After three hard-fought days of Texas Hold'em, both in its limit and no-limit formats, Event #35: $2,500 Mixed Hold'em is in the books with Chris Tryba standing tall as champion.
Day 1 began with 393 entrants, which was a notable decrease in attendance from last year's event, which brought in 580 entrants. However, despite the decrease, there was no shortage of big names and notable pros in attendance. Among those who showed up for Day 1 included Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein, David Williams, Huck Seed, Dan Harrington and the one and only Phil Ivey, who registered late after being eliminated from the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event.
Of those players, only Ivey, Williams, Seed and Harrington would survive into Day 2, with gold bracelet winner Andre Akkari leading the field. The 87 remaining players would be chopped down to 46 in short order, with Dario Sammartino claiming the unfortunate title of "bubble boy" after being eliminated in 46th place. Dan Harrington soon followed suit after min-cashing in 45th place ($4,229). Most of the remaining big names would fall in the race to the final table, including Williams in 30th ($5,195), Seed in 19th ($6,437) and Akkari in 15th ($10,219).
When Day 2 was all said and done, just nine players remained to compete for the gold bracelet in Day 3. Among them included Day 2 chip leader Joep van den Bijgaart, bracelet winner Michael Gathy and of course, Phil Ivey — who cemented his fifth final table appearance for this World Series of Poker and tied the record for final table appearances in a single Series.
Here is how the final table looked in its entirety going into Day 3:
|5||Joep van den Bijgaart||605,000|
The short-stacked Michael Foti would be the first to hit the rail after getting all in preflop with against Cajelais' . The dominated Foti failed to improve and he was eliminated.
Next to go would be the man everyone had their eyes on — Phil Ivey. The events leading to his bustout were... unlucky, to say the least. Golbuff dealt the brunt of the damage to Ivey's stack after his rivered a straight against Ivey's after getting all in preflop. Shortly thereafter, Ivey was all in for his last 7,000 against three opponents, who checked all the way down on the board. Ivey held the for a pair of aces, but it was no good against Cajelais' for two pair and Ivey made a hasty exit.
Wheeler exited in 7th place after getting all in preflop with against the of Golbuff. Wheeler was in good shape to double, however, the board ran out ... , giving Golbuff a pair of queens on the river for the knockout.
Golbuff wouldn't be able to ride his momentum, however, as he was knocked out in sixth after running his into the of van den Bijgaart all in preflop. The board kept Golbuff second best and he was eliminated.
Gathy had a chance to accomplish the rare feat of winning more than one WSOP gold bracelet in a single year, but fell short when his lost a race to Behbehani's after getting all in preflop.
Van den Bijgaart had to settle for fourth place despite coming into Day 3 as chip leader. He met his end during Limit Hold'em against Cajelais after getting all in on a flop with against Cajelais' . The turn and river bricked out for van den Bijgaart and he was eliminated.
Next up was Behbehani, who was by far the shortest stack going into three-handed play. Behbehani ran into runner-runner trips held by Tryba and was sent to the rail in disbelief in third place.
Tryba and Cajelais were both relatively deep going into heads-up play, however, that apparently did not matter as their battle was decided on the very first hand. The game was No-Limit Hold'em and the flop read . Tryba checked to Cajelais from the big blind and Cajelais bet 45,000, which Tryba called. The turn brought a and Tryba check-called a 130,000 bet from Cajelais. A completed the board and Tryba led out for 250,000. Cajelais raised all in and Tryba insta-called and revealed for the nuts — a straight flush. Cajelais held the for an inferior king-high straight and had to settle for a runner-up finish.
Final Table Payouts
|4||Joep van den Bijgaart||$68,576|
And just like that, Chris Tryba claimed his first WSOP gold bracelet and the $210,107 prize that went along with it. This victory adds to Tryba's already-impressive poker resume, which includes over $1 million in live tournament earnings.
Chris Tryba embraces with friends after his win