Heinz Czechmates Straszko at WSOP Main Event

by Lou on November 10, 2011

Congratulations to 22-year-old Pius Heinz on winning the main event at the World Series of Poker and taking down more than $8.7 million in the process of defeating Czech chess expert Martin Straszko.

The Czech seemed poised to win after one of the longest heads-up battles in WSOP history.  Heinz body language in the 15 or 20 minutes before the hand that turned it all around was that of a man about to acknowledge defeat.

He was restless, shuffling in his seat, and seemed almost distracted as he could not overcome Straszko’s chip lead.  But Straszko played a hand he did not have to play—all he had was a draw—and put Heinz all-in.  Heinz took the pot.  A short time later, the now short-stacked Straszko moved all in with 10c-7c, only to find Heinz sitting on As-Kc.  The board ran out 5c-2d-9s-Jh-4d and Straszko finished second with $5,433,086.

If you watched this confrontation, let me know your opinion.  I’d like to see how many readers agree with my assertion that Straszko played a hand he didn’t have to, and in so doing cost himself the championship.  And what’s your opinion of Heinz’ body language in the minutes leading up to that decisive encounter?  Did he look like a guy who was poised to win … or lose?

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