Ari Engel Wins His First WSOP Bracelet and $427,399 in Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
Ari Engel has emerged victorious from a field of 996 to take down Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em and claim his first WSOP bracelet. With nine WSOP Circuit rings to his name and 15 years of WSOP experience, Engel had never bagged a bracelet at the World Series of Poker until today.
"It’s a relief to not mess it up, because usually, I mess it up."
“Never give up,” was his advice. “With us huge field no limit players, you play these expecting to win one in a lifetime. It’s a relief to not mess it up, because usually, I mess it up.” The self-deprecating champion acknowledged his able heads up opponent Pablo Joaquin Melogno, saying that when they reached the final table, he thought, “I'm going to try to get heads up with him and then he’s going to win it.”
That turned out not to be the case, as two huge hands in a row at the bitter end turned the tables on his experienced Uruguayan rival to hand Engel the $427,399 top prize and winner’s jewelry. On how it felt to win such an event in a field dotted with former champions, Engel said, “The competition in this was way tougher [than the Circuit]. It means more from the poker accomplishment perspective.”
Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|3||Wilbern Hoffman||United States||$186,392|
|4||Ben Keeline||United States||$133,306|
|5||David "Bakes" Baker||United States||$96,632|
|6||James Hughes||United States||$71,010|
|7||Truyen Nguyen||United States||$52,909|
|8||Ryan Olisar||United States||$39,980|
|9||Josh Arieh||United States||$30,643|
Day 3 began with 24 players still in the running for the title, but there was a flurry of early eliminations including those of double bracelet winners Mark Radoja and Kristen Bicknell to condense the pack, redrawn onto two tables.
It was at this point that Baitai Li, chip leader since the end of Day 1, began to lose ground, with Engel (who busted Barny Boatman in eighteenth with kings vs. eights) and Ryan Olisar edging in front of him while every large pot that Li contested ended up being shipped to someone else.
Josh Arieh was also building stacks, taking two scalps in a row in level 22, cracking Gal Yifrach’s queens with some quads-spiking pocket sixes to bust him in seventeenth, and then watching his overpair (jacks versus tens) hold to send Jose Brito to the rail in fifteenth place ($15,058). Li himself ran ace-queen into the pocket kings of eventual finalist Truyen Nguyen to bust in fourteenth place.
Not long after, Michael Finstein (twelfth for $23,828) exited and as the final two tables’ action slowed down approaching the final table bubble, Engel increased his chip lead, busting Pedro Marques with a fortunate queen-seven of hearts spiking a seven against his opponent’s ace-queen of diamonds.
Just missing out on a place at the final table was Harald Sammer, sent packing in a massive three-way preflop all in, in which Engel was involved but not victorious. The winner of that monster pot was Wilbern Hoffman, his aces seemingly cracked when Sammer flopped two pair with queen-ten suited only for a counterfeiting river pair to grant him a triple up. Hoffman sailed on to his first WSOP final, having only started playing poker last year.
A third of the final table’s competitors had already claimed a bracelet – in the case of Ben Keeline and David "Bakes" Baker, two apiece. Arieh’s hopes of scoring the double were soon ended, however, when Ben Keeline (who had navigated his short-to-medium stack from the start of Day 3 all the way to the final) picked up kings when Arieh shoved with ace-queen and busted him in ninth.
At this stage it was Melogno who increased his stack most steadily, recovering from the few losses with unflappable composure. After Olisar lost his final flip with Engel to exit in eight place ($39,980), his eliminator went on to claim four more scalps at the final, starting with Nguyen, again a considerable flip pitting jacks against ace-king. Engel’s jacks held; Nguyen picked up $52,909 for seventh. James Hughes, who had hung on with determination to a very short stack since the two-table period, finally got it in with , given a spin by Keeline with king-nine. A nine on the board sealed his fate, and he exited in sixth place ($71,010).
Engel returned to race-winning form, busting Baker in fifth when his pocket sevens held against Baker’s overs as the latter announced his all in as if he was in a TV commentary booth. Bracelet-holder Keeline was eliminated in fourth soon after, collecting $133,306.
Action hardly slowed after this, with big pots traded between the final three players, none of them desperately short or willing to sit on their chips for long. It was Hoffman who finished in third ($186,392) after a huge pot saw him all in on the turn with a flopped two pair against Melogno’s straight and flush draws. The latter came in for Melogno, giving him a 3:1 chip lead going into heads up play.
Engel won the first three pots in a row after the restart, the last one a large full double which left Melogno playing just seven big blinds. Most of the chips in play went in the middle on a king-ten-four flop, Engel making the final, largest bet with ace-queen and being called by Melogno with top pair – king-nine. Engel turned a flush draw with the eight of hearts on the turn, but it was the card of the tournament for him on the river, the straight-completing jack of diamonds.
The very next hand; Engel shoved his button with seven six off, and he was called by Melogno with a dominating jack-six off but the day belonged to Engel; he flopped a seven, and it was all over. Melogno picked up $264,104 for second place, while Engel gained a bracelet, $427,399, and “confidence," if not for too long.
“I lose my confidence very easily so I should be good tomorrow, for at least one day,” Engel said. His plans for the Series remain the same after his win, which many of his fellow players stated has been on the cards for a while now. “I sucked out so many times in this tournament, it’s ridiculous,” he noted, but luck is part of the game, and today it was on the experienced Canadian’s side. After Joseph Cheong, Daniel Strelitz, Luke Schwartz, and Stephen Chidwick, another great poker player won their first bracelet!
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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
- 80 Ivan Deyra's Dream Comes True; Wins Event #79: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em ($380,090)
- 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.
- 90 Hossein Ensan Wins the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000