Pius Heinz, Marcus Hellner join PokerStars

After winning the most prestigious poker tournament in the world, it only seems fitting that Pius Heinz would join the world’s largest poker site. The 2011 WSOP* Main Event winner recently inked a deal with PokerStars that will make him one of their newest additions.

Heinz, who was largely unknown throughout the poker community before July, certainly made a name for himself after navigating through a 6,815-player field and on towards a Main Event victory. The German battled the Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko for over six hours before a winner was declared. After winning the tournament, Heinz hauled in a massive $8,715,368 prize, and became the first player from Germany to win the Main Event. Not bad for an online poker player who previously thought about giving the game up!

PokerStars has been pretty busy lately because signing the 2011 Main Event champion wasn’t their only move; they also agreed to a deal with Swedish skiing star Marcus Hellner. The 25-year-old is quite famous in his home country for winning two gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. One of the gold medals came in the 30 km Pursuit, while he picked up the other medal in the 4×10 km race. The Swede added to his fame by winning a gold and silver medal at the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championships.

As for poker, Hellner is still relatively new to the game, but he did play at the 2011 WSOP Main Event, which was won by Canadian Jonathan Duhamel. He’s also been playing poker with his skiing teammates, and Hellner told PokerStars, “I started playing with friends on training camps, and I liked very much to steal little bit money from the guys. Then the internet poker came and I really enjoyed that.”

While Hellner may not be the most experienced poker player right now, at least he comes from a country with a good line of players. Sweden is home to such poker pros as Team PokerStars member Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, William Thorson, Erik Sagström and Martin de Knijff.

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah’s License Company, LLC (“Harrah’s”). Harrah’s does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with RakeTheRake or its partners, products, services promotions or tournaments.

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