2018 WSOP Event 20: Jeremy Wien Conquers $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710
After one of the finest wars of attrition the World Series of Poker has ever seen, Jeremy Wien emerged victorious in Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em defeating a field of 518 players for a $537,710 payday and his first gold bracelet.
"It's pretty surreal. I never really actually expected that it will ever happen but I dreamed about it," Wien said.
While the field boasted a ton of great poker players, there was mainly one rival who proved to be an incredibly tough obstacle for Wien: Spanish professional player David Laka. When the two found themselves heads-up, betting on Wien would be a very long shot. Not only he was a 4-1 underdog but Laka is also a short-handed and heads-up specialist.
Everything was lined up for Laka to become the champion. The 21-year-old was steamrolling the final table - until he clashed with Wien.
Wien: "I'm very nitty. It's a little different heads-up but in general, throughout the tournament, I played pretty tight and tried to pick my spots."
"I'd actually played the heads-up tournament last week. It gave me a lot of confidence that I could compete against these guys," Wien said, noting that he won his first match and lost in the second round.
Wien played an unorthodox style heads-up. With the full big blind ante, not many players tend to fold their buttons. Wien utilized a completely opposite strategy. Through 138 hands they played heads-up, Wien gave 32 walks to his rival. Yet, he still managed to keep his chances very much live. Each time he worked his stack back up, and while Laka downed him back to where they started, Wien just kept coming back.
"I had a plan, which was to be more deliberate and folding my button. We were joking that they announced that David got a walk for a 100th time."
Remarkably, Wien's comeback wasn't a case of many double ups as one would imagine as he entered most of his hands out of position. Wien needed help only once when he got it in preflop with ace-nine against pocket tens, facing his elimination. An ace on the flop saved him in the tournament, pushing him to the lead. Since then, it was anyone's game as both players were mostly neck and neck and the lead kept switching back and forth.
It took over four hours until the heads-up culminated. With increasing blinds, the stacks were as shallow as 25 big blinds on average. Then it happened: Laka was dealt pocket queens while Wien peeled aces. They didn't stuff it in pre, but the cards were turned on their backs on a jack-high flop. Aces held and Wien had his opponent barely covered to finally tackle him.
"He did tell me at the last break that he's a heads-up specialist," Wien said, adding that he tried not to look up at the players he was facing off against. "Obviously, I know who Jake Schindler and David Peters are."
"I have a style that's very different than them," Wien said. "I'm very nitty. It's a little different heads-up but in general, throughout the tournament, I played pretty tight and tried to pick my spots. It worked this week."
Final table results:
|1||Jeremy Wien||United States||$537,710|
|3||Eric Blair||United States||$228,307|
|4||Jake Schindler||United States||$159,575|
|5||John Amato||United States||$113,510|
|7||David Peters||United States||$60,618|
|8||Richard Tuhrim||United States||$45,538|
The heads-up took almost half of the whole final table play. The eight-handed final table started with players guarding fairly shallow stacks and it was likely that the deadlock would break soon. Richard Tuhrim couldn't gain any traction and left in the first level, but the tournament would hit a stalemate for a bit. Then, in level 29, three players were eliminated in the span of just four hands. First, Peters and Shawn Buchanan fell to David Laka in seventh and sixth place, respectively.
In hindsight, Buchanan's exit was the key moment of the final table. The American pro raised and then four-bet shoved fives into jacks and Laka had just enough chips to send him to the rail, winning the tournament's largest pot at the time. After Peters and Buchanan were gone, Eric Blair knocked out John Amato on the very next hand and suddenly only four men were sitting at the table.
Laka soon took care of Schindler in a huge cooler that saw Schindler's kings getting cracked by ace-king on the river, propelling Laka into a commanding chip lead. Blair and Wien put up very little resistance to the leader who at one point won 11 out of 12 consecutive hands.
Blair dropped to a short stack and lost his chips to Laka who appeared unstoppable until he found himself up against Wien. When the scheduled 60-minute dinner break arrived, despite being hungry, Wien's plan was to skip the break so he wouldn't have to give his opponent time to study previous hands.
"I was initially thinking: 'Let's get a dinner break, let's relax, let me regroup,'" Wien admitted. But then he realized that he'd played a very tight table image through the whole tournament and didn't want to let Laka find out about some of the gutsy plays he'd made heads-up.
