After 32 exhausting levels of play, Jordan Morgan was the player with all the chips, the top prize of $478,102, a shiny gold WSOP bracelet, and a big smile on his face. It took an extra day to get there, going to Day 4 in this three-day event, but Morgan eventually got the job done, and he added a gold bracelet to the gold WSOP Circuit ring he picked up in 2007.
Heads-up play began on Day 3 in the early evening between Morgan and Evan McNiff. The two of them decided to call it a night nearly six hours later. When they returned on Tuesday for Day 4, it took a little over an hour to wrap it up.
The first time these two players really tangled was when there were still five players in the tournament. McNiff raised to 80,000 from the cutoff and Morgan made the call in the big blind. The flop was and McNiff bet 90,000 after Morgan checked. Morgan called and the turn was added: . Morgan checked again and McNiff made it 245,000. Morgan called. The river card was the and Morgan led out for 425,000. McNiff pushed all in and Morgan called.
Both players had made a full house, but Morgan's was better with the fives full. Morgan secured a massive double up and became the clear chip leader with more than half of the chips in play.
The heads-up battle began with Morgan still holding a substantial chip lead. He had 6,863,000 chips on his side of the table compared to 1,750,000 for his opponent, but McNiff whittled away and was eventually in command of the majority of chips in play.
At one point, Morgan was staring his elimination in the face when he got it in behind with the against McNiff’s . McNiff's rail cheered for the anticipated win and it was looking good through to the turn of a board. However, everything changed when Morgan spiked an ace on the river. The dealer flipped over the and McNiff's rail erupted with groans and shouts of "you've got to be kidding!" and "so sick!"
When the two players returned for Day 4, they were very even in chips. Morgan had the small chip lead with 4,445,000 to McNiff’s 4,170,000. The two swapped the thin advantage a couple of times before the money went in. McNiff raised to 320,000 from the button and Morgan pushed all in. It was a sequence we had seen many times before in this tournament, but this time McNiff made the call to put his tournament life on the line. The two players flipped over their cards and revealed what is well-known in the poker world as a "classic race."
Either way this hand went, it was going to be a game changer. Either McNiff was going to be eliminated or Morgan was going to be left short. The board ran out and McNiff saw his bracelet hopes slip away. Morgan's sixes held to give him the victory, and McNiff was eliminated in second place for a prize of $295,727.
Thank you for following along with PokerNews and stay tuned for all the action throughout the rest of the 45th annual World Series of Poker. Congratulations once again to Jordan Morgan, the WSOP’s latest bracelet winner.