Editor’s note: The PokerStars Billionth Tournament Carnival is underway, so we thought it would be fun to ask some of Team PokerStars Pro to remember their most memorable PokerStars tournaments. Jan Heitmann snap-called.
This is an easy one for me, a memory that goes many years back. I actually final tabled the Sunday Million before it was called the Sunday Million, way back in 2004. The guarantee was $200K then, if I remember correctly. I made the final table and I recall afterwards reading a thread on Two Plus Two where they were discussing it. Someone mentioned I’d played one of the most impressive final tables he’d ever seen, and I remember being excited to read that. Of course it was 2004, meaning the caliber of play wasn’t what it is today, and really all I’d done was to play aggressively when others weren’t doing that, and ultimately benefiting as a result.
That’s not the most memorable part of the story, though. I had mostly dominated the final table, and at four-handed there was some talk of a deal. I was eager to make one, as this was a lot of money for me — I think it was about $70K for first and $54K for second. Two of the other players wanted to make a deal, too, but one player from Spain whom I didn’t know who wasn’t interested at all, and so we played it out.
Eventually I made it to heads-up against this player from Spain, still mostly dominating up to that point. But heads-up went very differently. After playing tight for most of the final table, this guy started playing very aggressively, and I didn’t know how to respond. In fact, he completely ran me over — just destroyed me! I had no idea what was happening. So I took second, and while I was bummed for a while, I got over it when I thought about how much money I’d made.
Cut to about five weeks later. I was reading an issue of CardPlayer magazine and there was an article about Carlos Mortensen, the 2001 WSOP Main Event champion. I’m reading along, and then suddenly there was a reference to him having recently won the $200K guaranteed event on PokerStars a few weeks before.
“Ohhhhh!” I thought. I just got destroyed heads-up by Carlos Mortensen! Story checks out!