For those that couldn’t track down the funds to play the $10,000 WSOP Main Event, the last chance to win a bracelet came in Event 56, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament. 3,389 people showed up for the festivities, creating a gigantic prize pool of $4,575,150. This meant a whopping $777,928 for 1st place!
A number of pros that came to Vegas for the Main Event decided to try their luck in Event 56, and several of them made the money. David Pham, who has over $8 million in tournament winnings, finished 308th for $2,882. Mikhail Shalamov, a PokerStars online pro, finished up 89th for $6,130. Online superstar Andrew Lichtenberger placed 80th for $7,182.
A couple big names went extremely deep. Gavin Smith was being watched closely during Day 3 as the numbers got lower. With just 12 players remaining, he received the prime chance to pad his stack just after the dinner break: Rayan Nathan shoved UTG with TT and he called with AA. Nathan got a pleasant surprise when the flop came T94, and his win sent Smith’s stack plummeting to the bottom of the field.
Very quickly afterward, Nathan got the rest of Smith’s chips. This time Nathan had the AA, and he held against Smith’s flopped top pair. Smith busted in 12th place for $46,209.
Hasan Anter began final table play 2nd in chips behind Andy Philachack. Things started to go his way with the elimination of Nathan in 7th place. He called Nathan’s early position shove with KK on the button and sent him home with a $102,803 consolation prize.
With the help of a couple more showdowns, Anter climbed to the top of the leaderboard. Licking his chops at the prospect of busting another player, he got it in with 88 against John Horvatich’s KK. Horvatich had less luck with his KK, however, and was eliminated in 6th place with an 8 on the flop.
Riding his hot streak, Anter then played a 3-way pot with J9 and managed to outflop John Borzio’s AK. Borzio shoved a 932 flop, Anter called, and Borzio busted the event in 5th place for $184,561.
And Anter STILL wasn’t finished building his stack. He played a post flop pot with QJ against Selim Oulmekki’s dominated J8s. Both of them paired up on a Q86 flop, and all the chips went in on the turn. Oulmekki couldn’t find another 8 on the river, and he finished in 4th place for a handsome $251,267.
Anter lost a couple big pots before the day was over, but he still had a commanding chip lead to start Day 4. Day 4 wasn’t originally scheduled for this tournament, but Day 3 went on for so long that they halted play at the end of level 10 to give the remaining 3 players a good night’s rest.
Andy Philachack was the first to bust during Day 4. He shoved 33 in the sb after Nemer Haddad limped with AT. Haddad called and spiked a T, which meant that Philachack had to settle for his 3rd place consolation prize of $345,698.
Haddad’s stack benefited a lot from busting Philachack, but he had a severe chip disadvantage heading into heads-up against Anter. Haddad was unfazed at being a 3 to 1 underdog. He was able to briefly even up the stacks after a couple big post flop pots, and then he even took the lead after doubling with 66 versus Anter’s A3.
Haddad couldn’t outplay Anter post flop, however. Anter won two huge pots after the flop to vault him to the lead again, and then he got Haddad where he wanted him: all-in for his chips dominated. Anter ended up winning the last hand with a royal flush, which was definitely overkill but a fitting way to end the night.
Congratulations to Haddad for his 2nd place finish, which netted him an impressive $479,521. Even bigger congratulations to Anter, who finished in 1st place for $777,928 and his first WSOP bracelet!
Final table payouts:
1 – Hasan Anter – 777,928
2 – Nemer Haddad – 479,521
3 – Andy Philachack – 345,698
4 – Selim Oulmekki – 251,267
5 – John Borzio – 184,561
6 – John Horvatich – 137,025
7 – Rayan Nathan – 102,803
8 – Ryan Goindoo – 77,914
9 – James Boyle – 59,705