After over fourteen hours of play, including a two-hour heads-up match, Kenny Hsiung is the winner of Event 48: $3,000 Limit Hold’em.
Day 3 began with 20 players looking to capture World Series of Poker glory, and the top prize of $165,205. Paul Berende was the chip leader to start the day, and he was closely followed by Kenny Hsiung, John Virtue, and Cary Marshall. Marshall was the only member of that group to miss the final table – he was ultimately eliminated in thirteenth place, earning him $9,272.
Vladimir Shchmelev and Justin Bonomo were the first two players eliminated today, and they busted fairly quickly, but after that, there was a lull in play until the start of Level 19. Within an hour however, the field shrunk from eighteen players to eleven, and six minutes into Level 20, we had reached the official final table.
Stephen Hung was the first player to be eliminated from the final table when his ace-ten was out-raced by Mitchell Davis’ pocket nines. The board ran out , and Hung’s day was finished. John Myung was the next player to bow out, followed by Davis, who started the final table as the chip leader. Davis took a couple of hits, including a big one against Dwyte Pilgrim, and was busted by Hsiung, who assumed the chip lead.
Matthew Woodward, and Pilgrim were the next two players eliminated. Pilgrim, who was down to one big blind on Day 2, climbed all the way to the top of the chip counts at one point during the final table, only to bust at the hands of Berende. Berende was still short however, and couldn’t get anything going during four-handed play. Hwang did him in with against the of Berende on a flop of . The gave Berende outs, but the bricked on the river, eliminating him from the tournament.
Hsiung began pulling away as John Virtue began sinking, and Virtue was crippled when Hsiung turned a flush against Virtue’s flopped set. Virtue was eliminated the next hand, and was off to the cage to collect $76,244.
Hsiung began heads-up play with a massive lead over Hwang, but Hwang quickly fought back and evened the match. For the next two hours, the chip lead changed hands numerous times, until finally Hsiung began to pull away for good. On the final hand, Hwang was all in with an open-ended straight draw, and Hsiung held just king high. The board paired on the river, and Hsiung was the champion.
Congratulations are in order to Hsiung, who considers himself a limit-hold’em specialist. He’ll take home $165,205, along with the WSOP gold bracelet.