Aristeidis Moschonas Turns Chip-and-a-Chair into Event #42: $600 Mixed NLH/PLO Deepstack Win
Aristeidis Moschonas has pulled off a chip-and-a-chair comeback worthy of the history books, rebuilding a stack from a low point of less than one big blind to claim his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and $194,759 in prize money. Rapturous Greek shouting met his 2019 WSOP victory over last year’s $10,000 Stud champion Dan Matsuzuki, his final opponent out of a total field of 2,403 runners.
Moschonas, clutching a melon, gave a brief, self-deprecating summary of the period of struggle that preceded his dominant final phase.
"When I play online and lose some pots, I call my opponents ‘melons.'"
“I was down to half a big blind after the first four levels," he said. "I doubled up four times, and that’s it.”
As for the melon, he explained, “When I play online and lose some pots, I call my opponents ‘melons’ (pepóni in Greek). So that’s why I brought the melons."
"If I get a bad beat, I will give it to someone,” he chuckled.
Final Table Results
|2||Dan Matsuzuki||United States||$120,374|
|6||Stephen Ma||United States||$36,852|
|7||Adam Lamphere||United States||$28,006|
|8||Daniel Moravec||United States||$21,469|
There was a lot more to navigating the final table than four all-in pots, however. Returning with a middling stack, Moschonas faced serious obstacles in the form of seemingly permanent chip leader Adam Lamphere. who’d grabbed the lead on the first day of play and rarely relinquished it, and the experienced Matsuzuki, both with double the chips of the next-highest stack.
At first, Daniel Moravec, the returning short stack, looked as if he would be the one whose comeback story could make headlines. He tripled up on Hand #3 and stayed clear of the early aggression shown by the chip leaders. However, his comeback was shortlived and he busted in eighth place in an early PLO round to Matsuzuki, taking home $21,469.
Following him to the rail was, unexpectedly, Lamphere. With the stratospheric blind levels of the final table, the loss of a few big hands --- notably to Raghav Bansal — were enough to pull Lamphere’s stack down to the point where Rainer Kempe covered him and sent him to the rail in another PLO hand.
Stephen Ma was next to bust, outlasting Lamphere by the merest slick of chips on felt; his final hand was for less than a quarter of a big blind, but the pay jump gave him $36,852 for his sixth-place finish. Ma was followed to the rail by Ashish Ahuja in a big PLO-hand against Matsuzaki, where his double-suited ace-king nearly got there against Matsuzaki's aces. By the turn, Ahuja had plenty of two pair and flush outs but bricked the river to finish in fifth.
Returning from the break, the eventual winner had his work cut out for him four-handed. Matsuzuki and Kempe held over 20 million each, while Moschonis was down to not even one full big blind. While it didn't hurt his initial doubler Bansal much to part with a single million, by the time he doubled against Kempe — the fourth time — in quick succession, he had enough chips to knock the German high-stakes pro down to a bustable stack. Kempe was, in fact, next to be eliminated, losing king-ten against ace-queen in hold'em, and was prevented from adding a WSOP bracelet to his bulging trophy cabinet.
Three-handed, Moschonas again dropped into last place chip-wise, with Bansal and Matsuzuki trading the lead until a huge three-way all in hold’em hand turned the tables once again, propelling Moschonis to a lead none would suspect even fifteen minutes before. When Bansal, an accomplished tournament player with over $1 million in live winnings to his name already, busted in third place, Moschonas’ rail could taste zero-to-hero victory and cheered along with every pot won by their friend.
"It’s like the perfect format for me, because I have an edge against hold’em players that don’t know how to play PLO, as well as the opposite.”
Not to be outdone, Matsuzuki’s supporters cheered back as he aimed to claim a second bracelet. It was not to be, however. Heads-up play lasted a matter of hands, and Matsuzuki had to settle for second place and the not inconsiderable sum of $120,374.
The final hand had all the chips flying in on a nine-five-four flop with two spades. Matsuzuki found himself in a deep hole with ace-queen-nine-eight, way behind Moschonas' ace-nine-four-four for bottom set. The seven on the turn left only a gutshot to save Matsuzuki's chances of winning a bracelet in back-to-back years, but the trey on the river sealed it for the Greek instead.
Moschonas, victorious, attributed his success to his experience in both formats: “My main game is PLO. I’m a PLO cash game player online, and I also play no-limit hold’em tournaments. So it’s like the perfect format for me, because I have an edge against hold’em players that don’t know how to play PLO, as well as the opposite.”
The future holds one definite for Moschonas – the upcoming $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. “I actually wanted to play the $25k that’s running now but I went too deep in this one, but it’s okay I guess."
The PokerNews live reporting team will be in Vegas all summer to bring you all the action from the 50th Annual World Series of Poker. You can also watch the live-streamed final table action all summer long at PokerGO.
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