In a field as star-studded and heavy-hitting as this one, you'd think a name pro would be a shoo-in to take down the bracelet. But in the end, a 22-year-old cash game pro with only two recorded tournament cashes before today overcame a field of the world's best in an event that required players to excel not only at one game, but eight different limit, no-limit and pot-limit poker variants.
Anthony Rivera outlasted a final table where four of his opponents had won six WSOP bracelets between them. He never lost his cool or looked intimidated by his opponents, and had a rail full of support from his roommates and friends all evening.
In his post-victory interview, an elated Rivera said that he doesn't play a lot of tournaments, preferring to concentrate on the mixed cash game action at Bellagio and at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. All those hours grinding it out at the tables paid off for this talented young man tonight.
When asked about his plans for the rest of the series, Rivera smiled and said, "I don't know, I might take a week off!" as he gazed down at his shiny new piece of jewelry.
Congratulations to Anthony Rivera on his first WSOP bracelet!
On the first hand of heads-up play, James Mackey raised to 87,000. Anthony Rivera looked down and then said, "Make it 287," and raised. Mackey moved all in.
Rivera was stunned. "What? You're all in? I call!" And turned over .
Mackey tossed over .
The flop was and left Mackey still behind. The turn and the river didn't help either. First the and then the came. When the river card blanked, Rivera's crew along the rail erupted, as did Rivera. The Tournament Director counted down the chip stacks and when the dust settled, Rivera had Mackey covered.
James Mackey was eliminated in second place and will take home just under $300,000 for his efforts.
Anthony Rivera raised to 75,000 from the small blind and James Mackey called from the big blind. The flop was . Rivera fired out a continuation bet and Mackey called. The turn was the and both players checked. The river was the . Rivera bet 200,000, Mackey raised to 500,000 and Rivera insta-called.
Rivera rolled over for trips and Mackey mucked in disgust. He's down to 475,000 while Rivera is up to 2 million.
Glantz had the bring-in, Mackey completed and Glantz called. On fourth and fifth Mackey led out and Glantz called. On sixth Mackey checked, Glantz bet and Mackey called. On seventh Mackey called another bet from Glantz.
Glantz showed trip fours, neither player made a low, and he scooped the pot. He and Mackey are now about even with 1.1 million each.
Matt Glantz had been faced with decisions to call James Mackey's bets on every street.
On their last card, both players checked and Glantz turned up two pair, jacks and eights. Mackey missed a flush draw and ended up with just a pair of kings. Neither player had a qualifying low and Glantz scooped the pot.