It took nearly 28 hours of play to eliminate 1,339 players but for David Diaz, it was well worth the wait. With just four tables left, this tournament still had the likes of Sam Trickett, Cliff Josephy, Bill Chen, Andy Black, J.C. Tran, Getty Mattingsly and Dan Smith. But Diaz was able to overcome them all, including a head up match with the talented Anders Meli. He will be taking home his very first WSOP gold bracelet and $352,808 for his skill and patience.
We started the final day with ten players and Diaz entered just 9th in chips. He stayed out of the heavy action early, finding spots to add chips when he could including a bluff with Ten-Three. It wasn’t until he got it all in with our Day 2 chip leader Nicholas Rampone that he took the chip lead for the first time. His got there on the turn against the of Rampone. However, it wasn’t long before he got short again and in back to back hands had to come from behind in an all in preflop situation to chop both of the pots. But then it happened. Shortly after doubling up and reaching a million chips, Diaz flopped the nut flush against the second nut flush draw of Bill Chen. The two got it in and Diaz took a chip lead that he refused to relinquish.
With play three handed, Diaz continued to put pressure on the two shorter stacks, Andrea Dato and Anders Meli. Dato tried to fight back but the aggressiveness of Diaz caught up with him. Anders Meli was able to gain a little momentum before Dato’s bust but when the battle turned heads up, it was all downhill from there. Diaz poured on the aggression, forcing Meli to chip down further and further as the match progressed. On the final hand, Meli’s couldn’t hold against the holding of Diaz and we had a champion.
When asked if he had expected to win a bracelet his year at the World Series, Diaz responded, “Actually, I expected to win two. I don’t know why but I just did.” Well, David Diaz, you are half way there.