Marcin Horecki Denies Mike Matusow as he Captures Poland's First-Ever Live WSOP Bracelet

Marcin Horecki

After three days of play, Marcin Horecki has emerged victorious in Event $55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better at the 2023 World Series of Poker at Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. He outlasted a field of 566 entrants that generated a prize pool of $755,610 to take home $155,275 and his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet.

Horecki defeated Mike Matusow, who came just short of winning his fifth career gold bracelet, in heads-up play to secure the win.

Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Results

1Marcin HoreckiPoland$155,275
2Mike MatusowUnited States$95,957
3Scott NumotoUnited States$66,950
4James CheungUnited Kingdom$47,475
5Sergio BragaBrazil$34,225
6Michael EstesUnited States$25,089
7Brian RastUnited States$18,709
8Chris GeorgeUnited States$14,195

Winner's Reaction

Editor's note: Horecki claims to have won the first-ever WSOP bracelet for Poland. However, Dominik Panka captured an online bracelet in 2021; Horecki's is the first live WSOP bracelet won by a Polish national.

Marcin Horecki
Marcin Horecki and his Polish rail

Horecki, who has been retired from professional poker for five years, said the experience was a dream come true.

"As you know, it's the first bracelet for Poland, long-awaited. And I'm kind of old school, a grandfather, let's say, among Polish poker players. In actuality, I've been retired for five years, so I came back to play just for fun, and it seems I did not forget the game. The cards were going my way",

Horecki had a lively rail of friends and fellow poker players throughout the final table and was deeply appreciative of their support.

"When I used to play regularly in Vegas, there were maybe three to five Polish players. Now the group is twenty-plus, and I really appreciate it. The atmosphere was perfect, and I couldn't ask for more."

When asked about facing Matusow heads up for his first bracelet Horecki credited much of his success to having a unique playing style, particularly in formats other than Texas Hold'em.

"I think he gave me too much credit. Of course, I think I played well, but I was expecting a hard time. The last hand, of course, was a bit lucky on my side, but he doubled up twice from 400,000. I made some really good plays where I bet and he folded the best hand or a chop. I think I did well. You would expect I would be rusty, but my biggest strength is playing in unorthodox games and unorthodox situations. Unlike in Texas Hold'em, in games like this, there are so many spots where you can use your imagination. I'm really happy I won a bracelet in such a game. Stud Hi-Lo is such an enjoyable game, and I enjoyed every second".

Before he left, he spoke about what the support of other Polish poker players meant to him.

"I would like to thank once again the support of all Polish poker players. It meant a lot to me. I hope now we will start winning a lot of bracelets for Poland. The first is done. I wish all professional poker players success, to enjoy the game, and to enjoy life".

Final Day Recap

The day started with 18 players, who were quickly reduced to an unofficial final table of nine. Early exits to start the day included Darryl Ronconi, Lonnie Heimowitz, Timothy Frazin, Ahmed Mohamed, Denny Axel, Kyle Hinnerichs, Jose Paz-Gutierrez, James Juvancic and Patricia Yannuzzi.

Kao Saechao was next to be eliminated when his two pair was bested by Day 2 chip leader James Cheung who had aces up. Saechao's elimination marked the start of the official final table.

Chris George was the first official final table casualty. He was on the receiving end of a brutal cooler when his two pair was cracked by Scott Numoto, who made trips on seventh street to send him to the rail.

Brian Rast
Brian Rast

Brian Rast found himself short-stacked at several points during Day 3 but consistently found ways to spin his chip stack buck up. He finally bowed out in seventh place after losing a monster pot to Horecki, leaving him very short-stacked. He bust out not long after.

Michael Estes was next to go, losing several key pots where he failed to connect with his draws, ultimately losing the last of his chips to Cheung who managed to hit a pair and a low while Estes bricked out.

Sergio Braga was one of the shorter stacks for much of the final table but did an admirable job of fighting back in key spots and laddering up. His tournament life came to an end at the hands of Scott Numoto, who hit both a two pair and a low to secure a massive triple up.

Day 2 chip leader James Cheung quickly followed him out the door to set up three-handed play. Then, following the elimination of Scott Numoto in third place, heads up play began between Matusow and Horecki.

Mike Matusow
Mike Matusow

Heads up play lasted about two hours. Horecki started heads-up play with roughly a 3-1 chip advantage, but Matusow put in a valiant effort, reducing the gap between himself and Horecki on several occasions. At one point, Horecki got Matusow to fold a chop and left him very short-stacked.

Although Matusow did manage to double up twice from that point, he had to settle for second place after Horecki pulled ahead of his pair of eights with a pair of jacks on sixth street and he was unable to improve himself.

This concludes the PokerNews coverage for this event, but there is still plenty more action to come at the 2023 World Series of Poker at Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas, so be sure to stay tuned for all the live updates from each and every bracelet event.

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  • It has taken 53 years but Poland finally has a live WSOP bracelet victory.

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