He'll be one of the youngest players at next week's World Series of Poker Main Event final table, and the first German to make it that far. Now Pius Heinz, 22, has the full support of the PokerStars family; he has joined Team PokerStars Pro.
Heinz, who studied business psychology at university, admits he was more interested in history at school than maths. But he'll need all his numeric skills to work out what to do with the $8,711,956 if he becomes world champion next week.
"I'm pretty relaxed about the game," he said. "There are a lot of tough players left but I'm confident I can win it. Joining PokerStars has given me an extra lift, too. I'm looking forward to being part of the team."
Heinz begins the final table in Las Vegas in seventh place, and is already guaranteed a $782,115 pay day, significantly dwarfing his previous best results, an $83,000 cash for finishing seventh in a $1,500 WSOP event this summer, and the €17,450 he bagged for winning a €1,000 side event at this season's PokerStars EPT Barcelona.
Here's how the final table will sit down at the Rio on Sunday:
Martin Staszko, Czech Republic, 40,175,000
Eoghan O'Dea, Ireland, 33,925,000
Matt Giannetti, USA, 24,750,000
Phil Collins, USA, 23,875,000
Ben Lamb, USA, 20,875,000
Badih Bounahra, Lebanon, 19,700,000
Pius Heinz, Team PokerStars Pro, Germany, 16,425,000
Anton Makiievskyi, Ukraine, 13,825,000
Samuel Holden, UK, 12,375,000
With his elevation to a member of Team PokerStars Pro, Heinz joins a group of top German team mates, including Sebastian Ruthenberg and Sandra Naujoks, both EPT winners.
Naujoks said: "Pius has all the qualities needed to be a great poker player, and he has played a tough and intelligent game to get to the WSOP final table. We'll be rooting for him to win on Sunday and I'm excited to see another top player join the ranks of Team PokerStars."
Welcome to the team, Pius, and best of luck in Las Vegas!