The Amazon Room was buzzing Saturday afternoon as Antonio Esfandiari took his seat at the ESPN feature table attempting to win his second straight bracelet in a World Series of Poker One Drop event. But Anthony Gregg made certain there wouldn't be magic acts taking place on his watch.
Gregg took down Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em to secure his first WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $4,830,000. The man nicknamed the "End Boss" was the last man standing from a star-studded field of 166. He defeated Chris Klodnicki heads-up for the title.
FINAL TABLE RESULTS
Only four players returned to play down to a champion on Saturday after play was halted late Friday night due to time constraints. The big story was Esfandiari, who this time last year won the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for an astounding $18.3 million. He was in great position to do it again this year, holding the chip lead at various times during the final table, but Esfandiari was the first player eliminated on Saturday when he lost a crushing coinflip on the fifth hand of the day.
After Klodnicki min-raised to 800,000 on the button, Esfandiari moved all in for 9,925,000 in the big blind, and Klodnicki went into the tank before deciding to call to put Esfandiari at risk.
Esfandiari had a slight lead, and it increased when the flop fell . Klodnicki held backdoor straight and flush draws, but both of them were extinguished when the fell on the turn.
Esfandiari was pacing around the stage, one card away from a much-needed double, and a hush fell over the crown before the dealer roller over the , giving Klodnicki a pair of aces and the win. A stunned Esfandiari walked slowly walked back to his seat and exchanged handshakes with the three remaining players before leaving the table to collect his $1,433,438 payday, which increases his lead as poker's all-time tournament money winner.
That pot gave Klodnicki the chip lead ahead of Perkins and Gregg, but it wouldn't last long. Three hands later, Klodnicki raised to 800,000 on the button, Perkins moved all in from the small blind, and Gregg called all in for 11.850 million. Klodnicki folded.
Perkins was in danger of being crippled with his dominated ace, and the flop left him drawing to only a gutshot straight. The on the turn gave him a double belly-buster straight draw, creating some added drama at the ESPN stage, but the on the river gave him a meaningless pair of tens.
Two hands later, Perkins got the rest of his stack in preflop with against Gregg's . The flop came down to give Perkins the lead with a pair of fives. The landed on the turn, giving Gregg additional outs to his queen with a flush draw. And the landed on the river, ending Perkins' run in third place ($1,965,163).
"I got rivered!" Perkins jokingly yelled at the sight of the river card. The popular businessman then embraced Klodnicki and Gregg before exiting the tournament area.
Gregg had the chip lead when his heads-up duel against Klodnicki began, and he never looked. back. Gregg slowly grinded away at his opponent before winning a huge pot with two pair to take a four-to-one chip advantage. Then, on the final hand, the two players saw a limped flop of . Gregg checked, Klodnicki fired out 500,000, Gregg check-raised to 1.4 million, and Klodnicki moved all in for eight million. Gregg called.
Klodnicki had a gut-shot straight draw, and picked up a few more outs when the hit the turn. A six, seven, or five would keep him alive, but the completed the board to give Gregg the title.
After securing the win, Gregg participated in the traditional winner photos and an interview with PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin (below), but he then immediately ran across the room to take his seat in the $25,000 Six-Max, which he registered for Friday night with two tables left in this event.
Complete coverage of the $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em event can be found in the Event #47 live reporting blog. You can also follow Gregg's progress in Event #48, as well as the rest of the events taking place on Saturday, at the PokerNews Live Reporting page.