Stephen Chidwick Captures First WSOP Bracelet in Event #45: $25K PLO High Roller for $1,618,417
Stephen Chidwick has done it. After 52 previous World Series of Poker cashes and 13 final tables without capturing an elusive bracelet, the British poker pro from Deal finally claimed his first piece of gold. It came with a hefty payday of $1,618,417 after he bested 278 runners in the 2019 WSOP Event #45: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. It was the biggest prize awarded during the 2019 World Series of Poker thus far and boosted his total live clashes to nearly $25 million, good for 18th spot on the all-time money list.
Following the trend of rising attendance numbers in each of the previous four editions of the tournament, the field was 48 bigger than last year and set a new record. The top 42 spots took home a portion of the massive $6,602,500 prize pool.
"I have been here many times and I had a lot of heartbreak over the years."
“I try really hard to detach the bracelet and everything around it. I have been here many times and I had a lot of heartbreak over the years, too," said Chidwick. "So I am just trying to put that as much out of my mind as possible. I guess I didn't really start to think that until the big aces hand that I won that left him [James Chen] with ten big blinds."
Chidwick defeated James Chen in heads-up play. Chen was also seeking his maiden WSOP bracelet and the first for his home country of Taiwan. A seven-figure payday of $1,000,253 will ease the pain and Chen will certainly try to take another shot at gold in the upcoming Event #52: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.
“It means a lot, it feels great. It is obviously a great one to do it in and I am in shock, a little bit,” Chidwick said in the interview after his victory not even five hours after he had taken a seat in the Thunderdome.
“I had so many people supporting me for the last 10 years since I have been grinding so hard to win a bracelet and I know I have a lot of people in my corner that are really happy for me and that means a lot,” Chidwick added.
Several weeks into the series already, it was, in fact, the first event Chidwick played as he spent the previous two weeks with his wife and two-month-old daughter in Paris. Upon arriving the evening of Day 1, and with registration for the tournament still open, Chidwick entered at the very last minute in the first break of Day 2 and that decision proved to be golden.
“It is super ironic. Usually I play like every single tournament. I play a final table, bust and then register a $1,500 Stud immediately. Now I come here halfway through and haven't played any of the other tournaments, and win the first one I play. That's pretty funny.“
While Chidwick has cashes in several different poker variants including pot-limit Omaha, he doesn't consider it as his strongest game.
“I don't think PLO is necessarily one of my stronger games, but I felt really happy how I played and everything went my way, I had a lot of fun.”
Final Table Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$1,618,417|
|3||Matthew Gonzales||United States||$699,364|
|4||Robert Mizrachi||United States||$497,112|
|5||Alex Epstein||United States||$359,320|
|6||Erik Seidel||United States||$264,186|
|7||Wasim Korkis||United States||$197,637|
|8||Ka Kwan Lau||Spain||$150,483|
Kicking Off the Fun
The fun for Chidwick kicked off in a key hand against Alex Epstein when he called the shove of his fellow 2019 WSOP bracelet winner with top pair and the nut flush draw, while Epstein was putting his hopes on a naked nut flush draw only.
“That one propelled me to nearly half of the chips in play and that was an important pot for sure," said Chidwick. "I thought a flush draw was possible, he could have a hand kinda similar to mine like ace-jack-ten-nine type of thing. Obviously, he can have some strong hands that I am in bad shape against too, but I thought with all the money in the pot already I had the right price to call.”
"I love playing tournaments, so I am sure you will see me playing more but I have no plans to play everything.”
Once Epstein was gone in fifth place, Chidwick never surrendered his chip lead and it took just over an hour from there to cross the WSOP bracelet off his bucket list. The usual grind may not necessarily be on his mind for the remainder of the summer schedule in Las Vegas, however.
“I kind of play it by ear, see how my wife and baby are doing and prioritize them," he explained. "I love playing tournaments, so I am sure you will see me playing more but I have no plans to play everything.”
Matthew Gonzales recorded his seventh cash of the series at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and his second final table run came with a payday of $699,364. The final day also included WSOP bracelet winners Robert Mizrachi and Erik Seidel, along with Wasim "Wes" Korkis.
Chidwick entered the final day with seven players remaining in the top spot, and the entire experience was all too familiar for the Brit, who had been in the spotlight for several years with consistent deep runs.
"I worked pretty hard to keep constantly getting better," he said. "I don't think that the success I had over the last couple of years is proportional to how much better I am playing. The cards are falling my way in some of the big spots and that's kind of what it takes to win tournaments."
The cards certainly fell his way en route to the final table when he soared into the lead. The early action saw Epstein and Chen on the rise, while Gonzales scored a vital quadruple up to get back into contention after his aces held up against the nut flush draw of Chidwick in a four-way pot. It would be the only hiccup for the Brit, who continued to dominate with his usual aggression.
Ultimately, it was Korkis that became the first casualty when is queens were cracked by Epstein and Seidel failed to improve with queens against the kings of Chen to follow soon after. Epstein nearly closed the gap to Chidwick, but two clashes with Chen sent the Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em champion into the middle of the pack before his flush draw bricked off against Chidwick in one of the key hands of the short-lived final table.
Mizrachi was going for bracelet number five, but he found his nemesis in Chen when he first got bluffed, then ended up second-best with set-over-set and Chidwick turned a flush to send Mizrachi out in fourth place on his second final table of the summer.
"The summer is going great, but if you don't win a bracelet you are never happy," Mizrachi said in the interview after his elimination. "It doesn't matter if it's in a big event. I tried my hardest."
Down to the final three, Gonzales was the shortest stack, yet he secured several pay jumps after having entered the day on just five and a half big blinds. It was no surprise that Gonzales walked off the stage with a smile on the face when his bottom pair, straight and flush draw didn't get there against Chidwick.
There was one further motivation for Gonzales to hit the tables hard his summer despite initially had planned to just come for the cash game action.
"Daniel Negreanu picked me for his fantasy team and I committed to a full schedule and here I am," he said. "We have done a lot of work with Daniel and he said, 'If you play, I will draft you for a dollar.' The reply of Gonzales was obvious: 'If you draft me for a dollar, that is the best bet you will make.'"
Seven cashes midway through the summer and two final tables certainly speak for itself.
The heads-up match was a brief affair, and while Chen managed to close the gap somewhat, his hopes were all but destroyed when he paid off three streets when Chidwick had top set of aces for the nuts to all but seal his fate. A couple of hands later it was over and Chidwick earned the bracelet he was going for so many times previously.
Sure, this guy might have a loving wife, a beautiful healthy baby and now an extra $1.6 million in his pocket... bu… https://t.co/hUC8KhiVVM— Dan Smith (@DanSmithHolla)
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