There were five players who returned for the final day of Event #60: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em and it was the start-of-day chip leader Shota Nakanishi who walked away with his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet along with $277,212.
Nakanishi overcame a record-setting field of 110 entries at this buy-in level for the short-deck variant of no-limit hold'em. It was a tall order for the Japanese poker player with four of the best players in the world joining him at the table on Day 3. It came down to a battle between Nakanishi and Ben Lamb but Nakanishi found a way to come out on top.
"I play lots of short deck, many times," Nakanishi said after his victory. "I've been playing online for three years. I also enjoy no-limit hold'em and sometimes pot-limit Omaha."
There was a large contingent of Japanese supporters on the rail and they burst into cheers on the final hand of the day. Lamb found himself back on the short stack and got his chips in the middle with ace-queen but ran dead into the ace-king of Nakanishi who found a clean runout, something that doesn't occur often in this highly volatile game.
Final Table Payouts
|2nd||Ben Lamb||United States||$171,331|
|3rd||Brian Rast||United States||$121,718|
|4th||Sean Winter||United States||$88,168|
|5th||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$65,143|
|6th||Scott Smile||United States||$49,113|
Final Day Action
There were five players that returned to the felt at 1 p.m., well besides Sean Winter who showed up ten minutes late. The players waited for him to arrive after pitching the cards on the first hand but it didn't take long after that for the chips to start flying.
In just the second hand of the day, Lamb flopped a straight and scored a huge double-up through Stephen Chidwick who flopped two pair and turned a flush draw. Chidwick was down to just 25 antes, which in this game, is not very much. Just moments later, Chidwick was the first to hit the rail in fifth place.
After a short break in between levels, four players returned to felt and Winter was on the short stack. The "lucky ladies" were not so lucky today as his pocket queens were no match for the pocket kings of Nakanishi. Winter made yet another final table this summer but came up just short of capturing his first gold bracelet.
Nakanishi held a distinct chip lead over Lamb and Brian Rast going into three-handed play. However, it was the two short stacks that got tangled up in a massive pot. Rast called Lamb's all-in shove with king-queen and Lamb turned over the pocket aces. While anything can happen in this game, Lamb flopped an ace and Rast was unable to recover. Left with just crumbs after the hand, Rast soon bowed out in third place.
That set the stage for the heads-up battle between Japan's Nakanishi and America's Lamb. It was the Japanese who struck first, pulling away from the American in the early going. But with plenty of chips in play, there was still work to be done. Lamb continued to fight back and came so close to drawing even with pocket aces once again. However, Nakanishi found a chop with ace-nine and still held a slight lead.
Moments before the match finished, it was Lamb who tried to run a three-bet bluff on the turn. However, Nakanishi made trips already and wasn't going anywhere. Lamb shut it down after making a pair on the river and Nakanishi collected a huge pot that set him up for the victory.
"I'm so happy! Very happy right now," Nakanishi said with his supporters surrounding him. "I'll play the Main Event, yes," Nakanishi confirmed he will be sticking around Las Vegas for the Main Event but likely won't be playing anything else until next year. He also noted that his big plans for the quarter-million payday will be putting the money into the bank for the future.
That wraps up the coverage for this event but keep it tuned into PokerNews for coverage from all of the events going on this summer, including the Poker Players Championship taking place right now.