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Brandon Schaefer has won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event 14, the No-Limit Hold’em $1500 Shootout. Schaefer, a Seattle, WA resident, bested a field of more than 1,100 players to take down $311,174 for his efforts in his first WSOP win. A former professional poker player, Schaefer is now a warrant officer in the U.S. Army. While his poker career has been put to the side, he has had considerable success in the past. In 2005 Brandon Schaefer won the 2005 European Poker Tour French Open for nearly $150,000. The final table of the WSOP event included two well-known players. Layne Flack, a 6-time bracelet winner, came in fourth place, taking home over $87,000. The final table also included Jeff Madsen, the 2006 WSOP Player of the Year with two tournament victories from that year.

Brandon Schaefer left poker to join the military when his life’s ambitions changed a few years ago. Seeking greater purpose and fulfillment, he enlisted in the U.S. Army with the ultimate goal of becoming a military pilot. Schaefer only decided to play this tournament on a whim, upon being reminded that the WSOP was taking place. He only planned to play one event and fortunately he landed a “one-shot kill scenario,” in his own words. Schaefer won the tournament on its third day, Friday night. He utilizied his vacation time to the maximum, since he has to report for the beginning of flight training next week!

The Shootout tournament format means that a player must defeat every other player at his table in order to advance to the next round. This means, like in the 6-max table format, that successful players must be well versed in shorthanded play in order to succeed. Event 36 will have the same format with a $3,000 buy-in. The WSOP continues throughout June until the final table of the Main Event is decided on July 16.