Germany’s Heinecker triumphs in PokerStars GDAM

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 07, 2013 Posted in Tournament News | No Comments »

Niklas Heinecker just won the biggest non-WSOP Main Event, non-One Drop, first-place-prize that has ever been awarded in poker history, with his victory in the GuangDong Asia Millions (GDAM) Main Event hosted by PokerStarsAPPT Macau Summer Festival. The German poker pro is better known for his cash-game prowess than tournaments, but with a $4.5 million payday he immediately jumps into the top five on the all-time German money list according to

Heinecker has been around the poker world for quite some time, but the now 28 year-old pro has played a very sparse tournament schedule over the course of his poker career, instead focusing on cash-games, specifically online cash-games. Heinecker’s win is just the latest in a long-line of German triumphs in the poker world as of late: most recently Max Altergott’s win in the EPT Grand Final Super-High-Roller, Benny Spindler’s PokerStars EPT London Main Event, Phillip Gruissem’s win in the $50k buy-in event at the WSOP APAC, and of course Ole Schemion’s incredible run since his 2012 Partouche Poker Tour win.

Heinecker went into the eight-man final table in the middle of the pack, but with the top-stack a mere 28 Big Blinds it was anyone’s tournament to win. Here is how the players began the final table, with the blinds at a head-scratching 1,000,000/2,000,000:

* Seat 1: Igor Kurganov — 18,400,000

* Seat 2: Pratyush Budigga — 13,075,000

* Seat 3: Jeff Rossiter — 12,825,000

* Seat 4: Anson Tsang — 5,750,000

* Seat 5: Sorel Mizzi — 28,300,000

* Seat 6: Niklas Heinecker — 15,275,000

* Seat 7: Isaac Haxton — 7,075,000

* Seat 8: Zheng Tang — 24,300,000

And here is a look at how the final table played out:

1. Niklas Heinecker – $4,464,516

2. Jeffrey Rossiter – $3,161,290

3. Sorel Mizzi – $2,077,419

4. Zheng Tang – $1,616,129

5. Isaac Haxton – $1,316,129

6. Igor Kurganov – $1,070,968

7. Anson Yan Shing Tsang – $922,581

8. Pratyush Buddiga – $774,194

After his win Heinecker told PokerStars, “Of course, this is just sick,” he said. “This is by far the biggest day of my poker career…I don’t think this is business as usual for anyone, and not for me definitely. It’s far from what I’m used to. It’s a really big thing.” The question is now, what percentage of himself did Heinecker have in the tournament, and will his newfound bankroll boost send him on to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker?


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