The Big Event Main Event: Ramdin Defeats Hachem to Claim $500,000 Prize
The Big Event at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California, began this past weekend with a 417-player field. On Thursday night, Victor Ramdin emerged victorious over a stacked final table to claim the $500,000 first-place prize. At the start of the day, eight men had dreams of capturing The Big Event title. Among the eight were two superstars of the game: Ramdin and 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe Hachem. Needless to say, all eyes were on them as action got under way. It was a long and treacherous final table, one that was aired on the Bicycle Casino’s popular Live at the Bike webcast.
It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the day. It happened when Santiago Nadal put in a standard raise, only to be reraised to 205,000 from Ramdin in the small blind. When the big blind folded, Nadal moved all in for 898,000 and Ramdin called.
It was a classic race for Nadal's tournament life, but when the board ran out , Nadal was eliminated from The Big Event in eighth place. A short time later, Hachem raised to 66,000 from the hijack only to have Jose De Noronha move all in from the cutoff for 377,000 more. Action folded back to Hachem who thought long and hard before making the call.
De Noronha was the one at risk as the flop came out . Hachem had vaulted to the lead and left his opponent in bad shape. The turn and river changed nothing, and De Noronha followed Nadal out the door in seventh place.
Next to go was Govert Metaal who three-bet shoved preflop for around 500,000 with and was called by the of Hachem. A queen on the flop was all it took and Metaal hit the rail in sixth place. It took a couple hours for the next elimination, but it finally came in the form of Bryan Leskowitz, who failed to crack Jeremy Ausmus' with his .
Four-handed action continued for a long time before Taylor von Kriegenbergh three-bet shoved for just about a million chips and was called by Hachem.
The board ran out flop left von Kriegenbergh drawing thin, but it was the turn that left him drawing dead. Von Kriegenbergh became the fourth-place finisher, prompting him to say of his $140,000 haul, "It's a good chunk of money. It's about $100,000 more than I've made in any tourney."
Three-handed play was also a marathon and didn’t conclude until Ausmus opened to 225,000 from the small blind, and Hachem defended his big. When the flop came down , Ausmus bet 280,000, Hachem shoved all in, and Ausmus called for his tournament life, committing his final ~1.3 million to the pot.
Hachem's top pair was in the front, and he was two cards away from sending this match into heads-up play. The turn and river sent Ausmus to the rail in third place and ensured a heads-up match between two members of Team PokerStars. Hachem entered with 7,090,000 to Ramdin’s 5,420,000 and it took about 90 minutes of back-and-forth action before things came to a head.
In the final hand, Ramdin had seized the chip lead and put in a raise to 250,000 on the button only to have Hachem move all in for somewhere around 3 million. Ramdin quickly called and the cards were revealed.
Hachem was in a dominant position and in great shape to double. That all changed when the flop came down and gave Ramdin top two pair. Hachem's face dropped with disappointment. The dealer proceeded to burn and turn the , which gave Hachem some extra outs. "Queen ball, baby," Hachem pleaded. Unfortunately for the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champ, it was not meant to be as the peeled off. He was eliminated from The Big Event just one place shy of the title.
Congratulations to Victor Ramdin for taking down The Big Event Main Event title and laying claim to the $500,000 first-place prize.
The Big Event Final Table Results
|4th||Taylor von Kriegenbergh||$140,000|
|7th||Jose De Noronha||$55,000|
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.