Niklas Heinecker wins 2013 GDAM and $4.46m

The innagural GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GDAM) Main Event was a huge success after 71 players paid the HK$1,000,000 (US$130,000) buy-in. 54 of these grinders opted to rebuy after busting, and the buy-ins/rebuys combined to create a massive HK$119,375,000 ($15,376,897) prize pool.

Germany’s Niklas Heinecker took full advantage of this giant pool as he won the 2013 GDAM Main Event along with HK$34,600,000 ($US4,464,516). After winning, he said, “Of course, this is just sick. This is by far the biggest day of my poker career…I don’t think this is business as usual for anyone, and not for me definitely.” He added, “It’s far from what I’m used to. It’s a really big thing.”

Heinecker had to overcome a very fast-paced blind structure on the final day to capture this victory. The average final table chip stack was just 15 big blinds, which led to some very quick eliminations. When the dust settled, Heinecker and Australia’s Jeff Rossiter were left playing heads-up for the title.

The German definitely had an edge here with a 3:1 chip advantage. But this was anybody’s tournament with how high the blinds were. The rising blinds didn’t seem to affect Heinecker too badly though as he played well enough to beat Rossiter and capture his first major live tournament title.

Up until now, Niklas Heinecker has always been known as an online poker pro. But this is likely to change since he took down one of the biggest poker tourneys of the year. On the strength of the GDAM Main Event victory, Heinecker now has US$4,773,583 in live tournament earnings.

2013 GDAM Main Event Final Table Results
1. Niklas Heinecker – HK$34,600,000 (US$4,464,516)
2. Jeff Rossiter – HK$24,500,000 (US$3,161,290)
3. Sorel Mizzi – HK$16,100,000 (US$2,077,419)
4. Zheng Tang – HK$12,525,000 (US$1,616,129)
5. Isaac Haxton – HK$10,200,000 (US$1,316,129)
6. Igor Kurganov – HK$8,300,000 (US$1,070,967)
7. Anson Tsang – HK$7,150,000 (US$922,580)
8. Pratyush Budigga – HK$6,000,000 (US$774,193)