Alex Epstein Wins Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck for $296,277
Table Of Contents
Alex Epstein has won his first bracelet and $296,277 after defeating a 114-entrant field in the first-ever $10,000 Short Deck Event at the WSOP.
Epstein was responsible for the last three eliminations at the final table, including that of three-time bracelet-winner Chance Kornuth in fourth, before sending both Anson Tsang and Thai Ha to the rail in the same hand to clinch victory.
Final Table Results
|1||Alex Epstein||United States||$296,227|
|2||Thai Ha||United States||$183,081|
|3||Anson Tsang||Hong Kong||$130,482|
|4||Chance Kornuth||United States||$93,593|
|5||Rene van Krevelen||Netherlands||$67,566|
|7||Andrew Robl||United States||$35,907|
From PLO to Short Deck
To paraphrase New York Times bestselling author John Green, Epstein won this tournament "slowly, then all at once." Coming into the final day second in chips, he bided his time before a pivotal hand against start-of-day chip leader Kornuth vaulted him into a chip lead he never relinquished.
"Walking to the Rio today, I was thinking that I just wanted to enjoy the experience," Epstein told PokerNews shortly after winning the tournament. "I knew that the other good players at the final table were shorter stacks so I had a very good chance if things broke my way."
Epstein's previous experience of short deck hold'em came at some Run It Up Reno events, and he said that after running "far below EV" at PLO so far this summer, he "decided to play a game with higher variance than that."
In the end, it's worked out for Epstein, who has claimed his first WSOP bracelet and almost $300,000 in prize money.
Final Day Recap
Seven-handed at the start of the day, it took just four hands to find the first elimination, with start-of-day short stack Andrew Robl sent packing by Anson Tsang after the latter turned a flush.
Thai Ha would double five times at the final table on his way to a runner-up finish, with his first coming when he picked up kings midway through the first level of the day to double through Tsang, and his second coming shortly thereafter when his ace-jack bested the ten-nine of chip leader Chance Kornuth.
His third came through Epstein who by this stage had moved into the chip lead. Despite these three doubles, Ha remained short.
Both Epstein and Kornuth would trade the chip lead before Yong Wang was eliminated in sixth place. His jacks were cracked by the ace-king of Tsang who added his second elimination of the day.
Battle for Chip Leader
Tsang now joined both Epstein and Kornuth as a contender for the chip lead five-handed and moved into the overall lead for a spell.
Ha would double for a fourth time before Dutchman Rene van Krevelen did the same, both through Epstein who had stumbled onto rocky ground. It was then Epstein's turn to double. He got it in with trips against a flopped full house of Tsang and the Hong Kong player looked destined to send a third player in a row to the rail. However, a miracle river kept Epstein alive and he moved back to the top of the pile.
The fifth double for Ha would leave Van Krevelen short before the break, and although a double saw him threaten to make a comeback, he was eliminated in fifth place.
Kornuth and Epstein Clash
Big WSOP final tables sometimes demand big final table moments, and this was no different. After Kornuth check-called Epstein on a queen-high rainbow flop, both players checked the turn. The river completed a backdoor flush draw and Kornuth bet, was raised and then moved all in.
"Like most of the other professionals," said Epstein, reflecting on the hand afterward, "when they see me and the way that I table talk and set myself up, they think they have a post-flop edge in a game where they definitely don't have a post-flop edge."
"The only reason I took so long is because it's a huge spot and I had the time bank chips. If I had lost, it is what it is."
Epstein took his time before calling. He was shown a single pair by Kornuth, with Epstein's straight good enough to secure a massive double.
"I was relieved, for sure. He could have lucked into backdoor hearts there, which happens in poker. And if he does he gets paid. The only reason I took so long is because it's a huge spot and I had the time bank chips. If I had lost, it is what it is."
According to the stream, Epstein and Kornuth both exchanged words after Epstein scooped a massive pot.
"I'm sure Chance is a very nice guy. He made it very clear that he felt that he had an edge without any realization that that is purely because of the way I present myself to him. On one hand, that's a great thing because it sets up moments like this but on the other hand, it's a little annoying when people feel the need to comment on that."
The Final Hand
With one hand on the bracelet, Epstein started to push ahead, shoving at several opportunities before the final hand. Then, Tsang shoved as the short stack, with Ha reshoving as the middle stack. Epstein was in position and called to put both at risk.
After flopping a straight, the outs Epstein had to dodge were numerous. The turn was a brick, and the rail of Epstein's friends gathered under the WSOP Thunderdome took a moment after the river was dealt before erupting with delight. Epstein's straight had held, sending two players to the rail and securing his victory.
