Will Molson, you can now take the monkey off of your back.
"No more second place," Molson exclaimed after winning. "Finally."
After finishing runner-up in the PCA $25,000 High Roller event two years in a row, Molson is now a champion after a little under eleven hours play here on Day 3.
The day started with 12 players and Jason Mercier was the chip leader with just over a million, but the chip lead changed hands numerous times before we reached a final table. Matt Affleck entered the day as the short stack and was the first to go when he jammed with . Mercier called with and hit an eight on the flop to send Affleck packing.
Tom Marchese was next to go after he open-shoved less than 15 big blinds with . Shander de Vries called with and the nickels held on a jack-high board. Brandon Steven burst the final table bubble by busting in 10th place. Steven got his chips in drawing dead with on an board. His opponent, Fernandez, held .
The average stack entering the final table was less than 30 big blinds, and within an hour we said goodbye to de Vries, Mercier, Matt Marafioti and David "Bakes" Baker in that order. Mercier couldn't get anything going and trended down the entire day until eventually he was short-stacked. He was under 10 big blinds when he shoved from the small blind and Govert Metaal woke up with and held.
Metaal could not parlay the knockout into further success however, and he was the next to go when he jammed with from the hijack seat. Molson re-shoved with black jacks on the button and flopped quads for kicks and giggles.
Erik Seidel played well the entire day and was flipping for a huge stack during Level 25. Seidel's was up against Molson's , but the flop was jack-high and Seidel was eliminated.
Three handed play between Molson, Max Lykov and Molson was very slow, and the three chose to take a 60-minute dinner break at the end of Level 26. When they returned Molson started to get very aggressive and took the chip lead. He knockout out Lykov when the two got it all in preflop and Lykov's was dominated by Molson's . Lykov flopped an open-ended straight draw but could not get there on the turn or river.
Molson entered heads-up leading Fernandez by a count of 5.8 million chips to 1.7 million, but Fernandez doubled early. He shoved with and Molson called with . Molson took a commanding lead when the flop fell , but the on the turn stole the pot away and kept Fernandez alive. Molson didn't quit though, and doubled with against Fernandez's . A few hands later Fernandez four-bet shoved with and Molson snapped it off with . He held and took back the chip lead.
Fernandez doubled one more time, but Molson finished the deed with against Fernandez's and won the tournament.
No one would ever complain about two second place finishes for $550,000, but surely Molson was sick of coming in second place. Finally, on his third try, Molson shipped the PCA $25,000 High Roller and is surely off to celebrate now.
Congratulations Mr. Molson, the next drink's on you.