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James Schaff has overcome a poker great in the vein of Phil Hellmuth to take the bracelet and the prize money in event 51 which was a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. This is pretty impressive considering the sheer quantity of fans and cameras that follow Hellmuth are often intimidating to players who face him. Even though Hellmuth went into the final table with the second largest stack, Schaff still overcame the odds and took the win.

With $256,412 in prize money for first place being allotted to Schaff it’s clear that this was an important tournament for him and his poker career. Schaff is a database programmer when he’s not playing poker and it’s likely his skills on the computer and in mathematics helped him with his brand new WSOP bracelet.

Schaff considered himself lucky with his win, and mentioned that he drew his opponents out to luck out and take the win in the end. Whether Schaff is right in the fact that he out drew his opponents, or if it was just skill, it’s clear that he is a talented player and certainly earned his seat. Luck alone can’t bring a player that far in such a large tournament and we’re clearly impressed over here at FTR.

Impressively enough Schaff went from being short stacked at 200 chips early in the tournament to being the big stack in the end, but had a good hand and tripled up to push him in the direction of his impressive win. There were some good hands in this tournament and with a little luck and some impressive skill Schaff moved into the first spot to bring home that bracelet that many seek but few manage to grab.