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Denair poker star finishes in the money at WSOP

POSTED July 17, 2009 10:45 p.m.
Turlock area poker players have again done well on the sport’s biggest stage, as Shayne Heine, a cattle broker from Denair, finished in the money at the 40th Annual World Series of Poker No Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship this week.
Heine, who has been playing poker for five years, claimed 455th place in the main event. After four days of hard competition, Heine took home $25,027 for his efforts.
“I was happy,” Heine said. “It was a good run for 6,500 pros, we’re talking the best players in the world here.”
Heine said he felt good about his chances heading into the fourth day of the tournament with the second-most chips at his table, but bad luck in a computer-driven reshuffling of the tables left Heine with the short stack at a table comprised entirely of overall chip leaders.
From there, Heine found it difficult to make much happen on the short stack and eventually busted out. Had he continued on with his previous table, Heine suspected he might have claimed a top-100 finish.
The result came as Heine’s sixth lifetime money-winning finish at a World Series of Poker event, and his biggest poker paycheck. His best overall finish was at the 2008 WSOP No Limit Hold’em $1,500 buy-in event two, where he claimed 106th place.
The crowd back home at the Turlock Poker Room, where Heine plays almost nightly, was cheering their local favorite on throughout the tournament, keeping a close eye on Web sites that tracked chip counts.
“The entire time that (Heine) was playing we were rooting for him,” said Turlock Poker Room Gaming Operations Manager Vas Cherukuri. “He’s a very popular player because he’s also our current points leader.”
Heine currently sits atop the leader boards as the best tournament player at the Turlock Poker Room, regularly reaching the final table of the 6 p.m. daily tournaments. It was through his successful play at the Poker Room that Heine earned free entrance to the $10,000 buy-in World Championship.
“I took extra pride in knowing that our best tournament player did so well at the World Series of Poker,” Cherukuri said. “… He’s a really nice guy and I was happy for his success.”
Following his success on the biggest stage of poker, Heine plans to continue to play regularly both in person and online, where he is ranked in the top 4,000 players on Full Tilt Poker, but wont quit his day job.
For Heine, the joy of poker simply comes not from the paychecks but from sitting in a room surrounded by the best in the world and showing that, he too, can count himself among their ranks.
“I just like to be able to say I can hang with them,” Heine said.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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