The 2014 World Series of Poker has seen the biggest tournament outside of the Main Event come to a conclusion with Frenchman Hugo Pingray winning Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack for an incredible $1,327,083.
A vast majority of poker players had circled this very event on their calendar as a must-play, and the day before cards would hit the air, the mass of people entering caused the WSOP staff to add a second Day 1 flight. The opening day of Thursday last week would see two starting flights split into an afternoon and nighttime session as a massive 7,862 players took to the felt to create a $10,613,700 prizepool.
It wouldn't be until late on Day 2 that 792 players would make the money following six eliminations on the hand before going hand-for-hand. Day 3 would be the moving day as the 576 remaining players would be cut down to just 62 before the penultimate day saw a final nine reached in a relatively quick time.
Returning on Monday afternoon, the final nine took a seat at one of the biggest final tables of the summer, but unfortunately for Joshua Hillock he would be eliminated on the first hand when his was cracked by Day 3 chip leader Sean Drake. Ten hands later, Zachary Gruneberg exited in eighth place when he four-bet shoved the and ran into Pingray's queens, and then Bobby Byram fell in seventh a few hands later.
Several orbits later, England's Lynne Beaumont lost a race with the against Pingray's before Thayer Rasmussen took fifth when his weak ace was outdrawn by Drake on the river. Thirty-seven hands later, German Claas Segebrecht made a move with the , but ran into Joseph McKeehen's to leave three men to battle it out until that became two just several hands later when Drake pushed with a flush draw, but ran into Pingray's two-pair.
With Pingray holding nearly a 2-1 chip advantage to start heads-up play, that slowly increased until McKeehen snagged a huge double when he won a race holding the against Pingray's to take a greater than 2-1 advantage into the dinner break. Once play returned, McKeehen extended his lead until another coinflip saw the chip counts return to virtually dead even when Pingray's top pair held against McKeehen's flush draw and overcard.
McKeehen snatched a slight lead back before Pingray won a monster pot when he made a backdoor flush holding the to move into a 2-1 advantage before the final hand would occur just nine hands later when McKeehen shoved all in holding the and Pingray called with the . The flop brought an an ace, and with it saw McKeehen exit in second place as Pingray was crowned champion.
For the Frenchman, who now resides in Switzerland, this not only marks his first WSOP bracelet, but also his first WSOP cash and first cash outside of France or Switzerland. After showing a tremendous mix of patience, aggression, and well-executed timing on Day 4 to end the day as chipleader, Pingray carried that momentum into the final table. Although he relinquished the lead on several different occasions, his boisterous rail helped lift him to victory after an enduring 79 hands of heads-up play against a very talented opponent.
Congratulations to France's Hugo Pingray for winning Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack for a whopping $1,327,083 in prize money!
Thanks for following along with our coverage during this tournament, and make sure to stay tuned to PokerNews.com for all your 2014 World Series of Poker coverage!