the opinion that Pius didn’t use his 2011 WSOP winning to advantage. As a matter of fact, it was as if the event opened the door to greatness and stardom to him and he just turned his back on it and refused to walk through the door. Instead, he practically disappeared from the poker community and the doors of opportunity that his winning had opened for him.
His ambassadorial deal with PokerStars didn’t last for so long. As a matter of fact, there were reports that he was let go from the team because of his non-performance in the game for a long while. While playing online at Party Poker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt, Pius Heinz was known to use his moniker, MastaP89. However, it was as if he dropped away from everything poker.
Pius is known as an aggressive player and when he started in the industry, many believed that he would go far and beat many professional poker players at their game. Unfortunately, the prediction didn’t come to pass. His quick disappearance from the community has raised a lot of speculations among his fans and critics.
Pius Heinz $8.7 Million and the No Tax Deal
When gamblers make winnings at any tournament event, it is customary that they pay tax off their money. However, the case was not the same with the young professional poker player. The German poker player, Pius Heinz won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas with a winning of $8,715,636. The best part of the winning is that this money is tax free! Apparently, under the United States-Germany Tax Treaty, the income of German gambling that is earned on the soil of the United States is not taxable under the IRS law. In Germany, gambling earnings enjoy tax-exempt.
The implication of this is that Pius Heinz didn’t pay a penny out of his $8.7 million earnings to any government. Meanwhile, all his competitions at the event had to pay a full house tax or even more. For instance, the second place finisher, Martin Stazko from Czech Republic also didn’t have to pay any tax to the United States government. However, as soon as he gets back home, he was required to drop off $814,963 of his $5,433,086 winning to his government as tax.
He is not the only one caught up in the tax rule. The third place finisher, Ben Lamb from Tulsa Okla, who won $4,021,038 at the Texas Hold’em tournament event, will also not have all his money to himself like Pius Heinz. He will be coughing up more than $1,524,011 in taxes by the time the IRS has concluded the calculations with him. The fourth place finisher is not left out either. Mark Gianetti, from Las Vegas will have to give up a total of $1,048,642 of his $3,012,700 earnings at the event as tax.
Out of all the winners at the event, Eoghan O’Dean from Dublin Ireland seemed to be the biggest loser of the lot. As a sixth place finisher, he earned $1,720,331 at the end of the event. Unfortunately, O’dea will be giving up a 40% of his winning when he returns back home. Usually, amateur gamblers of Irish origin get to keep their winnings after any game. However, O’dea is a professional poker player. This means the Office of Revenue Commissioners of Ireland will get to keep a huge $695,018 of his earnings. Now, that makes his earnings very unattractive.
Suffice to mention that even O’dea fared better than some of his previous counterparts. For instance, the poker champion of 2008, Peter Eastgate, a citizen of Denmark, had to cough out a total of 73% of his earnings as tax to his government. He made earnings of $9,152,416 and had to drop 73% of the winning. Now that is what many people call a rip-off. Now, one wonders why they bother to gamble in the first place if they have to part with so much of their earnings at the end of the day. As someone said, when you compare the tax law of Denmark to the U.S tax law, then the U.S. law is very friendly on a lot of levels. In all of these poker pros and many that have won WSOP events ahead of them, Pius Heinz seemed to be the luckiest in terms of tax rule. He got to keep all his money to himself without parting with a dime. Now, that is the biggest great deal ever.
Pius Heinz Net Worth
The German born professional poker player had a giant lift on his net worth when he won the 2011 World Series of Poker event. According to available data, Pius Heinz net worth from his total live earnings is $9,028,569 USD. His best live cash is $8,715,368 from the 2011 WSOP winning. He places at the 90th position of the All Time Money List. He also places 12th on the Germany All Time Money List and 90th on All Time Money List Current Rank. He occupies the 17th position on the All Time Money List Best Rank and 55th in popularity ranking. However, Pius Heinz net worth seems to have been truncated after his 2016 appearance at the poker circuit. Since then, not much has been heard about him in the world of poker.
Personal Life of Pius Heinz
Pius is obviously a private person. There is nothing much that has been known about his personal life. The only thing available on him is that he lives in Vienna, Austria currently. No one knew if he went back to the Hochschule Fresenius College in Cologne to complete his Business Psychology degree.
Pius Heinz is a professional poker player that made a grand entrance into the world of live poker at the 2011 World Series of Poker. He made his biggest cash at this event and ever since then, he seemed to have grown cold feet at tables. After his major win, he didn’t feature in any major tournaments. As a matter of fact, he didn’t go too far in the subsequent tournaments he participated in after is major tournament win in 2011. Many of his critics have opined that his winning at the WSOP 2011 was the result of lady luck smiling on him and not because of his exceptional skill. Well, whether he has the skills or not, Pius Heinz won a WSOP first place price and the prestigious bracelet.