Final three vie for top prize at World Series of Poker

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LAS VEGAS — Three poker professionals from three different countries started their final run at the World Series of Poker on Tuesday night, chasing an $8.72 million top prize and the most coveted crown in cards.

Pius Heinz, 22, of Cologne, Germany, 35-year-old Martin Staszko of Trinec, Czech Republic, and 26-year-old Ben Lamb of Las Vegas were each guaranteed a payday of at least $4 million on Tuesday night.

But they’re hoping to more than double their spoils in front of hundreds of fans at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and thousands more watching on television.

Heinz led at the start of play with just over half the chips in play, but both Staszko and Lamb had enough chips for him to be wary.

Each player must lose all his chips to be eliminated from the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em tournament, and win all the chips in play to take the crown.

For the first time, every hand at the final table was playing out nearly live on ESPN, including tense stretches of several minutes during which players mull difficult decisions. The play was being aired on a 15-
minute delay with hole cards revealed once hands ended – enough time to ensure gambling regulators that players can’t cheat.

Second place wins $5.43 million.

AIKEN MAN IS 5TH

Former Aiken resident Phil Collins finished fifth in the World Series of Poker and earned $2.3 million.

“I’m happy with the money, but not with the result,” he told The Associated Press.

Collins, 26, graduated from South Aiken High School and now lives in Las Vegas. He came into the final table of the main event in fourth place in chips, but was eliminated Sunday by chip leader Pius Heinz. Collins’ ace-seven wasn’t good enough to beat Heinz, who had pocket nines.

– From staff reports


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