Six is Sweet For Shaun Deeb in Event #27: $1,500 Eight Game Mix

Shaun Deeb

Just a few days ago, Josh Arieh won his fifth World Series of Poker bracelet in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. Shaun Deeb, in a friendly boast, then made a promise: he would get to number 6 before Arieh or would retire.

It took only a few days, but Deeb can now take a deep breath. Deeb emerged as the champion of Event #27: $1,500 Eight Game Mix after one of the most tension-filled final hands in recent memory, earning $198,854 and his sixth WSOP bracelet that puts him in some elite company including the likes of Daniel Negreanu. And Arieh, as well as Negreanu, was there on the rail to witness it.

“It was only, what, four days ago, three days ago, I don’t even remember,” Deeb said about his wager with Arieh. “Battling with your friends is so much fun. The camaraderie. Me and Josh are family men the rest of the year. So we come out here, we have fun, we bullshit, we see each other, we’re talking trash all the time in our group chat. When he won five, it definitely lit a fire.”

Final Table Results

RankPlayerCountryPayout (USD)
1Shaun DeebUnited States$198,854
2Aloisio DouradoBrazil$122,910
3Kyle LomanUnited States$84,329
4John BunchUnited States$58,888
5Daniel StrelitzUnited States$41,867
6Craig CarrilloUnited States$30,315

Deeb took the chip lead early on Day 3 and bullied his way through the competition the rest of the day, staying near the top of the leaderboard. On his last hand, holding a slight advantage over Brazilian Aloisio Dourado, Deeb jammed the river holding a full house with king-ten and Dourado called with pocket queens. The atmosphere surrounding the table during the hand was intense, the joy on the new mixed-game champion palpable.

What Deeb has accomplished in a short period of time places him in rarefied air when it comes to past WSOP legends. All six of his bracelets have come since 2015. Only Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Johnny Moss, Layne Flack, and Jeffrey Lisandro have ever won six bracelets in less than ten years. All of them except Lisandro are in the Poker Hall of Fame. Deeb, still not eligible for another few years, will certainly join them one day, even if he recognizes the role chance has played in his remarkable success.

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“There’s a ton of variance in these tournaments. Anything can happen. You can lose a flip,” Deeb said. “Obviously, the winning hand I got super lucky. I beat a pair of queens with king-ten in a spot where he would only call off if it came ten-ten. I was going to lose a big pot a lot of the time there.”

Deeb has been the focus of the poker world in the past few months for something that goes beyond his play on the felt. He has a $1 million bet pending with Bill Perkins to get down to 17 percent body fat by next year. It’s a prop bet that requires discipline and focus most of the time, traits that should help in poker, except, Deeb says, at the WSOP.

“I haven’t learned anything. My poker game is still my poker game. I put the weight loss bet slightly on hold for the World Series. I really wanted to go hard for Player of the Year. Hell, I might even be leading right now, if not I’m right in there with Chad [Eveslage]. So I’m going to battle super hard. Just been an awesome couple of weeks of the series. It feels like it’s almost over and we’re not even halfway through. I’m so pumped for the rest of the events.”

Day 3 Action

Deeb enjoyed a fairy tale run through the record-breaking Eight Game Mix field of 789 entries, which is remarkable because he nearly didn’t even make it to the tournament. Deeb was still playing the $600 Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em event and late registered for this event at the last moment. He then built up a chip-leading stack by the end of Day 1 and was still sitting near the top on Day 2 until a late swoon put him in 10th place out of the 21 remaining players who returned today.

Robert Mizrachi
Robert Mizrachi

It didn’t take long for Deeb to return to the top. On one of the first hands of the day, he picked up queens against Robert Mizrachi's jacks and doubled up. Mizrachi (21st), fellow bracelet winners Quinn Do (20th) and Allan Le (18th), as well as start-of-day chip leader Chad Campbell (19th), all fell short of the final table. Nick Schulman, already with a bracelet in 2023, busted in 11th place, while David “Bakes” Baker finished in ninth.

Deeb began the seven-handed unofficial final table with 7,705,000, more than double Dourado in second place. “I had the hottest start ever. Once I got chips, I knew everyone was afraid of me,” Deeb said. “I was running so good, and I was definitely playing some of the best poker I’ve ever played."

“Hollywood” Dave Stann, a fixture of the poker boom who spent nearly a decade away from the game, was eliminated in seventh place when he ran tens into the kings of Dourado in a hand of Pot-Limit Omaha. It then took several hours for the next elimination as first Deeb, then Dourado and Daniel Strelitz, took turns exchanging the chip lead. Deeb won a big pot off Strelitz in Limit Hold’em when he flopped trip threes, receiving some playful jeering from Arieh, the Limit Hold’em champion, on the rail. Craig Carrillo finally busted in sixth place in a hand of Stud Hi-Lo when he missed a low draw and couldn’t connect with a pair.

Daniel Strelitz
Daniel Strelitz

Strelitz ran into Deeb’s wheel in 2-7 Triple Draw, then pushed all in for 1,200,000 in No-Limit Hold’em with king-ten, but Dourado woke up with aces on the button to send the two-time bracelet winner to the rail in fifth place. John Bunch was next to fall, losing most of his stack when he tried a king-high bluff in Seven Card Stud but was picked off by Dourado. Bunch was eliminated shortly afterward and declined Arieh’s $500 offer for his Allen Kessler shirt.

Dourado, followed around by a Brazilian film crew who had him mic’d up for the final table, retook the lead from Deeb when he called with 8-7 and beat Deeb’s 10-6 in 2-7 Triple Draw. The two opponents were destined to clash heads-up, and that battle was sealed when Kyle Loman was all in with a 7-6 draw but paired his deuce on his last card, losing to Dourado’s jack-low.

Dourado led 11,950,000 to 7,750,000 at the start of heads-up, but Deeb narrowed the gap quickly when he won a big pot with a 10-7. Then came the final hand, when Deeb had the entire room standing in anticipation.

Aloisio Dourado
Aloisio Dourado

Deeb would be forgiven if he took some time to celebrate his win. But that’s not for him. Hardly any player embraces the grind of the WSOP more than Deeb, who was looking to see if he could still register for the $10,000 Razz Championship after securing the bracelet. “I don’t take days off. I don’t even take hours off. I wish the Razz was still running right now, I would hop in right now,” he said.

“I love to grind. I wish the World Series was longer. I wish they had more events. The fields have been great. The players I’ve met have been awesome. Just so happy.”

Deeb and his sparkly black hat are hard to miss in any WSOP event. And today, the glare from another gold bracelet added to his collection shone brightly for all the poker world to see.

That concludes PokerNews' coverage of the $1,500 Eight Game Mix. Stay tuned for more action throughout the 2023 WSOP.

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  • Read how Shaun Deeb became a six-time WSOP bracelet winner.

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