The 2012 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event kicked off on Friday with Day 1a, and after Day 1b on Saturday, there were 188 entries. Only 16 players made it to Monday's Day 3, the day a champion would emerge. When the dust settled, Chris Klodnicki was the last man standing, outlasting the field for a $135,000 payday.
Final Table Results
Klodnicki began the day with the chip lead and immediately added to it by eliminating Denis Gnidash in 16th place. In a battle of the blinds, Gnidash raised from the small, and Klodnicki called from the big. The flop came down , and Gnidash bet. A raise from Klodnicki was met with with a reraise all in from Gnidash with the , but he was called and trailed Klodnicki's . The turn and river were blanks for Gnidash, upping Klodnicki's stack to about 1.3 million from the 1.123 million he began the day with.
From there, Klodnicki hit a bump in the road as Joseph Tracy won a few pots off him. Shortly thereafter, Ian Searing got it in with the against Klodnicki's and flopped a ten, dropping Klodnicki's stack to about 800,000. Though, he would find his winning ways again when he eliminated Drew Heller in 12th place. After Klodnicki had raised on the button, Heller committed his last 10 big blinds from the big blind with the . This time the worked out fine for Klodnicki as an ace hit the flop to give him the pot.
When the final table was reached, Klodnicki was back atop the chip counts. He scored the first final-table elimination when a short-stacked Michael Schoultz got it in with the against Klodnicki's . No help came on the board for Schoultz, and only eight players remained. Micah Raskin fell in eighth place, also by Klodnicki's hands. After Tracy opened on the button, Klodnicki called out of the small blind. Raskin picked up the and saw an opportunity to squeeze all in for about 15 big blinds. What came next was a Tracy call and a Klodnicki reshove. Tracy ducked out of the way as Klodnicki revealed the . The board ran out , ending Raskin's run.
The rest of the table went to work as William Tonking took down Timothy Chang in seventh place. Chang jammed on the button for about 20 big blinds with the and found action from Tonking on the button with the . The board fell and Tonking spiked a set to send Chang to the rail.
Tracy fell next, making a move against Edward Pham. After Tracy four-bet preflop, Pham called to see an flop. Tracy jammed for more than the size of the pot and ran into Pham's . With the , Tracy was officially eliminated in sixth place when the turn and river fell. Tonking busted in fifth place about an hour later, losing a race with the against Richard Allen's . Coury Mascagni fell a few hands later in fourth place, four-bet shoving the into Edward Pham's . Once again, Pham flopped a third ace and scored the elimination.
Klodnicki was hardly quiet during those eliminations because he had been the preflop aggressor throughout the final table. He min-raised a healthy portion of the pots played, but stayed out of harms way when it came to the constant three-bets he faced. With Pham now firmly entrenched as the chip leader, Klodnicki took a page from his book and flopped top set with aces. With the blinds and antes at the 10,000/20,000/3,000 level, Klodnicki opened to 40,000 on the button. A call from Pham out of the small blind led to an flop. Pham led out 50,000, Klodnicki raised to 120,000, and Pham reraised all in. Klodnicki called all in with the and was thrilled to see Pham with no heart in his hand, showing the . Klodnicki held up to take the chip lead briefly before picking up aces once more.
Now with the blinds and antes at the 12,000/24,000/3,000 level, Klodnicki raised to 50,000 on the button. Allen three-bet to 135,000 from the big blind before Klodnicki four-bet to 275,000. Allen five-bet jammed with a slightly larger stack and Klodnicki called immediately with the , well ahead of Allen's . The aces held up, leading to Allen's elimination three hands later.
Heads-up play began with Klodnicki holding a slight 1.2:1 chip lead over Pham, but the two had a discussion where it appeared terms were agreed on. That led to Pham shoving on the first hand and mucking his hand after Klodnicki called with the . The final board ran out , locking up the victory for Klodnicki.
Congratulations to Chris Klodnicki, who added yet another score to his impressive and growing list of results. With this result, Klodnicki — who had just over $966,000 in winnings this year coming into this event — pushed himself into seven figures. Not only is this Klodnicki's first seven-figure year on the live felt, but it also came to be his best year ever. He also eclipsed the $3.9 million mark in career live tournament earnings.