Couden Tops Elezra, Matusow, Negreanu, and Fitoussi to win $1,500 PLO8
Joey Couden has been knocking on the door all summer, but he had never been allowed to enter the final table. Having a few narrow misses, Couden's summer was decent, but he kept falling just before the pay jumps started getting juicy.
"I felt pretty good all summer."
It wasn't the case in the Event #53: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, though. Couden came back for the final day second in chips with 20 players left, and he was able to close it out, banking $244,370 and his first WSOP bracelet.
"I felt pretty good all summer. [l] just wanted to stay focused. As long as I don't make any mistakes, I feel fine where I bust, it's variance," Couden said, knowing that the only way to break it led through a patient and precise grind.
Today was his day. He won, quite literally, at the eleventh hour as the heads-up match against Bruno Fitoussi was about to halt for the day with only 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the extra level. But Couden was able to finally deny his last opponent in a preflop all-in situation. He hit an ace on the flop to crack kings and then held through the remaining streets to have his name engraved among the greats, beating a field of 935 entries.
Final table results:
|1||Joey Couden||United States||$244,370|
|3||Eli Elezra||United States||$106,183|
|4||Mike Matusow||United States||$75,708|
|5||Christopher Conrad||United States||$54,738|
|7||Dustin Pattinson||United States||$29,862|
|8||Gregory Jamison||United States||$22,541|
What made Couden's first victory truly special was the company he had to prevail in. With decorated veterans such as Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu all making the final table, Couden may have been overlooked, but he left all seasoned heroes behind. Couden had previously made two final tables for bracelets but battling some of the most iconic players in history is a unique experience.
"It was just a lot of fun getting to hang out with Matusow, Eli, and Bruno. They're such great personalities. I had a great time."
Couden had the best imaginable start to the day. He busted another big stack Brad Albrinck in the first minutes when he flopped top two pair against top pair and both flush and low draws. The chips went in in a dramatic fashion, but Couden made a full house on the turn to leave Albrinck stone dead. That clash catapulted Coulden to a massive lead with 1.3 million out of 7 million in play.
"I checked, he bet, I potted it and he snap-jammed," Couden reconstructed what happened on the flop. While it was a tough situation with a lot on the line, he still pulled off a call after giving it only about 30 seconds.
"It's a pretty big tank for me," Couden laughed. "A lot of people think that he'd have three kings there, but I don't think he would snap-jam," he explained his thought-process during the hand.
Since then, Couden never really had a tough time regarding his chip stack, sitting near the top or at least in the top half virtually until the very end. When the final ten players took their seats on the final table, Couden was in fourth place. But he wasn't eyeing the title just yet, trying to focus on one hand at a time.
"You don't bust the tournament and lose the buy-in, you lose first place every time you play the tournament and bust."
"I tried to stop thinking like that years ago. You don't bust the tournament and lose the buy-in, you lose first place every time you play the tournament and bust," Couden explained.
Negreanu was the shortest player, bringing only 19,000 to the table with the blinds at 10,000/20,000. The all-time winningest player went on a rush and scored several doubles to bounce back to almost 20 big blinds at one point, but he couldn't eventually squeeze out more than ninth-place finish, following the elimination of defending champion Nathan Gamble in 10th.
They both fell to Elezra who was the most dominant player at the table, joining more pots than anybody. Elezra then extended his streak by busting Gregory Jamison in eighth place.
Meanwhile, Couden was still chilling with a solid stack. The only brief stint that saw him getting a little shorter was after a dinner break when he was down to 14 bigs for a moment. But he busted Dustin Pattinson in seventh and re-established his position.
Couden, Fitoussi, Elezra, and Matusow all held the lead at some point during four-handed play, but Matusow lost a big pot in a flush-under flush contest against Couden and soon fell in fourth. Elezra had to settle for bronze and Couden, and Fitoussi ended up competing for their respective first title.
Couden had a huge lead, and while Fitoussi had a tough skin and doubled several times, he wasn't meant to turn it around. Couden never relinquished his lead and took home the bracelet. Crowned PLO8 champion, Couden said he would probably appear in the $10k Championship event that starts today to pursue a back-to-back-victory. Couden will surely stick to his gameplan which has proved successful: "Stay focused on one hand at a time."
Have you ever wanted to write your own articles about poker? Maybe you've got some experiences or opinions about poker that you'd like to share. PokerNews is proud to launch The PN Blog where you can have a platform to make your voice heard. Learn more here.
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