Russian Backers Claim 'Big Share' of Main Event Win

Pius Heinz
Heinz: Will have to share some of his money pile.

A Russian poker site and its staking community claims it had a large piece of German Pius Heinz’s action in the 2011 WSOP Main Event.

The percentage wasn’t specifically revealed, but Max Katz, a member of the site, said in an interview with Matthew Pitt of the Betfair poker blog that is was “a big share.”

Said Katz: 

I cannot say the exact number and I would prefer for you to publish rumours, because we like to keep the exact number secret, but yes we had a big share of Pius.”

On top of the share in Heinz’s $8.7 million win, King claims the members also had shares in three more WSOP bracelet winners this summer, including Joe Ebanks and Amir Lehavot.

In total the site staked a total of 170 players in 2,915 events, Katz says, and invested well over $1 million.

The site, called Pokeroff, is one of the largest Russian sites relating to poker and was founded about seven years ago.

Members post blogs and articles on the site and there is also a private staking community where recommended players who want to sell shares can go to find backers.

Any offers are published on a private website and divided between the members who want a share of that player.

Explained Katz:

“We have a site where players can publish offers on.

"We do not advertise this site, we just give the address to players we know and they give it to good players they know so it is like a recommendation.

“Somebody recommended Pius, he published an offer on the site, at first it was only a offers for small events at the WSOP for like the $1,000 and $1,500 tournaments and we bought them.

“Then he won seventh or eighth place in one of the $1,500 events, then he decided he wanted to sell more shares in the Main Event and we agreed.”

The site has also shared in the wins of PCA champ Galen Hall, EPT Berlin champ Ben Wilinofsky and David Vamplew at EPT London, Katz said.

Despite a very well developed staking industry for Russian players, Katz says they look outside Russia often.

"We actually mostly stake non-Russian players because the foreign players are usually better and offer better conditions."

Read the full interview with Katz on the Betfair blog. Check out Pokeroff (in Russian) here.

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