David Simon Emerges Victorious in Battle of Davids to Win Maiden Bracelet in $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha ($410,659)

David Simon

Prior to today, David Simon had six cashes in the 2023 World Series of Poker. His seventh comes with an incredible bonus - the title of WSOP bracelet winner. Simon outlasted a field of 2,076 entrants, four days of play, and a grueling heads-up battle against bracelet winner David Prociak to win $410,659 and his maiden bracelet in Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha.

Simon, whose best cash prior to today was $18,158 in 2019, was confident but in disbelief as he spoke with PokerNews. "I've played with a lot of people who have always been super positive with me and just been like, 'It's gonna happen for you at some point,'" said Simon. "I don't know if I myself really believed that, but during this event in particular I just felt incredibly calm and locked in."

David Simon takes a moment after winning his bracelet

The new champion, who lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, is cognizant of the effect this win has on his poker career. "I think I've just gained so much confidence throughout this tournament and felt like I could actually hang in this event," said Simon. "To have a result like this is - not so much validation or anything, because I've never really put myself on that level - but it definitely just increases my confidence level and makes me so thankful for all my friends and family who have been so into everything that I've been doing."

Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results

1David SimonUnited States$410,659
2David ProciakUnited States$253,821
3Eric PfenningUnited States$185,630
4Eran CarmiIsrael$137,058
5Tsuf SaltsbergIsrael$102,173
6Robert MizrachiUnited States$76,910
7Upeshka De SilvaUnited States$58,464
8Guofeng WangChina$44,884
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Final Five Action

The final five players returned to Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas for an unscheduled Day 4, which was streamed on PokerGO. Tsuf Saltsberg was the first to fall when his top pair fell to the flopped set of Prociak in No-Limit Hold'em.

Day 2 chipleader Eran Carmi departed shortly thereafter in fourth place. Carmi, out of Tel Aviv, Israel, was unable to complete his draws in Pot-Limit Omaha against Simon's flopped straight.

Eric Pfenning was out next, finishing in third place. Pfenning lost most of his chips when his ace-queen doubled up Simon's ace-king, and Prociak ended his day when he flopped two pair against Pfenning's ace high.

David Simon

Heads-Up Play

The David versus David matchup initially felt like David versus Goliath, with Prociak serving as the giant. He entered heads-up play with nearly a two-to-one chip advantage, and the 2016 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better champion seemed primed to win a second bracelet. He attacked Simon relentlessly, and seemingly saw through the majority of his opponent's bluffs.

Simon found himself all in for his last 8,800,000 in Pot-Limit Omaha. Prociak had a set of tens, and Simon would need to find a flush or straight on the river. A jack of hearts was his salvation, completing his flush and doubling him up. From there, Simon began to grind.

"I think that honestly, David (Prociak) is a better player than I am," said Simon. "I know he's a better PLO player than I am, for sure. I didn't really want to try to mix it up with him in PLO too much. Obviously, once we're heads up then that's out the window. I was thinking that I was going to try to make him uncomfortable by playing bigger pots than he would probably want to. 'Cause I think that, in his mind, he had the advantage heads up - and I think he had every reason to think that way - so I made some bigger bets at the very beginning of heads up just to kind of put that fear in him a little bit."

David Prociak

"I don't know if that played a part or not," Simon continued, "but once I doubled up I just felt super locked in, just each hand is like 'Alright, this seems like the decision to make on this street' - do it, you know? There are times where I've played and I'm like 'Oh, this would probably be the thing to do at this moment' but I don't necessarily always follow through with it. Today, I was just like, 'Whatever you think is the right move here, just do it, and whatever happens is gonna happen.'"

Simon's play after doubling up enabled him to slowly chip away at Prociak's stack. Within 45 minutes, he had taken over the chip lead. Prociak regained the lead for a time, but Simon continued to win hand after hand. The final hand came in Pot-Limit Omaha. Prociak got his chips in the middle before he flopped a flush draw, but Simon turned a pair that held up. Prociak's day ended one spot short of where he had hoped, but his incredible run still netted him over a quarter of a million dollars.

What's next for the new champion?

"It seems like I'm going to be playing the Main Event at this point," he laughed. "My poker life is going to remain very much the same as it has been. I'm going to be here for another couple of weeks, play the Main Event, play some other stuff - gonna go to New Jersey, gonna see my family and hang out with my friends, who have been amazing. I have incredible family and friends that I just want to say thank you to them for everything that they've ever done for me. Then I'm probably going back to Kauai towards the end of the summer and get back into the cash game mix. There's a lot of cash that's going to be coming back to the ecosystem in Kauai."

This concludes PokerNews' coverage of Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha. Keep it tuned in here for continuing coverage of the 2023 World Series of Poker.

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