After three days of scintillating poker Event #34: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed has come to a conclusion. Our congratulations go to Naoya Kihara who defeated Chris De Maci, heads-up, to become our latest World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holder and the first-ever from Japan.
419 players entered this competition creating a prizepool of $1,969,300 but from midway through Day 2 there was only ever one winner. Kihara took the chip lead after eliminating top quality opponents for fun. It was seriously one of the hottest streaks of poker we have witnessed, and he will surely never have another run like it.
The final day started with a field of eleven players and the chip leader was Naoya Kihara. But there was one person missing and it was one of our short-stacks. Where was Kevin MacPhee? A quick glance on twitter told us that MacPhee had ran into the back of another car in the Rio car park hence his delay. We were all glad to see that MacPhee was unhurt when he arrived but that wouldn't last long. Joseph Cheong deciding to inflict some pain of his own, eliminating MacPhee within minutes of his late arrival.
That was Cheong's second successive double up after crippling Daniel Hindin in the very first hand of the day. Two pair for Cheong and Hindon was down to just 86,000 chips. But Hindon is made of stern stuff and he fought back to earn himself 740,000 chips and the scalp of our 10th place finisher Dimitar Danchev after turning a set of nines.
The former November Niner, Joseph Cheong, was the next to leave the competition. He got it all in holding versus the of Davidi Kitai. Cheong flopped a set of aces but Kitai rivered a flush to send Cheong out in 9th place.
The preliminary final table of 7 players was set after the elimination of one of our World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holders. Jason DeWitt losing an all in confrontation against last years runner-up Hans Winzeler.
The final 7 players moved to the Pavilion and the shortest stack belonged to Scott Bohlman. He did very well to double up twice, but that didn't stop him from becoming our 7th place finisher. Winzeler was once again the executioner and he moved right into contention for the title behind Naoya Kihara and our new chip leader Davidi Kitai.
Final Table Seat Draw
|5||Chris De Maci||612,000|
The six-handed final table slowed down dramatically when the size of the prize jumps started to become a realisation to the players. Then after a long period of subdued nothingness Daniel Hindin, who was down to 85,000 at the start of the day, doubled through Naoya Kihara and became our chip leader for the first time in the competition.
Then we lost Tommy Le, at the hands of Chris De Maci, and the bracelet race was blown wide open. All five players were within touching distance of each other and Davidi Kitai was the new chip leader.
Then the biggest shock of the final table - the elimination of Davidi Kitai. The Belgian was in cruise control until he got embroiled in a huge hand with, who else but, Naoya Kihara. All of the money went into the middle on a flop of with Kitai holding and Kihara held . The turn card was the and both players hit the same straight, but Kihara was free-rolling and needed a ten for a higher straight. Bang! straight on cue the and a shocked Kitai was out in 5th place.
Hans Winzeler finished runner-up in this exact event only last year, when he lost heads-up against the amazing Jason Mercier. Winzeler was hoping to go one step further this year but it wasn't to be. The japanese steam train running over Winzeler to eliminate him in 4th place.
So three people were playing for their first WSOP bracelet: Naoya Kihara, Chris De Maci and Daniel Hindin. The three-way action didn't last long before Kihara got his claws into Hindin. It was a three-bet pot and the money went into the middle on a flop of and Kihara had bagged a pair of aces holding whereas Hindin held . Hindin was out and we were heads-up for the most important piece of gold in poker.
The heads-up play lasted around 30-minutes and we suppose it was inevitable that Kihara would go on and win Japan's first ever bracelet. Kihara started great, De Maci pulled a few chips back but the man from Japan was always in control and the exit hand can be read below.
Congratulations to Naoya Kihara the first ever WSOP bracelet holder from Japan who earns himself $512,029 in the process. Also commiserations to our runner-up Chris De Maci who was an amazing talent throughout.
Final Table Payouts
|2||Chris De Maci||$316,308|