One of the best things about the World Series of Poker is that there is something for everyone. An example of this is WSOP Event 30, the $1,000 Seniors No Limit Hold’em Championship. Players must be 50 years old or older in order to participate in this tournament.
This year’s version was record-breaking as it attracted 3,752 players, creating a mammoth prize pool of $3,376,800. It meant a handsome $557,435 for the eventual winner.
Day 3 began with 37 players preparing to duke it out for the bracelet. Within eight hours the final table was formed with Walter Browne holding a comfortable twenty big blind lead over his closest competitor.
The play at the final table started out quite cautiously with most pots being taken down preflop. Unfortunately for Browne, he was on the wrong end of the first big pot of the final nine. In a blind versus blind pot, Joseph Bolnick limped from the small blind. Browne raised. Bolnick called and then check raised on a J high flop. Browne jammed over the top with his QQ and was instantly called by Bolnick’s AA. No two outers appeared and Bolnick vaulted up the leaderboard, leaving Browne with less than half of the chips he started the final table with.
Browne’s stack continued to go down as he got into a coinflip situation with KQ against James Jewell’s 44. Browne flopped top pair but the flop also gave Jewell a flush draw. The flush completed on the turn and Browne found himself down to 8th out of eight. It was a far cry from his comfortable spot as chip leader.
The final blow for Browne came not long afterward as he got it all-in preflop with JJ against the KK of James Hess. Hess had been the most aggressive player at the table by a longshot, so Browne was shocked when his pair was behind preflop. Again Browne couldn’t find a suck out, and the loss left him with a mere big blind. He busted a few hands later in 8th place for $57,608.
It was at this point the final table became all about Hess. He was responsible for three of the next four eliminations as the other stacks at the final table become very shallow. With good timing, aggression, and some run good, Hess was able to get up to over three quarters of the chips in play as three-handed play began. This allowed him to have a virtual stranglehold on the final table.
It comes as no surprise that Hess was also responsible for the elimination of Craig Koch in 3rd place, which meant that Richard Harwood would be facing him heads-up for the bracelet. Hess went into heads-up with a significant chip lead.
It didn’t take long for the final fireworks to happen. The last hand of heads-up featured Harwood flopping top pair but being crushed by the trips of Hess. Hess, once again, avoided a two-outer to eliminate Harwood in 2nd place for a healthy consolation of $342,407.
Congratulations to James Hess for his victory! He collected an incredible $557,435 and a golden bracelet.
Further congratulations to everyone else who cashed WSOP Event 30!
Final table cashes:
1 – James Hess – $557,435
2 – Richard Harwood – $342,407
3 – Craig Koch – $248,971
4 – Joseph Bolnick – $182,347
5 – Gregory Alston – $134,801
6 – James Jewell – $100,594
7 – Charles Cohen – $75,775
8 – Walter Browne – $57,608
9 – Leo Whitt – $44,202