As if David Bach needed to do more to prove his mixed-game poker prowess.
The 2009 $50,000 World Championship H.O.R.S.E. winner collected his second-career bracelet by winning Event #11: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed for $119,399. Naturally, he said he feels right at home in the format.
"I play mixed games all the time, and this is one of the best tournaments," he said. "It felt thrilling to start off the World Series like this. I have three second places, and to get that second bracelet is really, really nice."
Indeed, Bach had come agonizingly close to bracelet number two a number of times in recent years. In 2011, he finished second to Nick Binger in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and also booked a third-place finish in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw. Perhaps most crushing was a second-place finish to Bryan Campanello in 2013 in the $2,500 Razz, as stud games may be Bach's strongest domain.
This time, it was all Bach at the final table. He came in with the chip lead and never lost it, as he eliminated all but one of his opponents on the way to victory. He got Chip Jett in Big O, Anthony Arvidson in limit hold'em, Scott Milkey in stud, Christopher Sensoli in pot-limit Omaha, and finally, Kevin Iacofano in Omaha hi-lo.
The only player he didn't bust was Wook Kim, who fell to Iacofano in stud hi-lo regular.
Bach said his cash game experience was helpful in one subset of games, in particular: "I've gotten much more confident about the draw games as they become more popular, and that's a big part of the dealer's choice," he said.
It seemed the most popular game choice at the final table was badacey, and Bach confirmed he was among the players frequently choosing the split-pot game. Sensoli, in particular, appeared frustrated as he continually pulled bricks out of the deck during the badacey rounds.
"I saw other people call badacey, and I saw some rather big mistakes based on having played a lot of the game in cash," Bach said. "So, I called it because of that. Normally, I would call more stud games. But, it seemed like I saw mistakes at badacey.
"Then, the stack size started to matter. As I got a really dominant chip lead, I could call some games where it was good to push people around."
One of those games was pot-limit triple draw, a new variant added to the dealer's choice mix for 2017 at the WSOP. He won a key pot off Sensoli in that game when he defended his big blind from a Sensoli raise and wound up making a nine-seven on the river. Bach made a sizable value bet and got paid off to put some distance between himself and Sensoli, who had been making a run to challenge Bach's lead.
Bach said he enjoys pot-limit triple draw and the big pots it creates. "It's a great game," he said. "It plays gigantic, probably bigger than any other game."
By the end, against Iacofano, it was back to an old, reliable format for Bach, though. He fired up limit Omaha hi-lo on both of his options heads-up. He made a thin value bet holding pocket queens on a double-paired board that had nines and threes, and Iacofano paid it off in a pot that cost him most of his stack, complimenting Bach's play thereafter.
"Once he checks the river, he really doesn't have me beat," Bach said about the hand. "I really respected him as a player. To get that extra bet out of him made it a lot easier."
Bach finished Iacofano off in short order to pocket his second piece of gold WSOP wrist-wear and his 10th career cash of at least six figures.
Official Final Table Results