He may have starved through, but the reward was truly sweet. Now that he's a bracelet winner, Wien plans to come back for the tag team event and try to win another gold together with his wife.
In this Series
- 1 2018 WSOP Event 1: Jordan Hufty Wins First WSOP Gold in $565 Casino Employees
- 2 2018 WSOP Event 2: Elio Fox Wins First Ever WSOP $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $393,693
- 3 2018 WSOP Event 3: Joe Cada Wins 2018 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em SHOOTOUT for $226,218
- 4 2018 WSOP Event 4: Julien Martini Wins $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($239,771)
- 5 2018 WSOP Event 5: Nick Petrangelo Wins WSOP $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller ($2,910,227)
- 6 2018 WSOP Event 6: Jeremy Perrin Wins The GIANT Turning $365 Into $250,966
- 7 2018 WSOP Event 7: Roberly Felicio Wins the 2018 WSOP COLOSSUS for $1,000,000
- 8 2018 WSOP Event 8: Johannes Becker Wins $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($180,455)
- 9 2018 WSOP Event 9: Paul Volpe Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 10 2018 WSOP Event 10: William ‘Twooopair’ Reymond Wins $365 WSOP.com ONLINE Event ($154,996)
- 11 2018 WSOP Event 11: Tim Andrew Triumphs in the $365 PLO GIANT for $116,015, Mizrachi Fifth
- 12 2018 WSOP Event 12: Jeremy Harkin Wins $1,500 Dealer's Choice for $129,882
- 13 2018 WSOP Event 13: Benjamin Moon Wins $1,500 Big Blind Antes for $315,346
- 14 2018 WSOP Event 14: Daniel Ospina Wins First Bracelet for Colombia in 2-7 Lowball Draw
- 15 2018 WSOP Event 15: Andrey Zhigalov Wins $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. for $202,787
- 16 2018 WSOP Event 16: Justin Bonomo Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10K Heads-Up Championship
- 17 2018 WSOP Event 17: Ognyan Dimov Wins Third Bracelet for Bulgaria in Event #17 ($378,743)
- 18 2018 WSOP Event 18: Adam Friedman Wins Second Bracelet in $10K Dealer's Choice
- 19 2018 WSOP Event 19: Craig Varnell Wins $565 Pot-Limit Omaha ($181,790)
- 20 2018 WSOP Event 20: Jeremy Wien Conquers $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710
- 21 2018 WSOP Event 21: Arne Kern Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER ($1,173,223)
- 22 2018 WSOP Event 22: Philip Long Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix ($147,348)
- 23 2018 WSOP Event 23: Brian Rast Wins Fourth Bracelet in 2-7 Lowball Championship, Brunson 6th
- 24 2018 WSOP Event 24: Michael Addamo Wins Event #24: $2,620 MARATHON No-Limit Hold'em
- 25 2018 WSOP Event 25: Benjamin Dobson Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 26 2018 WSOP Event 26: Filippos Stavrakis Dedicates WSOP PLO Bracelet ($169,842) to His Brother
- 27 2018 WSOP Event 27: John Hennigan Wins 2018 WSOP $10K HORSE for Fifth Bracelet and $415K
- 28 2018 WSOP Event 28: Fortunate River Gives Gal Yifrach First WSOP Bracelet & $461K Prize
- 29 2018 WSOP Event 29: Hanh Tran Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw ($117,282)
- 30 2018 WSOP Event 30: Ryan Bambrick Wins First Gold Bracelet in Dominating Fashion
- 31 2018 WSOP Event 31: Steven Albini Wins $1,500 Stud to Deny Jeff Lisandro 7th Bracelet
- 32 2018 WSOP Event 32: Matthew Davis Tops Biggest Seniors Event Ever to Win $662,983
- 33 2018 WSOP Event 33: Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third Poker Players Championship Title
- 34 2018 WSOP Event 34: Robert Peacock Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,000 DOUBLE STACK
- 35 2018 WSOP Event 35: Yueqi Zhu Claims First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Mixed Omaha
- 36 2018 WSOP Event 36: Farhintaj Bonyadi Wins Event $1,000 Super Seniors ($311,451)
- 37 2018 WSOP Event 37: Eric Baldwin Wins Second Bracelet, Dedicates it to His Father
- 38 2018 WSOP Event 38: Yaniv Birman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship ($236,238)
