WSOP 2019: Former Main Event Champion Jim Bechtel Makes a Historical Comeback – Takes Down Event#21: 2-7 Lowball Draw

Jim Bechtel Cover
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  • Namita Ghosh June 12, 2019
  • 2 Minutes Read

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has entered its third consecutive week and as can be expected, the felts have thrown a good number of surprises replete with dramatic turnarounds. So when Event #21: 2-7 Lowball Draw resumed action on its final day with WSOP bracelet winner Jean Robert Bellande in pole position Bellande was fore-written as the top claimant to the title. Turning the tables on Bellande, it was fellow countryman Jim Bechtel (cover image) who ended up walking down the victory lane with the bracelet and paycheque of $253,817 in his hand!

The win is a significant comeback for Bechtel who won his first WSOP bracelet way back in 1993 when he famously took down the WSOP Main Event. Despite his regular appearance at the WSOP, a second bracelet evaded Bechtel for a good 26 years. All of that changed on Tuesday when the seven-handed final table from a starting 91-player field resumed play with Bechtel holding only an average stack. Putting years of experience to use, Bechtel climbed up in contention, and in the final moments of the event, he defeated Vince Musso heads-up to finally win his second WSOP bracelet. By winning the title, Bechtel has also outdone late Chip Reese’s record for the longest span between bracelet wins.

“I don’t know if that’s a real good record. But, I’m happy to have it, let’s put it that way,” Bechtel remarked, adding that he has hardly played poker in the last few years. In fact, his last recorded WSOP cash dates back to 2015.

For him, 2-7 Single Draw is, “The toughest true poker game.” He explained, “A lot of the other games…the math comes in so much. In this game, it’s the read of the player and the bluff because it’s so difficult to make a hand. Most hands somebody’s bluffin’ or somebody’s callin’ a bluff. Everybody’s movin’. That’s what makes it the greatest poker game.”

Notably, the final table chip leader, Bellande, had to concede to a fifth-place finish.

Only the top 14 places walked home with a score, all guaranteed at least $15,167 from the $855,400 prize money.

Galen Hall (8th for $24,232), Indian-origin pro Ajay Chabra (9th for $18,979), and Julien Martini (11th for $18,979) were a few notables who missed out on the final table.

When Day 3 began, Bellande was leading the seven-handed final table with 1,231,000, followed by Prahlad Friedman (1,019,000), and Paul Volpe (938,000).

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Jean-Robert Bellande – 1,231,000
  2. Prahlad Friedman – 1,019,000
  3. Paul Volpe – 938,000
  4. Darren Elias – 887,000
  5. Jim Bechtel – 655,000
  6. Pedro Bromfman – 395,000
  7. Vince Musso – 360,000


Final Table Recap

Bringing a big stack to the final table didn’t help Paul Volpe, who was the first elimination on the final table.

Quickly following him to the rail in sixth place was Pedro Bromfman.

Start-of-day chip leader Jean-Robert Bellande had a tough Day 3, losing sizeable pots to both Volpe and Darren Elias over a series of hands. Bellande did steadily work to build his stack over the next level and even reached 2 Million, but then he lost back-to-back hands to Elias and was eventually eliminated by Jim Bechtel in fifth place.

Out next in fourth place was Prahlad Friedman with Darren Elias following him in third place.

The two heads-up finalists Vince Musso (2.89 Million) and Jim Bechtel (2.57 Million) were on an even footing and after some to and fro the final hand was dealt. On the final hand of the tournament, Musso raised to 200,000, and Bechtel jammed all in for 1.6 Million putting Musso at risk. The latter tank-called and both players tabled their cards. Bechtel held the winning hand and with that took down his second WSOP bracelet.

Jim Bechtel
Jim Bechtel wins $10K 2-7 Lowball Draw

Final Table Results (USD)

  1. Jim Bechtel – $253,817
  2. Vince Musso – $156,872
  3. Darren Elias – $109,738
  4. Prahlad Friedman – $78,157
  5. Jean-Robert Bellande – $56,693
  6. Pedro Bromfman – $41,897
  7. Paul Volpe – $31,556


Content & Images Courtesy: World Series of Poker

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