Jordan Hufty Wins First WSOP Gold in Event #1: $565 Casino Employees
Jordan Hufty was overcome with emotion just moments after winning Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em for $61,909. Hufty defeated Jodie Sanders in a grueling heads-up match that lasted nearly four hours. It was fitting these two players were left standing when all the pieces fell into place, as they were the chip leaders throughout the entire day.
After embracing his friends on the rail, Hufty took a moment to himself at the feature table on the main stage and was seen wiping tears from his eyes. When asked about the emotion of winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, Hufty struggled to find the right words.
"I've thought about this every day for the last 15 years and for it to actually happen is just unbelievable."
The Aria poker dealer and floorman was quick to credit a couple of his close friends for his success.
"I moved from Michigan to Las Vegas with these two guys and none of this would be possible without them."
Hufty says 95% of his poker is played online, 4% in live cash games, and maybe he finds time for 1% in live tournaments. Coming into today, he only had $1,900 in career live tournament earnings but that number will be growing exponentially now.
"I've thought about this every day for the last 15 years and for it to actually happen is just unbelievable."
"I have a passion for poker, it's just something you can't explain. It's nice that this happened so early in the series so I will probably fire a few more events here and there."
At the start of the day, Hufty felt fairly confident coming in as one of the largest stacks and said he just needed to stick to his plan.
"I felt confident and I knew I just needed to avoid making mistakes and capitalize on my opponent's mistakes. When you are 70 big blinds deep heads-up, it can be a grind, but I never lost focus."
Some players will often get nervous being on the big stage and under the lights for the first time, but that didn't seem to faze Hufty.
"I've dealt a lot of nosebleed games and even been at this table on Poker After Dark before, just on the other side of it. I didn't feel out of place on the big stage like I thought I would."
Hufty mentioned he is going to take a couple of days off to celebrate and some tequila shots might be on tap for the weekend.
Final Table Results
|1st||Jordan Hufty||United States||$61,909|
|2nd||Jodie Sanders||United States||$38,246|
|3rd||Katie Kopp||United States||$26,250|
|4th||Zachary Seymour||United States||$18,332|
|5th||Won Kim||United States||$13,031|
|6th||Tom Booker||United States||$9,432|
|7th||Thomas Yenowine||United States||$6,953|
|8th||Skyler Yeaton||United States||$5,222|
|9th||Jason Pepper||United States||$3,998|
|10th||Brad Helm||United States||$3,120|
In what has become the customary opening event of the World Series of Poker, the Casino Employees event got the summer started with another great turnout. Late registration remained open for 12 levels and a total of 566 entries were accounted for. This unique tournament doesn't necessarily attract the big names in the poker world, but rather it brings the gaming industry together for a game that they all love.
Some familiar faces to take to the felt included former gold bracelet winners Mike Majerus, Chad Holloway, Jon Friedberg, and defending champion Bryan Hollis. WSOP social media phenom Kevin Mathers took a seat along with PokerNews employees Simkha Blank and Milko van Winden, none of whom were able to spin up a stack to make the money.
It wasn't long after the dinner break on Day 1 when the money bubble burst with Jason Bardol and Ryan Side busting on the same hand. The two players would split the min-cash of $837 and the remaining 84 players rejoiced in excitement. There was a total of $283,000 up for grabs and the eliminations started to come fast and furiously towards the end of Day 1.
A few notables to make the money included Jon Friedberg (81st Place - $862), Ty Stewart (52nd Place - $1,085), Isaac Hanson (38th Place - $1,227), Johnny Gagelonia (33rd Place - $1,418), and former bracelet winner Dieter Dechant (17th Place - $2,018). After a full 20 levels were played on Day 1, there were just 13 players still standing with a shot at the title.
The action got off to a quick start on Day 2 with double knockouts happening on multiple occasions. The official final table was down to just eight players before the first level reached its end. Not long after that, Skyler Yeaton, Thomas Yenowine, Tom Booker, Won Kim, and Zachary Seymour all hit the rail in quick succession within one hour. It looked as though it would be a quick final table but the remaining three players were still fairly deep.
Three-handed play lasted for nearly 90 minutes with Hufty continuously holding the chip lead. Katie Kopp was on the short stack but she put up a good fight before eventually running into Hufty's pocket aces. That set the stage for the two chip leaders to battle in an epic heads-up duel.
Hufty started out strong and worked his way towards the two million chip mark before Sanders started to wrestle it away. The chips swung back and forth for hours with Sanders briefly claiming the lead for a hand or two. Hufty was clearly the more aggressive of the pair, and he eventually gathered too much momentum for Sanders to overcome.
After nearly four hours of heads-up action, Sanders got all of his chips in the middle with pocket threes and was called by the king-queen of Hufty. The board looked safe for a Sanders double up, but when the dealer placed the king on the river, Hufty broke down after capturing his first WSOP gold bracelet.
That brings an end to another event inside the Rio Convention Center for the PokerNews live reporting team. There is still plenty of action in the surrounding rooms that will wrap up later today and continue tomorrow.
