From a total of 1,025 entries, Ben Maya emerged triumphant in Event #43, claiming a World Series of Poker gold bracelet and the first-place prize of $257,764.
Maya, who is a complete unknown in professional poker circles, overcame two tough 10-handed tables over the first two days on his way to this stunning result. On Day 2 at his table, he outlasted such luminaries as November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka and 888Poker Ambassador (and the biggest online tournament winner in history) Chris Moorman.
Maya’s game was aggressive, unpredictable, and ultimately highly effective. He grew in confidence as the tournament progressed, and that belief and a dose of good fortune here and there ultimately saw him victorious.
Speaking to PokerNews immediately after his win, a dazed-looking Maya said, “I’m shocked. All the people I play with will be shocked. I have my own business. I’m a realtor. There is no one following me at home. No one knows.”
He continued: "There is no poker in Israel, so I won’t tell anyone. Maybe my family. I’m here on business, and I fly home tomorrow. I played the $10k six-max and only lasted a few hours, and then I only played this because it is a three-day event and it ends today.”
Maya was planning to fly out tomorrow but now says he will turn up in person for the bracelet ceremony on Monday to bask in the applause of the poker community — but most of all, to hear the Israeli National Anthem being played to celebrate his victory.
Final Table Payouts:
|3||Tim West||United States||$115,297|
|4||Phachara Wongwichit||United States||$84,453|
|5||Alex Rocha||United States||$62,602|
|6||Steve Foutty||United States||$46,969|
|7||Joe Cook||United States||$35,673|
|9||Jonathan Little||United States||$21,360|