Three days ago 2,828 people put up $1,500 in an attempt to take down a WSOP tournament and win a shiny, gold bracelet. Today only one man remains. Kirk Caldwell was able to best Ben White heads up and win Event #32: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, taking home $668,276 in prize money.
The $1,500 buy-in events are always an interesting investment, as they are among the smaller buy in tournaments that the WSOP offers, so the fields are always quite large. With many people playing in the event, there were casualties every day that ranged from first-time WSOP participants to seasoned professional. On day one of play, we saw many notable players get sent to the rail, including Tom Dwan, Zachary Gruneberg, Jerry Yang, Randy Lew, Phil Laak, Joe Cada, and Allen Cunningham. While these players’ chips were taken from them, other players were able to absorb chips to make their stacks grow and progress to day two. Among the latter was day one chip leader Adam Lippert, who finished the first day with an impressive 144,800.
After the chaos of day one in this massive event, 362 players returned for the second day of play. Among the players who hit the rail during day two: Chino Rheem, TJ Cloutier, Layne Flack, Brett Jungblut, and Eddie Blumenthal. In the end, 35 players were able to best the field and survive on to the final day of play, their sights on the gold bracelet and the $4,242,000 prize pool.
Play on day three went at a breakneck pace, whittling down from 35 players to the final nine in just under five hours. Once play at the final table began, the pace seemed to quicken. Within the first forty minutes of play the final nine had become the final four. The first four players eliminated were lost in the first six hands of final table play. Once four-handed play began, the play slowed down immensely. Kirk Caldwell and Mark McLaughlin led the way through most of four-handed play, the latter of which sending his housemate, Gabriel Morin to the rail in fourth place.
Caldwell managed to win a huge pot off of McLaughlin during when play was three-handed, his beating McLaughlin’s on a flop. McLaughlin staged a comeback from this hit but was unable to make anything materialize, which brought us to heads up play between Kirk Caldwell and Ben White. Caldwell began head to head play with the most chips and never relinquished his chip lead. After roughly an hour of heads up play, Caldwell managed to push White all in holding against White’s . Five cards later White failed to improve and Caldwell became the next WSOP champion.
PokerNews extends its congratulations to Kirk Caldwell who will be taking home his first WSOP bracelet as well as $668,292 in prize money!
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