A rough stretch of losses earlier this year had German poker player Pius Heinz thinking about returning to college, but the 22-year-old decided to stick with poker full-time. It’s a good thing he did.

Heinz was rewarded $8.72 million after winning the main event of the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

“I tried not to lose my nerve,” said Heinz. “At some point I was not making a hand. I was getting frustrated, honestly. I just tried to play my game.”

Heinz outlasted 35-year-old Martin Staszko, who took home $5.43 million, in a marathon game of Texas Hold ‘Em that included nine lead chances in 119 hands the two played head-to-head. At one point, Stasko had four times as many chips as Heinz.

“Honestly I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the money,” Heinz said, after finally defeating Staszko early Wednesday morning. “Probably my family is going to get a couple gifts.”

[Yahoo]