Pius Heinz will enter the final day of play with a big chip lead, holding 107.8 million in chips. That's very far from the 16.425 million in chips that he began the day with and a 556.32% increase. It's also over 52 million more than Ben Lamb in second place and nearly 10 million more than both of the other players combined.
It took Heinz until Hand #14 to finally win a hand, but there would be many, many more to come on the day. The first time Heinz started to make noise was on Hand #36, when he raised to 2.1 million after a Phil Collins limp. Collins tried the old limp-reraise play, but Heinz four-bet shoved and won the pot. A few hands later, Heinz dragged in a monster.
Heinz raised to 1.3 million, and Lamb flatted next door. The action came around to Eoghan O'Dea, and he figured a squeeze was in order. From the small blind, he reraised to 4.1 million, and that brought the decision back to Heinz. After a minute, he just flatted, and Lamb folded out of the way to let the other two go at it.
There was already more than 10 million in the pot when the dealer spread out an flop, and O'Dea reached for chips. Heinz had just over 20 million chips left in his stack, and he was faced with a follow-up bet of 4.6 million. Once again, he just flatted, and the landed on fourth street.
Now there was 19.975 million piled in the middle of the table, by far the largest pot we've seen today. O'Dea wasn't slowing down now, and he fired a second bullet worth 8.2 million. That was more than half of what Heinz had left, so he was essentially considering the decision for his tournament life. His whole Main Event.
Heinz spent several long minutes starting across the felt at O'Dea, who was sitting like a statue with his eyes facing front. Even staring at the back of his hoodie, we could feel the pain in Heinz's decision. It had to be at least five full minutes before he acted, and he did so by raising all in for 16 million flat. Wow. O'Dea took only about 15 seconds before folding, and the stadium erupted in cheers as Heinz moved to over 40 million.
Once that hand happened, Heinz ramped up the aggression and really put his foot on the gas, entering pots often and with plenty of raises. He took the chip lead on Hand #43 and never looked back from there.
On Hand #59, Heinz eliminated Anton Makiievskyi. Makiievskyi open-raised all in for 10.5 million and Heinz called out of the big blind. Makiievskyi held the and Heinz pocket nines. The flop came down and put Makiievskyi in the lead, but the on the turn spiked a full house for Heinz and the Penn & Teller Theatre erupted. The landed on the river and Makiievskyi was eliminated.
On Hand #100, just one hand after Eoghan O'Dea was eliminated by Martn Staszko, Heinz sent Phil Collins out the door. Heinz opened to 2.1 million and Collins three-bet jammed for 18.3 million. Heinz took a few moments and then called with the , the same hand he busted Makiievskyi with. Colins held the .
The flop was an interesting one with the and the turn was an even more interesting . The river was a blank with the and Heinz was the hand. With that elimination, he moved to 86.7 million in chips.
The shorter the table got, the more Heinz opened up. He put constant pressure on his opponents and was most often attacking Lamb's big blind from the small blind, even though he would have to act out of position. He also earned a good amount of walks from his opponents who didn't want to tangle with the chip leader.
On the 158th hand, Heinz took a big pot from Matt Giannetti after turning a pair of queens to move to nearly 90 million in chips. He then gave a bunch to Staszko after losing the 161st hand to him and fell below 80 million once more. It didn't seem to phase the young German as he kept raising and kept firing. On the 176th hand of the final table, Heinz moved to over 100 million and that's where he would finish the day.