It's all over but the shouting and the passing of the proverbial sugar. In just over seven hours of play today, Andrew Hinrichsen has completed his quest to achieve poker's most iconic prize, a piece of WSOP gold, adding nearly €150,000 to his pockets in the process.
When the day began, Hinrichsen was second in chips, though still a long way behind chip leader Gianluca Speranza. And the Italian was flexing that chip lead in the opening levels. Speranza was responsible for the elimination of the ninth-place finisher Gregory Lejolivet in the first few minutes of the day, and he won a big flip with ace-king against pocket fives to send Eric Baudry out in sixth place. That gave him more than half the chips in play with five left, but his lead was anything but safe.
Five-handed play lingered for a while before the table was able to bid farewell to a dangerous Welshman. Roberto Romanello came into this final table just eight players away from his first bracelet, and it would have made him only the fifth player to achieve poker's elusive Triple Crown. The day did not go as he had dreamt about last night though, and he soon found himself all in with his ace-deuce in awful shape. Bernard Guigon's ace-king was too much in the end, and Romanello was forced to settle for a consolation prize of €37,874 -- though it likely wasn't much consolation.
Guigon was next to fall in fourth place (at the hands of Speranza), and the final three broke for dinner in a near deadlock for the chip lead. When they returned, things began to go south for Hinrichsen. Pot after pot was pulled from him, and he soon found himself badly in need of a double-up with just over 200,000 chips. Soon thereafter, though, he found that lucky double when his flushed Speranza's to keep him afloat. He continued to chip his way up close to 650,000 when he played another decisive, double-up-or-go-home pot. It was a flip with Speranza, and the of Hinrichsen managed to outrun his opponent's pocket fives to give him the chip lead for the first time.
It wasn't much longer before the end came. In the last hand, Hinrichsen took Speranza to Valuetown with , and he ended up out-kicking his opponent on a king-high board to seal the deal. Speranza looked less than thrilled as they announced his name in second place, good enough for a big five-figure score.
So then, Australia has another gold bracelet to add to its tally. That's six by our count, and this one moves Hinrichsen into Australia's all-time Top 25 winningest players. Hinrichsen had a small rail here to support him this week, but he sends his regards to everyone who was rooting for him back home.
The drinks are on Andrew Hinrichsen tonight in Cannes, and Australia's newest bracelet winner has 148,030 new reasons to celebrate.