The 2021 World Series of Poker crowned another gold bracelet winner at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Friday in Event #39: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, a tournament that attracted 821 players and offered up a $1,096,035 prize pool.
The PokerGO live-streamed final table contained three former bracelet winners, Josh Arieh, Tommy Le, and Ivan Deyra. In the end, it was Arieh collecting his third WSOP bracelet, claiming victory for $204,766.
An emotional Arieh was still letting it all sink in during his post-victory interview.
“I was just texting my girls,” said Arieh. “It’s like the whole reason why I work, and it’s tough being out here for so long. I actually just came back, had some good times with them. But I was just thinking about my girls and life, and thinking about everything, and just really f***ing excited.”
It took Arieh just three hours to finish off the victory, and he reflected on his legacy.
“I mean I don’t know, I think I’m really good, just like everybody else,” he said. “But I haven’t won a bracelet in 15 years, I’ve come close. I think I have three or four seconds in the last six years and I f***ing dog it, like I choke, and I started feeling that pressure again right at the beginning. But I was lucky enough to hold some cards and fought through the mental weakness I guess. But it’s always good, winning money and winning bracelets is always good. I don’t know there’s part of me that like, I feel like I should, that I could be a Hall of Fame inductee. I don’t know inducted but at least a chance to be inducted. So I’ve been thinking about that for a few years, get a third bracelet and maybe I’ll get on the ballot. But now I’ll try to get four.”
Arieh, 47, admittedly doesn’t play as much he used to but said he loves the competition.
“I don’t play that much, I’m a gambler at heart and I gamble at anything that I feel like I have an edge or I gamble at anything that’s close to 50-50 because I feel like I’m lucky,” said Arieh. “I just like competing, I’m a competitor, whatever it is, I’m competing hard. If it’s me, Shaun, Daniel, and Matt playing video games, you know we’re competing hard, we like to win. It gets us going in the morning and that’s just how I’ll be until the day I die.”
2021 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results
|1st||Josh Arieh||United States||$204,766|
|2nd||Tommy Le||United States||$126,549|
|3rd||Robert Blair||United States||$89,968|
Other players to cash on the final table included Nitesh Rawtani (6th -$35,278), Lior Abudi (7th - $26,603), and Charles Wilt (8th - $20,371).
All eyes were on the former two-time bracelet winner Arieh, as he came in with the chip lead and was looking to add to his impressive resume.
“Nothing against anybody, but before we started the final table I knew that it was going to be me and Tommy heads-up,” he said. “I can show you a text from my phone that says it’s going to be me and Tommy heads-up, and I hope I have more chips when we start and that’s what happened. I’ve been playing Pot-Limit Omaha since, what am I 47, and I’ve been playing Pot-Limit Omaha for 30 years or something like that and I just get it. I understand the flow and I understand the thought process of the guys trying to ladder up. So I just caught some good cards and everything worked out. I’ve been in this situation plenty of times before and it didn’t work out.”
Final Table Action
Gabriel Andrade entered the day as the short stack and he was the first to go when he got it in preflop and was knocked out by Robert Blair to bring the action to four-handed.
Next to go was Ivan Deyra. He was left short by the constant pressure of Arieh and ultimately was eliminated by him to exit in fourth. Robert Blair followed him out the door shortly thereafter, also dispatched by Arieh after being down to under ten big blinds.
That left Arieh and Tommy Le to play for the bracelet, with a 3-1 chip advantage for Arieh. The two exchanged a few pots, including an all-in that resulted in a chop. But Arieh whittled Le down and eventually got it in good against Le to hold for the win.
Arieh won 32 of 58 final table hands, a masterful performance for the well-known pro.
“Overall the competition, poker is alive and well in the lower buy-in stuff,” said Arieh. “But I’ll try to parlay tomorrow and play the 10k. I feel really comfortable playing Pot-Limit Omaha, so I’ll play with anybody.”
Congratulations to Josh for taking down Event #39: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha. He joins a prestigious group of three-time WSOP bracelet winners that includes Barry Greenstein, David Reese, and Dewey Tomko, to name a few.