- 39 2018 WSOP Event 39: Preston Lee Captures $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Bracelet ($236,498)
- 40 2018 WSOP Event 40: Scott Bohlman Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Big Bet ($122,138)
- 41 2018 WSOP Event 41: Robert Nehorayan Wins $1,500 Limit Hold'em for $173,568
- 42 2018 WSOP Event 42: Shaun Deeb Gets Revenge on Ben Yu to Win $25K PLO for $1,402,683
- 43 2018 WSOP Event 43: Timur Margolin Takes Down $2,500 NLHE for $507,274
- 44 2018 WSOP Event 44: Nicholas Seiken Wins $10k 2-7 Triple Draw Championship for $287,987
- 45 2018 WSOP Event 45: Mario Prats Garcia Wins $1,000 Big Blind NLH For $258,255
- 46 2018 WSOP Event 46: David Brookshire Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 ($214,291)
- 47 2018 WSOP Event 47: Matthew 'mendey' Mendez Wins First WSOP Online PLO Bracelet ($135,077)
- 48 2018 WSOP Event 48: Tommy Nguyen Wins Monster Stack for $1,037,451
- 49 2018 WSOP Event 49: Loren Klein Wins $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $1,018,336
- 50 2018 WSOP Event 50: Jay Kwon Wins $1,500 Razz ($125,431)
- 51 2018 WSOP Event 51: Ryan Leng Ships First WSOP Gold in $1,500 BOUNTY ($272,504)
- 52 2018 WSOP Event 52: Scott Seiver Wins $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($296,222)
- 53 2018 WSOP Event 53: Couden Tops Elezra, Matusow, Negreanu, and Fitoussi to win $1,500 PLO8
- 54 2018 WSOP Event 54: Portugal's Diogo Veiga Wins $3K Big Blind Antes ($522,715)
- 55 2018 WSOP Event 55: Giuseppe Pantaleo and Nikita Luther Win the $1K Tag Team for $175,805!
- 56 2018 WSOP Event 56: Calvin Anderson Wins His Second Bracelet in the $10K Razz ($309,220)!
- 57 2018 WSOP Event 57: Jessica Dawley Wins the WSOP Ladies Championship for $130,230!
- 58 2018 WSOP Event 58: Tribe Has Spoken: Jean-Robert Bellande Wins First Bracelet for $616K
- 59 2018 WSOP Event 59: Mike Takayama Makes History as the First Filipino to Win a WSOP Bracelet
- 60 2018 WSOP Event 60: Galfond Wins 3rd Bracelet in $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 61 2018 WSOP Event 61: Ryan 'Toosick' Tosoc Wins WSOP.com $1,000 Championship ($238,778)
- 62 2018 WSOP Event 62: Galen Hall Wins $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em for $888,888
- 63 2018 WSOP Event 63: Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth Wins Second Bracelet in WSOP.com Online High Roller for $341,598
- 64 2018 WSOP Event 64: Matsuzuki Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 65 John Cynn Wins the 2018 WSOP Main Event for $8,800,000!
- 66 2018 WSOP Event 66: Longsheng Tan Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $323,472
- 67 2018 WSOP Event 67: Anderson Ireland Wins $1,500 PLO Bounty for First Bracelet and $141K
- 68 2018 WSOP Event 68: Guoliang Wei Wins Fourth Chinese Bracelet in The Little One for One Drop ($559,332)
- 69 2018 WSOP Event 69: Ronald Keijzer Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $475,033
- 70 2018 WSOP Event 70: Yaser Al-Keliddar Wins Event #70: $3K Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $154K
- 71 2018 WSOP Event 71: Phil Hellmuth Wins 15th Career Bracelet in $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em!
- 72 2018 WSOP Event 72: Jordan Polk Wins $1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO for $197,461
- 73 2018 WSOP Event 73: Denis Timofeev Bests Leo Margets to Win the $1,000 Double Stack Turbo
- 74 2018 WSOP Event 74: Shaun Deeb Wins Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10,000 6-Max ($814,179)
- 75 2018 WSOP Event 75: Joe Cada Wins His Fourth Career Bracelet in The Closer ($612,886)
- 76 2018 WSOP Event 76: Brian Hastings Wins the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E and 4th Bracelet
- 77 2018 WSOP Event 77: Ben Yu Wins Third Bracelet in $50,000 High Roller $1,650,773