Four Players Back from Dinner Break – All Eyes on Pius Heinz

There will be no victory song for Phil Collins.

The 26-year-old poker pro from Las Vegas, NV became the fifth player to exit from the WSOP Main Event Championship final table -- following Great Britain’s Sam Holden (9th place), Anton Makiievskyi (8th place), Bob Bounahra (7th place), and Eoghan O’Dea (6th place).  Collins was eliminated just a few hands short of the customary 90-minute dinner break.

No doubt, Collins endured a rather unappetizing final hour at the final table.  Seemingly card dead for most of the six hours he was in contention, Collins never made the rush that many were hoping for and others were anticipating.  One of the finale’s top online pros, Collins’ advantages seemed to increase as players gradually fell by the wayside and made for a shorter-handed table.  But Collins' lack of chips hurt him in the end, his problems exacerbated by being up against four very strong opponents playing their best games on poker's biggest stage.

Just as dawn settled over the Las Vegas skyline, Collins dreams of victory went dark.  Collins hovered around 20,000,000 most of the afternoon (he began with 23,875,000).  That might have seemed like a comfortable stack size, but with the chip leader Pius Heinz rocketing up to near the 100,000,000 mark and Matt Giannetti crossing the 50,000,000 threshold, the sands of the proverbial hourglass were running out on Collins’ final table stay.

Collins was eliminated on the very next hand following Eoghan O’Dea’s bust out.  if there was any consolation prize from the disappointment it was that the higher finish earned the Las Vegas an extra half-million in prize money.  Had Collins went out earlier, he would have collected a little more than $1.7 million.  Instead, he received $2,269,599, his biggest payout by far. 

Collins lost what turned out to be his final hand against Pius Heinz, who is experiencing a monster roll nearing the end of the first of two final table sessions.  Heinz has catapulted himself from seventh in chips (at the start of play) up to nearly a 2 to 1 chip lead over his closest rival.

Meanwhile, Collins is left to wonder what might have been had the cards turned differently.  Accordingly, the poker pro with the familiar last name shared by the British pop singer joined the ranks of 6,860 other (eliminated) players who entered this year’s championship, who are now forced to look forward to next year, and beyond.
Collins was eliminated on the 100th hand played at the final table.  His final fateful hand came as follows:
Phil Collins:     
Pius Heinz:     
Heinz moved all-in pre-flop with his middle pair.  He had been playing quite aggressively most of the day, and Collins decided that ace-suited was too strong a hand to fold in a short-handed format (he explained later).  As it turned out, Heinz did indeed have a real hand.  The pocket nines held up making trips, knocking Collins to the rail.

Nonetheless, Collins could certainly take great pride in what was a remarkable accomplishment.  No doubt, poker has not seen the last of the very talented Phil Collins.

With four players remaining, there is a still lot more poker to be played.  Final table action is expected to last most of the day and will likely play deep into the night (Sunday).  Play will be suspended once the final three players have been determined.  The last three players will return to the same stage at the Rio on Tuesday night, with the final stage of poker’s world championship starting at 5:30 pm.

For the first time in history, poker players and fans everywhere can tune in and watch all the action live.  Comprehensive coverage with expert analysis also includes player hole cards being shown to viewers – a WSOP first.

CLICK HERE to watch live WSOP Main Event final table action.  For those who prefer to read a written account of the action, CLICK HERE to see the live log of every final table hand.

To see the latest chip counts of all remaining players, CLICK HERE.  Updates will be posted regularly as players are eliminated and chip counts change. 

The official report of the entire tournament, complete with statistics, historical information, records, and quotes from each of the nine players will be posted to at the conclusion of the tournament.