20 Years in the Making: TJ Murphy Becomes a WSOP Champion

TJ Murphy

Action has concluded in Event #17: $800 No-Limit Hold'em DeepStack and TJ Murphy has emerged victorious, earning his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet, along with a hefty payout of $368,977.

Murphy came into the final table as the chip leader and never looked backed, knocking off six out of his eight tablemates at the nine-handed final table. Murphy's dominating performance came to an end when he defeated Raymond Mancini in a short heads-up duel.

PokerNews caught up with Murphy after the win where he described the moment as "ridiculous, euphoric, on top of the world."

When asked about his future plans for the summer, Murphy mentioned, "I'd like to maybe come out again, but we'll see how things work out. I was looking at maybe doing a second trip. I can afford the main (event) now, so I might do that. I'm playing well and running well, obviously, so it would be a shame for it to go to waste."

$800 No-Limit Hold'em DeepStack Final Table Results

1TJ MurphyUnited States$368,977
2Raymond ManciniUnited States$246,031
3Tao ChuUnited States$183,237
4Vernon BarrugaUnited States$137,551
5Hai NguyenUnited States$104,079
6Dimitre DimitrovUnited States$79,385
7Yuvaraj RaiUnited States$61,042
8Michael WillsUnited States$47,320
9Harry LodgeUnited Kingdom$36,986

Murphy navigated through a mammoth field of 4,732 runners on his way to victory. The tournament took place over two days at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas and generated a whopping prize pool of $3,331,328.

TJ Murphy Wins EV17 $800 Deepstack
TJ Murphy

Day 2 Action

Only 310 players returned for Day 2, those of which included bracelet winners James Calderaro, Shaun Deeb, Rafael Reis, who were all on the hunt for another piece of gold.

The tournament's structure set a quick pace, with many bustouts occurring within the first few levels of the day. Only 136 players made it through to the first break.

Calderaro came into the day as the chip leader and made a deep run before losing a flip and finishing 63rd ($5,893). Deeb had a volatile day, which saw his chip stack fluctuating and got knocked out right before the first break in 138th ($3,276). Reis was in search of his second bracelet, but fell short, finishing in 75th ($5,020). Harry Lodge was also in pursuit of his second bracelet, having made it all the way to the final table before placing ninth.

Harry Lodge
Harry Lodge

Murphy flew under the radar for most of the day until he started heating up during the final two tables. His road to the final table started with winning two timely flips to knock out back-to-back opponents in 15th and 14th place.

Shortly thereafter, Murphy was involved in a huge hand where he was all-in and at risk, which proved to be a significant turning point for him. Murphy got it all-in preflop with ace-jack versus ace-queen and managed to find a jack on the flop to double up. This was the hand that fueled his momentum heading into the final table.

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Final Table Action

Murphy came into the final table with a sizable chip lead, sitting with 49,950,000, with his next closest opponent having 29,000,000. The first two players got eliminated relatively quickly and play was down to seven-handed, with Murphy still in the lead.

This is when he began knocking out his competitors one by one, going on to eliminate all six of his remaining tablemates. Despite his commanding run, it wasn't all smooth sailing for Murphy, who ran into some slight hiccups along the way.

Once play was five-handed, this is when Murphy really turned up the heat, finishing off opponents quickly and expanding his chip lead in the process. The only one who came close to him in the counts was Mancini, who he would go on to play heads-up.

To begin heads-up action, Murphy started with roughly 120,000,000 to Mancini's 70,000,000. The tournament director placed the gold bracelet on the table, and that is when reality began to sink in.

"I don't want to see it," mentioned Murphy, staying focused on the task at hand.

Murphy didn't let off the gas, and after a short battle, he found himself all-in on the river, having Mancini covered. Mancini flicked in the call and got the bad news when Murphy excitedly turned over his hand, showing a queen-high straight. Mancini tabled his cards, revealing a lower, ten-high straight.

"Not bad for my fifth WSOP tournament, huh?" Murphy belted out after the final hand wrapped up.

Murphy shook the dealer's hand afterward and said, "Thanks for that ten, dude, thanks for that ten," referring to the ten of hearts that was dealt on the turn.

TJ Murphy Wins EV17 $800 Deepstack
TJ Murphy

Murphy took a moment to soak in the glory, and to reach out to family and friends, notifying them of his epic accomplishment. After playing poker for nearly 20 years, his dream of becoming a WSOP champion and winning a gold bracelet became a reality.

Be sure to follow PokerNews throughout the remainder of the 2024 WSOP to stay up to date with all future event coverage.

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