175 Platinum Passes awarded

175 Platinum Passes awarded

Steve Zander

Germany

Mystery Chests Drop

All husbands have their wives to thank for a ton of things they can’t even specify. But for Steve “DeHeinz” Zander, there’s one thing in particular he is grateful for: his wife paved his way into the poker world, back in 2009. Now, 10 years later, Zander has booked his trip to Barcelona to play the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) next year, what will be by far the biggest tournament of his life. We very much hope and expect this will be a trip for two.

“I left Germany for Spain in 2009 and my wife started working in a pizza place,” Zander says. “Her boss asked if I could play poker, I thought why not as I didn’t have friends and wanted to get to know people.” Zander had a tiny bit of experience of the game, playing for play money only during the immediate post-Moneymaker days on PokerStars. But it was this pizza parlour game that re-introduced him to poker, and began a much more serious interest. “I lost a bit of money at the start but then in 2011 I got back into it with proper preparation and strategy, bankroll management,” he says.

These days, Zander still lives in Spain and plays online as “DeHeinz” on PokerStars.es. He works as a gardener and housekeeper for other expats, but is also in touch with many German-speaking poker players through Felix “xflixx” Schneiders’ Twitch community. He usually plays cash games and tournaments around the €50 buy-in mark, but once took a trip to Malta to play in a bigger event.

He won his Platinum Pass through a “mystery chests” promotion — and couldn’t quite believe what was happening.

“I was playing and just opened the chest on my second stream,” he says. “All of a sudden I saw something about a Platinum Pass but I ignored it and clicked it away. I thought it was just another ticket. I was curious though and checked the ticket lobby again and there it was. I still couldn’t believe it and showed my wife. I only realized that it was actually a real Platinum Pass when the email came – I didn’t dare to celebrate before, but then we surely did!”

Zander says he is now looking forward to preparing for the tournament with Schneiders, and — who knows? — maybe he’ll be buying that pizza parlour this time next year.