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In this Series
- 1 Jordan Hufty Wins First WSOP Gold in Event #1: $565 Casino Employees
- 2 Elio Fox Wins First Ever WSOP $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $393,693
- 3 Joe Cada Wins 2018 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em SHOOTOUT for $226,218
- 4 Julien Martini Wins Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($239,771)
- 5 William ‘Twooopair’ Reymond Wins $365 WSOP.com ONLINE Event ($154,996)
- 6 Johannes Becker Wins $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($180,455)
- 7 Paul Volpe Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 8 Benjamin Moon Wins Event #13: $1,500 Big Blind Antes for $315,346
- 9 Justin Bonomo Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10K Heads-Up Championship
- 10 Roberly Felicio Wins the 2018 WSOP COLOSSUS for $1,000,000
- 11 Daniel Ospina Wins First Bracelet for Colombia in 2-7 Lowball Draw
- 12 Jeremy Harkin Wins Event #12: $1,500 Dealer's Choice for $129,882
- 13 Andrey Zhigalov Wins WSOP Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. for $202,787
- 14 Adam Friedman Wins Second Bracelet in Event #18: $10K Dealer's Choice
- 15 Adam Friedman Wins Second Bracelet in Event #18: $10K Dealer's Choice
- 16 Craig Varnell Wins Event #19: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha ($181,790)
- 17 Ognyan Dimov Wins Third Bracelet for Bulgaria in Event #17 ($378,743)
- 18 Jeremy Wien Conquers Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710
- 19 Philip Long Wins Event #22: $1,500 Eight Game Mix ($147,348)
- 20 Brian Rast Wins Fourth Bracelet in 2-7 Lowball Championship, Brunson 6th
- 21 Arne Kern Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER ($1,173,223)
- 22 Benjamin Dobson Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 23 Filippos Stavrakis Dedicates WSOP PLO Bracelet ($169,842) to His Brother
- 24 Michael Addamo Wins Event #24: $2,620 MARATHON No-Limit Hold'em
- 25 John Hennigan Wins 2018 WSOP $10K HORSE for Fifth Bracelet and $415K
- 26 Hanh Tran Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw ($117,282)
- 27 Fortunate River Gives Gal Yifrach First WSOP Bracelet & $461K Prize
- 28 Ryan Bambrick Wins First Gold Bracelet in Dominating Fashion
- 29 Steven Albini Wins $1,500 Stud to Deny Jeff Lisandro 7th Bracelet
- 30 Matthew Davis Tops Biggest Seniors Event Ever to Win $662,983
- 31 Yueqi Zhu Claims First WSOP Gold in Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha
- 32 Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third Poker Players Championship Title
- 33 Farhintaj Bonyadi Wins Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors ($311,451)
- 34 Yaniv Birman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship ($236,238)
- 35 Robert Peacock Wins First WSOP Gold in Event #34: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK
- 36 Eric Baldwin Wins Second Bracelet, Dedicates it to His Father
- 37 Preston Lee Captures $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Bracelet ($236,498)
- 38 Scott Bohlman Wins WSOP Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet ($122,138)
- 39 Robert Nehorayan Wins Event #41: $1,500 Limit Hold'em for $173,568
- 40 Matthew 'mendey' Mendez Wins First WSOP Online PLO Bracelet ($135,077)
- 41 Shaun Deeb Gets Revenge on Ben Yu to Win $25K PLO for $1,402,683
- 42 Mario Prats Garcia Wins Event #45: $1,000 Big Blind NLH For $258,255
- 43 Nicholas Seiken Wins $10k 2-7 Triple Draw Championship for $287,987
- 44 Timur Margolin Takes Down Event #43: $2,500 NLHE for $507,274
- 45 David Brookshire Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 ($214,291)
- 46 Loren Klein Wins $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $1,018,336
- 47 Jay Kwon Wins Event #50: $1,500 Razz ($125,431)
- 48 Tommy Nguyen Wins 2018 WSOP Monster Stack for $1,037,451
- 49 Ryan Leng Ships First WSOP Gold in $1,500 BOUNTY ($272,504)
- 50 Couden Tops Elezra, Matusow, Negreanu, and Fitoussi to win $1,500 PLO8
- 51 Mike Takayama Makes History as the First Filipino to Win a WSOP Bracelet
- 52 Giuseppe Pantaleo and Nikita Luther Win the $1K Tag Team for $175,805!
- 53 Ryan 'Toosick' Tosoc Wins WSOP.com $1,000 Championship ($238,778)
- 54 Nick Petrangelo Wins WSOP $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller ($2,910,227)
- 55 Calvin Anderson Wins His Second Bracelet in the $10K Razz ($309,220)!
- 56 Jessica Dawley Wins the WSOP Ladies Championship for $130,230!
- 57 Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth Wins Second Bracelet in WSOP.com Online High Roller for $341,598
- 58 Jeremy Perrin Wins The GIANT Turning $365 Into $250,966
- 59 Tribe Has Spoken: Jean-Robert Bellande Wins First Bracelet for $616K
- 60 Galfond Wins 3rd Bracelet in $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 61 Matsuzuki Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 62 Tim Andrew Triumphs in the $365 PLO GIANT for $116,015, Mizrachi Fifth
- 63 Anderson Ireland Wins $1,500 PLO Bounty for First Bracelet and $141K
- 64 Longsheng Tan Wins Event #66: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $323,472
- 65 Ronald Keijzer Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $475,033
- 66 Phil Hellmuth Wins 15th Career Bracelet in $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em!
- 67 Yaser Al-Keliddar Wins Event #70: $3K Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $154K
- 68 Jordan Polk Wins Event #72: $1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO for $197,461
- 69 Denis Timofeev Bests Leo Margets to Win the $1,000 Double Stack Turbo
- 70 Guoliang Wei Wins Fourth Chinese Bracelet in The Little One for One Drop ($559,332)
- 71 Shaun Deeb Wins Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10,000 6-Max ($814,179)
- 72 Ben Yu Wins Third Bracelet in Event #77: $50,000 High Roller $1,650,773