Only five players out of the original 300 runners made it to the final table of Event #41, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout. And it only took about five hours of play for young Hungarian Peter Traply to take down the WSOP gold bracelet and the $348,728 top prize after besting Andrew Lichtenberger heads up.
The final five made it to Day 3 by surviving a series of no-limit hold’em shootouts, where the players started off by winning a ten-handed single-table tournament. The 30 Day 1 winners then returned to the Rio for Day 2 to play one of five six-handed single-table tournaments. Those five winners made the final table, where everyone began with equal chip stacks.
Nasr El Nasr started off like a house on fire, raising and reraising with abandon. El Nasr put himself in position to dominate the final table with his aggression, but then he got unlucky in a key hand with Andrew Lichtenberger and ended up being the first player bounced from the final table. El Nasr three-bet Lichtenberger preflop with , and then snap-called when Lichtenberger shoved with . The flop helped Lichtenberger a little, pairing his nine and giving him outs to a straight on the board. The dagger came on the turn, when the gave Lichtenberger two pair to crack El Nasr’s aces. The river was a less-than-helpful , and El Nasr was crippled. He got the last of his chips in a few hands later with pocket threes, but Peter Traply called with pocket eights, which held up to send El Nasr packing in fifth place ($82,697).
Danny Wong was next to fall when he ran afoul of Andrew Lichtenberger to finish in fourth place ($105,609). Wong raised preflop with , and Lichtenberger made the call. The flop of looked good to Wong, and he led out. Lichtenberger called once again to see the come on the turn. He then checked to Wong, who moved all in. Lichtenberger called with for a better two pair, and Wong needed a ten on the river to stay alive. The river was the instead, and then there were three.
Three-handed play continued for quite awhile before the big stacks of Lichtenberger and Traply finally wore down Maxim Lykov. In his final hand, Lykov moved all in preflop with , and Lichtenberger looked him up with . The board ran out an altogether unremarkable , and Lykov was done in third place ($145,063).
It looked like the heads-up duel would only last a few hands after Andrew Lichtenberger lost most of his chips in a huge pot just after Lykov busted. All the chips went in preflop, with Lichtenberger's in a classic race against Traply's . Lichtenberger vaulted into the lead on the flop, but the on the turn put Traply back in front and left Lictenberger drawing dead. The river was an inconsequential , and for a moment it looked like the tournament might be over, but a countdown of the stacks revealed that Lichtenberger still had 250,000 left.
Nearly crippled, Lichtenberger struggled back into contention and he made a nearly two-hour heads-up match out of it. But finally he couldn’t stand up to the chip stack of Peter Traply any longer, and all the chips went in one last time. A preflop raising war led to Lichtenberger shoving the last of his chips with . Traply called with a dominating , and when the board came down , Traply’s king kicker played. After a valiant comeback, Lichtenberger finally made his exit in second place ($215,403).
Andrew Lichtenberger put on a great heads-up match, but in the end Peter Traply would not be denied and he took home $348,728 and his first ever WSOP gold bracelet.