Mo Arani Wins Event #81: $5,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($665,459)

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Live Reporter
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Mo Arani

Day 3 of Event #81 $5,000 Freezeout is now over after almost 12 hours of play that saw ten out of an original field of 746 enter and only one emerged as the victor of the $665,459 grand prize out of the total prize pool of $3,487,050

Mo Arani won his first WSOP Bracelet after surviving a topsy-turvy heads-up battle vs Johannes Straver that capped off an exciting day of action.

Arani entered the day seventh in chips out of ten and was never the short stack or the big stack at any point; rather, he just coasted along in the middle for much of the day, largely avoiding big confrontations.

Event #81: $5,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize Money
1Mo AraniUnited States$665,459
2Johannes StraverNetherlands$411,279
3Peter TurmezeyHungary$292,665
4Adam HendrixUnited States$211,295
5Toby LewisUnited Kindom$154,806
6Francois PiraultFrance$115,122
7Cliff JosephyUnited States$86,917
8Michael KatzUnited States$66,638

Winner's Reaction

Mo Arani
Mo Arani

“It feels surreal to win. I was getting out-played heads-up, I don’t have any heads-up experience, so I got some coaching and decided to take more spots and be ready to gamble more”, as he referred to one of his poker friends and mentors Calvin Anderson who was supporting him on the rail the entire time.

“I never gave up. I was playing well when it was multi-way; the only time I felt like a worse player was during heads-up. But aside from that, I was pretty comfortable in these spots.”

Before this victory, Arani had a little over a million in career earnings, with his largest score being about $220,000 back in 2013. Mainly a cash game player, this win will increase his total winnings by 60% as he takes a huge prize in one of the twenty or so tournaments that he plays per year.

Arani wanted to give a couple of shoutouts to some people who have helped his game. "I want to shoutout to Jonathan Jaffee, my coach. He is really good, and I was talking to him on breaks on the phone and Calvin (Anderson) as well."

Action of the Day

The day began with ten players and actually got off to a slow start as it took an hour and a half for Valentin Oberhauser to be the first elimination of the day. Caio Almeida followed him out the door in ninth shortly after that to bring the field down to the official final table of eight.

Michael Katz would then become the first victim of the final table as he was sent packing in eighth place. Seven-handed play would then hit a snag as it would take about three hours before Cliff Josephy hit the rail in seventh.

Toby Lewis
Toby Lewis

The day was ended for Francois Pirault and his camera crew when he was eliminated in sixth place. Toby Lewis went from a big stack to out the door next in fifth place, and following him out a few minutes later in fourth was Adam Hendrix whose bid for his first bracelet came up just shy.

Three-handed play would commence with the players fairly close in chips, with none of them being very short, and it looked like a long contest was coming. Things sprung into life when Arani spiked an eight on the turn to crack ace-queen with ace-eight to take a huge pot away from Straver, but Straver would return the favor when he rivered a four with ace-four to overcome the same ace-eight.

Peter Turmezey’s big stack would dwindle three-handed, and the start-of-day chip leader would eventually bow out in third place to set up the heads-up play.

Heads-up was a wild affair that lasted three hours with several up and down changes in chips. Arani began with a huge lead before losing a few all-ins to give Straver the lead. However, Arani would again take a big lead, but Straver would continue to stave off elimination. Eventually, Arani won two consecutive all-ins to finish off the bracelet win.

That finishes the PokerNews coverage of this prestigious event. Thank you for tuning in for the three days of action.

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