Epstein won his gold bracelet under the lights and on the PokerGO stream. You can watch more final table action from the 2019 WSOP a subscription for $10 a month or $99 a year via PokerGO.com. Follow all the live updates right here at PokerNews.
Milko van Winden has been a part of the poker media corps since 2017. An occasional [I]PokerNews[/I] contributor and live reporter, Milko is the Head of Digital Media at poker training site Pokercode.
In this Series
- 1 Aria Dealer Nicholas Haynes Wins WSOP $500 Casino Employees Event
- 2 Brian Green Cracks Kings, Beats Imsirovic, Wins First WSOP Bracelet
- 3 Derek McMaster Wins 2019 WSOP Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $228,228
- 4 Yong 'LuckySpewy1' Kwon Wins WSOP Online Bracelet, Hellmuth Fifth for First Summer Cash
- 5 Dan Zack Claims First Bracelet After Fantastic Comeback in WSOP $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw
- 6 Ben Heath Wins His First Bracelet - Conquers WSOP $50,000 High Roller for $1.48 Million
- 7 Yuval Bronshtein Wins First Bracelet After 10 WSOP Final Table Apperances
- 8 Daniel Strelitz Claims First WSOP Bracelet and $442,385 in Event #11: $5,000 NLHE
- 9 Scott Clements Wins Event #10: $1,500 Dealers Choice ($144,957)
- 10 Jeremy Pekarek Wins Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack for First Gold Bracelet
- 11 Daniel Park Wins Event #12: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty for $226,243
- 12 Alex Epstein Wins Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck for $296,277
- 13 Femi Fashakin Wins Largest-Ever Poker Tournament; BIG 50 Triumph Earns Him $1,147,449
- 14 Isaac Baron Captures Long-Awaited WSOP Bracelet in Event #16: $1,500 NLH 6-Handed
- 15 Backed by Insane Rail, Murilo Souza Wins $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. ($207,003)
- 16 Sean Swingruber Defeats Ben Yu, Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Heads-Up
- 17 Brett Apter Wins First Bracelet in Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
- 18 Frankie O'Dell Wins His Third WSOP Omaha Hi-Lo in $10K Championship Event
- 19 Galfond, Bleznick, Zamani Fall Short as Josh "loofa" Pollock Wins Second Bracelet in $600 Online PLO Event
- 20 Eli Elezra Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet and $93,766 in Event #20: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
- 21 Expecting Father Jorden Fox Conquers Event #22: $1,000 Double Stack to Win $420,693
- 22 Former Main Event Champ Jim Bechtel Wins $10K 2-7 Single-Draw for $253,817
- 23 Rami Boukai Wins 2019 WSOP Event #23: $1,500 8-Game Mix for $177,294
- 24 John Gorsuch Rebounds from 2 Bigs to Win 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker for $1,344,930
- 25 Andrew Donabedian Turns $600 Into $205,605 Payday at 2019 WSOP
- 26 Michael Mizrachi Wins His Fifth Bracelet!
- 27 Stephen Song Battles To Capture First Bracelet and $341,854 in Event #28: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
- 28 "Silent Assassin" Thomas Cazayous Wins the WSOP $3K Six-Max for $414,766
- 29 Greg Mueller Wins His Third Bracelet, Takes Down WSOP $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
- 30 Luis Zedan Wins 2019 WSOP Event #30: $1K PLO for $236,673; Will Donate 35% to Charity
- 31 Roman Korenev Wins 2019 WSOP Event #26 for $477,401 After "Marathon" Battle
- 32 Australian Robert Campbell Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 Limit 2-7
- 33 Upeshka "gomezhamburg" De Silva Wins His Third Bracelet in WSOP Online Event
- 34 Howard Mash Wins First Bracelet and $662,594 in WSOP Seniors Championship
- 35 Adam Friedman Goes Back-to-Back in WSOP $10,000 Dealer's Choice Championship
- 36 David Lambard Claims First WSOP Bracelet in Event #36: $3,000 NLH Shootout
- 37 Salt Lake's Robert Mitchell Wins Event #37: $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack ($297,537)
- 38 Joseph Cheong Breaks Through, Wins $1K Double Stack for $687,782
- 39 Ismael Bojang Wins WSOP Gold Bracelet and $298,507 in 10th 2019 WSOP Cash
- 40 Hennigan Wins Sixth Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud, Negreanu Second
- 41 Dan 'centrfieldr' Lupo Wins $500 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack for $145,274
- 42 Aristeidis Moschonas Turns Chip-and-a-Chair into Event #42: $600 Mixed NLH/PLO Deepstack Win
- 43 Michael Blake Wins Event #39: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em, Shulman Second
- 44 Loren Klein Wins 4th Bracelet in 4 Years; Claims $127,808 in Event #43: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet
- 45 Asi Moshe Captures Third WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty
- 46 Stephen Chidwick Captures First WSOP Bracelet in Event #45: $25K PLO High Roller for $1,618,417
- 47 Ari Engel Wins His First WSOP Bracelet and $427,399 in Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
- 48 Luke Schwartz Latest To Win First Bracelet, Triumphs in $10K 2-7 Championship
- 49 South Korea's Jiyoung Kim Wins 2019 WSOP Ladies Championship for $167,308
- 50 Jason "TheBigGift" Gooch Does It; Wins $1,000 WSOP.com Online Event!
