One player who has had a number of close calls in recent years captured another elusive bracelet, while the hunt continues for perhaps poker's most famous face.
Rep Porter took down Event #13: $1,500 Razz for $142,624, notching his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet in the process. Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu finished fourth for $42,030, as the Las Vegas drought for "Kid Poker" that has been ongoing since 2008 continues.
Final Table Results
|1||Rep Porter||Woodinville, WA||$142,624|
|2||Michael Gathy||Brussels, Belgium||$88,146|
|4||Daniel Negreanu||Toronto, Canada||$42,030|
|5||Brendan Taylor||Pasadena, CA||$29,846|
|6||Valentin Vornicu||San Diego, CA||$21,604|
|7||Daniel Weinman||Atlanta, GA||$15,945|
|8||Shaun Deeb||Las Vegas, NV||$12,006|
Like Negreanu, whose dry spell in the desert — he did win two bracelets outside of the U.S. since 2008 — has not been for a lack of final tables, Porter has been a regular competitor in the pressure-packed environment of the late stages of WSOP events.
He has seven top-10 finishes since he took down $2,500 Razz in 2011 for $210,615. He also narrowly missed a WSOP November Nine appearance in 2013, when he finished 12th in the Main Event for $573,204, still the biggest score he's had.
Porter's first bracelet came back in 2008, when he won a $1,500 Six-Max event for $372,843. There's been at least one constant through those three wins, an item that has stuck with Porter and become something of a lucky charm for him at the table: a small toy horse named "Quicksilver," whose backstory was explained by Porter.
As Porter told it, his daughter's birthday is May 27, so celebrating that with her is the last thing he does every year before he makes his pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the summer grind. He traditionally leaves the day after her birthday, and in 2008, she flagged him down on his way out the door.
"She goes, 'Papa, papa, wait,'" Porter said. "She goes running upstairs, gets this horse from her horse set, her favorite toy from her birthday. This was her favorite horse. She gives it to me and goes take this with you for luck."
A week later, Porter was a WSOP champion for the first time, and he's kept the horse ever since, joking that Quicksilver hasn't been so lucky in recent years. This time, however, fortune was with Porter, helping him to overcome a Day 3 field that included not only Negreanu but Shaun Deeb, Matt Grapenthien, David Benyamine, and two-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy, whom Porter bested heads up.
"They just dealt me a lot of low cards today," Porter said with a laugh. "Poker's easy when they deal you a lot of low cards. I successfully bluffed one or two big pots that were important. The cards fall a little bit different, it's someone else standing there."
Those bluffs Porter pulled off were there on the live stream for all the world to see, as the WSOP debuted a cards-up stream for the first time in a stud variant. They showed that perhaps Razz, which Porter called a top-three game in his arsenal, isn't the lottery it's made out to be by some.
"A lot of people think razz is just a stone luck game," he said. "I think there's a lot of skill in this game, so it feels kind of good winning the same one again."
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