Day 3 of Event #28, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, kicked off with 27 players returning to take a shot at the bracelet and $639,331 in first-place prize money. Joe Simmons began Day 2 as the chip leader with 1.1 million and Jason Potter was right behind him with 929,000. When the final table was reached, Mike Eise had seized the chip lead and he survived a strong challenge from Rico Ramirez to emerge as the champion.
Twenty-seven players started the day with hopes of making the final table. Eliminations began at a fevered pace early on. Adam Lippert was first out when he ran into the of Mike Zulker. Fouad El-Adli headed out next when his was dominated by the of Rico Ramirez. Gary Wright was all in and ahead with against the of Zack Fritz, but Fritz spiked a seven on the flop to take down the hand and send Wright packing. Josef Samanek moved in with pocket eights against the of Mickey Neuberger. Two aces on the flop left Samanek with two outs to avoid elimination. The turn and river blanked out and Samanek was history.
Pocket eights didn’t work out so well for Shoaib Makani, either. He put his last 45,000 in with and Mike Eise called with . A turn ace sent Makani to the rail in 23rd place. The snowmen also brought doom to Jim Coyle, his getting outdrawn by the of Mike Eise. Fred Louie picked up his dream hand short-stacked with pocket aces, and then watched as they were cracked by the of Jake Solis when Solis flopped a straight. Arthur Evans shoved on the flop with ; Mike Zulker made the call with . Evans could not improve and was eliminated
Mike Eise seemed to be headhunting early on after knocking out Marco Johnson for his third elimination of the day. Johnson was all in and ahead with but Eise’s spiked a king on the river. Fred Louie didn’t have much better luck against Rico Ramirez. Louie’s had Ramirez’s dominated, but Ramirez flopped a flush draw and filled his flush on the turn to send Louie to the rail. Drew Daniels tried to make a move with and was called by Mike Zulker and his . Daniels flopped lucky and took the lead with a pair of sixes, but Zulker caught an ace on the turn to send Daniels home.
Tilman Kieschke was down to his last 200,000 and moved in with . Joey Brattole called with . The ace-high was enough, but Brattole turned a pair of fives to send Kieschke home in 16th. Mickey Neuberger fell victim to the Mike Eise steamroller when his pocket fives were outdrawn by the of Eise. Eise flopped a flush draw and caught his flush on the turn. Joe Simmons hit the rail when his was unable to improve against the of Zack Fritz.
Jake Solis was able to crack aces with K-Q, but not jacks. He ran into Mike Zulker’s pair of jacks and a turn jack left Solis drawing dead. Mikkel Madsen moved all in on the flop of and received a call from Avi Braz. Madsen held pocket jacks but Braz tabled pocket queens for a set. The turn left Madsen drawing dead and heading home in 12th place. Mark Silvanovich shoved for his last 322,000 with pocket eights and received a call from Avi Braz holding pocket kings. Silvanovich was unable to catch an eight and headed out in 11th place.
Joey Brattole was the final table bubble boy. Mike Eise moved in with from the small blind and Brattole made the call from the big blind with . The board failed to bring any help to Brattole and the final table was set. Eise took a chip lead of 2.84 million into final table play. These were the seat assignments for the final nine:
Seat 1: Zack Fritz
Seat 2: Avi Braz
Seat 3: Rico Ramirez
Seat 4: Jason Potter
Seat 5: Jose Luis Franco
Seat 6: Mike Zulker
Seat 7: Mike Eise
Seat 8: Jeff Chang
Seat 9: Barry Berger
Zulker lost most of his chips in a hand against Mike Eise, moving Eise to over four million in chips. At the river, the board read and Eise bet out 500,000. Zulker tanked for a while before finally calling. Eise tabled and Zulker mucked. Zulker was down to just 460,000. Zulker put those chips into play shortly after the next level began when he moved all in over top of a raise from Jason Potter preflop. Potter made the call with . Zulker had Potter dominated with and looked to be in good shape for a double-up. The flop and turn kept Zulker ahead, but the on the river sent Zulker home in ninth place, good for a payday of $77,778.
Rico Ramirez took over the chip lead when he doubled through Mike Eise. Preflop, Ramirez raised to 275,000 and Eise blindly pushed all in. Ramirez snap-called with pocket queens and faced a race situation against the of Eise. The board fell jack-high and Ramirez’s queens were enough to double him up to 4.6 million and the chip lead. Eise slipped to 1.65 million.
Jose Luis Franco was the next player ousted from the final table. Rico Ramirez raised to 125,000 and Franco moved all in for 600,000 total. Ramirez made the call with and was in great shape against the of Franco. The flop of gave Franco a flush draw. The turn left Franco needing to hit his flush to survive. The river fell the and Franco headed to the rail in eighth place with $83,180. Shortly afterward, Mike Eise, Rico Ramirez, and Avi Braz all saw the flop of . Braz bet 175,000, Ramirez got out of the way, and Eise raised to 675,000. Braz moved in and was called by Eise. Braz held but found himself outkicked when Eise flipped over . The turn and river failed to bring Braz a jack and he headed out in seventh place to collect $93,622.
Shortly after the dinner break, Jeff Chang moved in preflop and Zack Fritz reraised all in. Mike Eise liked his hand as well and called, having both players covered. Chang held pocket kings, Fritz tabled , and Eise was third-best with . The board fell ten-high and Chang tripled up to 2.7 million, as Zack Fritz headed out as the sixth-place finisher ($111,266). Barry Berger finished in fifth, falling victim to Rico Ramirez. On a flop of , Berger was all in with pair of jacks and Ramirez called with for both a gutshot straight draw and a flush draw. The turn completed Ramirez’s straight and gave Berger outs to a full house. The river fell a harmless and Barry Berger left to collect $139,353, his prize for finishing fifth.
Jason Potter exited in fourth place to the disappointment to many in the crowd. Potter moved all in from the button and was called in the big blind by Jeff Chang. Potter flipped over and Chang held pocket tens. The flop came down to give Chang a set and Potter two pair. Potter picked up a flush draw on the turn with the , but the river fell the and Potter exited in fourth place, good for $185,444.
With three players left, Rico Ramirez held a commanding lead with over seven million in chips. However, Ramirez started an epic downward spiral that lead to his elimination in third. It began when Mike Eise moved all in preflop against Ramirez for around 2.25 million. Ramirez mulled over his decision for around three minutes and made the call with . He found himself dominated by the of Eise. The board failed to produce and eight and the nine kicker of Eise knocked Ramirez down to 4.5 million. A couple of hands later, Ramirez bet 725,000 on the board of . Mike Eise pushed all in and Ramirez called. Ramirez tabled for trip jacks and Eise tabled pocket nines for nines full. The river sealed Ramirez’s fate and he headed out as the third-place finisher, with $261,963 to soften the blow.
Going into heads-up play, Mike Eise held a 4.5-to-1 chip lead over Jeff Chang. The duel only lasted a few hands. In the final hand of the tournament, Eise moved all in on the flop of and Chang immediately called with . Eise held and Chang seemed destined to double up and nearly square the match. The turn reversed their fortunes as the fell to give Eise a pair. Chang needed an ace or jack to survive, but the fell on the river to make Chang the runner-up. Jeff Chang received $392,494 for his strong finish in this event.
Mike Eise entered the final table as the chip leader and left the table as Event #28 champion. Rico Ramirez posed a serious challenge to Eise, but in the end, Ramirez was the victim of his own aggression and Eise was there to capitalize. Eise received both the gold bracelet and $639,331 in prize money.