- 51 Brazil's Yuri Martins Dzivielevski Captures First Bracelet and $213,750!
- 52 WCOOP Winner Jonas Lauck Secures First WSOP Bracelet and $260,335 in $1,500 Turbo Bounty
- 53 Santiago Soriano Wins $371,203 and First Bracelet in the WSOP $800 Deepstack
- 54 Dash Dudley Wins Event #52: $10,000 PLO Championship ($1,086,967)
- 55 Kevin Gerhart Dominates $1,500 Razz Final Table to Win First WSOP Bracelet and $119,054
- 56 Another Day, Another Millionaire; Kainalu McCue-Unciano Wins the WSOP Monster Stack
- 57 Israel's Team Geiger Wins WSOP $1,000 Tag Team Event
- 58 Joe Foresman Wins 2019 WSOP $600 Deepstack Championship for Nearly $400K
- 59 Anthony Zinno Wins 2019 WSOP $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo for 2nd Career Bracelet; Aims for POY
- 60 Phil Hui's Dream Comes True as He Conquers $50K Poker Players Championship for $1,099,311
- 61 Scott Seiver Wins $10,000 Razz Championship for Third WSOP Bracelet
- 62 Anatolii Zyrin Denies Yueqi Zhu Title Defense to Win WSOP $1,500 Omaha Mix Title
- 63 Sejin Park Claims First-Ever Open Event Bracelet for South Korea; Wins 2019 WSOP Colossus for $451,272
- 64 Nicholas "Illari" Baris Wins $303,739 in Massive WSOP.com ONLINE Championship
- 65 Nick Schulman Wins Third Bracelet in Event #65: $10,000 PLO8 or Better Championship
- 66 David “ODB” Baker Steamrolls $1,500 Limit Hold’em to Capture 2nd WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 67 Robert Campbell Wins His Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10K Stud Hi-Lo, Grabs POY Lead
- 68 French Pro Jeremy Saderne Wins 2019 WSOP Mini Main Event ($628,654)
- 69 From Working at In-N-Out Burger to Crushing Poker; Rick Alvarado Triumphs in WSOP Crazy Eights for $888,888
- 70 Brandon "DrOctagon" Adams Wins WSOP.com ONLINE High Roller for $411,560
- 71 High Roller Joao Vieira Wins First Bracelet and $758,011 in $5,000 6-Max
- 72 Juha Helppi Finally Does It: Finnish Poker Hero Claims First Bracelet in $10K Limit!
- 73 Susan Faber Wins First Bracelet in Event #71: $500 Salute to Warriors No-Limit Hold'em
- 74 Shawn "bucky21" Buchanan Wins His First Bracelets, Takes Down $800 WSOP.com ONLINE 6-Max ($223,119)
- 75 Danny Tang Wins $50,000 Final Fifty for $1,608,406: "I Want to go Down in the History Books"
- 76 Tu Dao Wins WSOP $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Max for $133,189
- 77 James Anderson Wins 2019 WSOP Little One for One Drop for $690,686
- 78 Denmark's Maximilian Klostermeier Wins First Bracelet in Event #78: $1,500 PLO Bounty
- 79 Shankar Pillai Takes Down 2019 WSOP $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only Event
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- 81 Boyhood Dream Achieved: Jerry Odeen Wins WSOP Bracelet for $304,793
- 82 Keith Tilston Wins 2019 WSOP $100K High Roller; Negreanu Finishes as Runner-Up
- 83 Tom Koral Wins Second Bracelet in Event #82: $1,500 NLH Double Stack ($530,164)
- 84 Taylor "Galactar" Paur Wins his Second Bracelet in $500 WSOP.com ONLINE Summer Saver
- 85 Abhinav Iyer Takes Down The Closer to Win His First Bracelet and $565,346
- 86 Alan Sternberg Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for First WSOP Bracelet
- 87 Carl Shaw Defeats Tony Dunst to Claim First Bracelet & $606,562, Hellmuth Sixth
- 88 Anuj Agarwal Wins $10K 6-Max on Last Day of 2019 WSOP ($630,747)
- 89 Denis Strebkov Wins His First Bracelet and $206,173 Top-Prize in $3k H.O.R.S.E.
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