It was a back and forth battle for all parties involved here on the final day of Event #34. But the patience and skill of Mark Schmid was able to outlast all the drama, all the suck-outs, coolers and bad beats, but most importantly, all of the players. He entered the final table with over a 2 to 1 chip lead on the second highest stack. He had a clear strategy entering the final table which was to play small-ball poker and executed it in style. He was able to put pressure on his opponents by staying involved and having the ability to have any two cards at any time.
Early on it felt like fireworks were happening every other hand, except no one was busting. All in after all in, players kept sitting back down in their seat after having been on the brink of elimination. If you search back through the major hands that involved Schmid during these crazy hours, you'll find that despite losing many of the critical pots, his chip stack kept increasing. Three handed, Schmid was able to get his in against the of Andrew Rudnik for well over half of the chips in play. Despite flopping a Queen, the turn and river gave both players a wheel and the pot was split.
Ever focused, Schmid regrouped and found himself heads up with Justin Cohen facing a nearly 3 to 1 chip deficit. Cohen had been playing tight aggressive all day and found himself on both sides of the swingy final table. Cohen was even one card away from the title before Schmid snatched it away. The two players got it all in on a board. Cohen held and just needed to avoid a King, Nine or Six to beat the of Schmid. But it wasn't to be. Schmid breathed new life with the river. Later, Cohen was able to get Schmid short again. But another all in with Cohen drawing near dead gave Schmid a lead he refused to relinquish. On a board, Schmid held against the of Cohen and he bricked out. Ironically, it would be these same two hands that would give Schmid his bracelet.
On the final hand, Schmid limped his button and Cohen checked his option. The flop came and both players checked. The turn was another Seven, the , and Cohen check-called Schmid's bet of 250,000. The river completed a four-flush with the and Cohen checked for a third time. Schmid bet 450,000 and Cohen announced he was all in. Schmid told Cohen, "I don't see how I can fold," and made the call. Cohen knew immediately that he was beat, despite having for trips. Schmid tabled for a flush and a new WSOP champion was crowned.
For having beaten an incredible field of 3,144 players, Mark "pimpindonks" Schmid will take home $488,283 but most importantly his very first WSOP gold bracelet!