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Its the last day of action at the 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) and what a summer it has been for Team India. Indian participation at this annual series has seen exponential growth in recent years. This year, in particular, saw a large troupe of Indian challengers descend upon the series in hopes of bringing back the solo bracelet.
After more than a few close calls, Young Gun Abhinav Iyer finally brought home the bracelet and that too on the penultimate day of the series. He outlasted a massive field of 2,800 entries in The Closer to win a record-breaking $565,346 (~₹3.87 Crores) in prize money.
Iyer`s wasn`t the only success story at the 2019 WSOP with many Indian-origin players also doing exceedingly well. The most notable of them all was Shankar Pillai, who won his second career bracelet last week. He topped a stacked field of former bracelet winners in the $1.5K 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only where India`s Nikita Luther finished 13th.
Just days after Pillai`s blistering run comes news of another Indian-origin player winning a bracelet. California-based Anuj Agarwal (cover image) came out on top of the 272-player field in Event #86: $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em 6-Handed Championship to win his first bracelet. Agarwal defeated Kahle Burns heads-up to win the title and $630,747 in prize money.
“It feels great to do well back-to-back in $10k events. I had a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth from the Main. I made a small mistake, but overall I felt like I played really well for the six days, and I wanted to continue as I could feel objectively I was making good decisions,” said Agarwal after the win.
This is the first WSOP bracelet for the California resident who entered the event fresh off a deep run in the Main Event (123rd for $59,295).
Agarwal immediately called up his dad after the tournament got over to share the news of his victory with him. “My Dad has been my biggest supporter despite not knowing anything about the game. He followed my ups and downs in the Main and they have never made me feel like poker was an unsure thing to do. It feels great to show [my parents] this after the support I had.”
The top 41 finishers earned at least $15,111 in the event.
Some notables who finished in the money were Jeffrey Trudeau (15th for $28,618), Shaun Deeb (17th for $28,618), Jason Koon (23rd for $23,315,) and Paul Volpe (29th for $19,565).
Day 3 began with 16 players, and after the first four eliminations, the action picked up the pace. Within 90 minutes, the six-handed final table was formed.
Gal Yifrach was sitting in the chip lead at the start of the final table with 5,385,000 in chips with Agarwal placed second with a stack of 4,350,000. Both Yifrach and Agarwal are close friends, but they didn’t let that interfere with the game.
“We were both chip leaders so I made standard decisions. When I had the chance to knock him out with tens against Queens I took it. Of course, we are rooting for each other as friends but if you try to incorporate that dynamic into your game, it’s going to mess with your mind and regret it, we both know it’s a gamble, and I bluffed him twice, so I’m glad we didn’t let it affect us. As a professional when you are at the table you have to focus on yourself,” Agarwal said.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
The shortest stack at the start of the final table, Ben Heath, was unable to improve his position and was eliminated on the eighth hand of the day in sixth place.
Shortly after that, China’s Dong Chen followed him to the rail fifth place.
Agarwal who was consolidating his place among the top stacks next eliminated Leonard Maue in fourth place with his pocket queens reigning over the latter’s ace-seven.
The three-handed play went on for a while before the start-of-day chip leader Gal Yifrach hit the rail in third place. Yilfrach had moved all-in preflop with and found a caller in Kahle Burns who tabled . Burns flopped a pair on the rundown while Yifrach was still in contention with a gutshot straight draw – needing a king. The turn took away some of his outs, but the river was a brick.
Kahle Burns, who was making his WSOP debut in Las Vegas, was way behind Agarwal holding 4.6 Million in chips against his 11.7 Million when the heads-up clash began. The duo fought over the next 29 hands during which time Burns failed to catch up. Finally, Agarwal moved all-in, and Burns called.
Burns got no help on the rundown and just like that Agarwal was declared the champion!
Final Table Results (USD)
Content & Images Courtesy: World Series of Poker
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