22-Year-Old Wins $8.72M in World Poker Championship

First German to win poker's biggest event

By Sara Dover
|  Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011  |  Updated 4:50 AM PDT
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A 22-year-old German cashed in $8.72 million in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas Wednesday morning.

With a starting pair of ace-king, Pius Heinz had better cards than 35-year-old Martin Staszko of the Czech Republic, who had a seven of clubs and a 10 of clubs, The Associated Press reports.

The five cards on the board -- five of clubs, deuce of diamonds, nine of spades, jack of hearts and four of diamonds -- didn't help either player, but Heinz won with the superior hand. The game was broadcast live on ESPN with a 15-minute delay.

"It's got to be the happiest day of my life," said Heinz, the first German to win poker's biggest event. "But I can't believe what happened -- it's unreal."

The 22-year-old said he wasn't sure what he was going to do with all the new cash, but said "Probably my family is going to get a couple of gifts."

Staskzo didn't make off so badly either. A chess whiz who used to work in an auto-paint shop, he won $5.43 million in second place.

"I'm never happy if I don't win," Staszko said. "Bit it's not too bad. Second place is ok."

American Ben Lamb, 26,  was eliminated early Tuesday night after four hands.

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