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Today in the 3-Bet we find Pius Heinz quietly fading from the PokerStars Team Pro roster, Dutch field hockey star and poker grinder Fatima Moreira de Melo showing she can survive and prosper and the Ship It Holla Ballas book finally hits the stands with frat-boy tales of poker degeneracy.
1) Heinz, Staszko Dropped from PokerStars Roster?
Back to plain old MastaP.
It hasn’t been officially confirmed by either PokerStars or the players but on perusal of the Team PokerStars Pro roster two members of the 2011 November Nine are no longer repping the red spade.
One is 2011 WSOP world champ Pius Heinz, and the other is his older European uncle and Main Event runner-up, Martin Staszko.
In Staszko’s case it’s not particularly surprising as “poker personality” likely wouldn't make it to the top section of the former auto-parts factory worker's resume. By his own choice we mean.
It’s a bit more surprising with Heinz, as he was and is a popular media presence in Germany. But it also make sense if he just wanted to return to a spotlight-free existence.
Both likely signed a standard one-year contract and chose not to renew this year, would be our guess.
Heinz is back playing under his old MastaP89 nickname on Stars while Staszko, who plays under filfedra, also looks to be active again.
Spoiler alert for Bjorn Schneider fans - he also seems to be free from his PokerStars duties. Check the full rosters here.
2) Fatima Moreira de Melo Gets Tactical, Wins Benelux Survivor
Woked off with the title.
Before we start: Benelux is the "union of states comprising three neighboring countries in northwestern Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.” Fatima Moreira de Melo is a Team PokerStars SportStar and Dutch Field Hockey gold medalist.
To the news: de Melo was recently crowned champ of the Benelux version of the reality TV show Survivor. We don't know exactly how the show differs but according to de Melo it's more touchy feely and positive with less competitiveness.
You also don't have to win by jury votes. In de Melo's case she won by throwing a stick and ball into a wok. No lie.
The friendly vibe worked in de Melo's favor, though, as her and two other poker players – Belgian twins Christophe and Matthias De Meulder, who also made the show - used it to their advantage:
"The three of us approached the game tactically and at one point, we made the decision to vote out a guy on our team that was really nice and well liked. We had won five group challenges in a row and this guy had proven himself to be a strong player.
"We knew it was the right move to vote him out as soon as we could, but people were really shocked by our decision--both the players on the island as well as the viewing audience. They just couldn't get over what we did." Read her two blogs about the experience here and here.
3) Ship It Holla Ballas Book Released
Poker fans from back in the day (ie 2004) might remember a group of players who loosely formed under the name "Ship It Holla Ballas.”
Featuring a core that included Tom “durrrr” Dwan, David “Raptor” Benefield, Andrew “good2cu” Robl, Alan “The Usher” Sass, Peter “Apathy” Jetten, the crew basically won a lot of money online, developed some original math-based strategies on the 2+2 forums and blew a lot of money on booze, drugs, cars and strippers.
They also ...nah, that about covers it. If you're interested in revisiting those days/parties, you now can in book form.
Co-written by Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback, the new book is called Ship It Holla Ballas! How a Bunch of 19-year-old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker’s Loudest, Craziest and Richest Crew. How they explain the name:
"...The Ballas were young, rich, brash, arrogant, and, thanks to the pervasive media culture that raised them, remarkably self-aware. They knew the Internet wasn't just a tool for making money, but a place to create a reputation for themselves, defining and celebrating a new lifestyle that just a few years earlier could never have existed.
"They used it as a platform to wage war against the social idiosyncrasies that had previously defined them, the parents and teachers who doubted them, and a poker establishment that refused to take them seriously."
Which, um, may or may not be overstating the matter. Buy the book here or revisit some of the stories on the old Ship It Holla blog.