World Series of Poker

Matt Hawrilenko wins the last WSOP bracelet of the summer

News RSS / Matthew Pitt / 03 July 2009 / Leave a comment

With the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event final table once again being scheduled to play out in November, Event#56, the $5,000 No-limit Hold'em Six-handed event was the last chance to win a coveted gold bracelet this summer.

In total 928 players parted with $5,000, creating a prize pool in excess of $4,300,000 with the winner taking home slightly over $1,000,000 and a piece of the most sought after poker jewellery.

The buy-in, potential prizes and structure of the event attracted the top live and online pros like moths to a flame but many of them, including 2008 WSOP Champion Peter Eastgate, Kathy Liebert and Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson would not be amongst the 160 players who survived Day 1.

It took four hours of fast-paced action on Day 2 before the money bubble burst. Ironically, three players busted out at the same time meaning they had to share 1/3 of 90th place money which equated to a touch under $3,100, not even enough to cover their entry fee.

Daniel Zink was one of the bubble boys when his Kings were cracked by Peter Feldman's pocket nines, which flopped a set. Also finishing in joint 90th place was Ken Aldridge who took a full eight minutes to call an all-in bet from Lee Vlastaris on a 5s2s2d flop. When he made the call, Vlastaris showed 99 and the race was on, but no spade, ace or king arrived and Aldridge headed for the rail.

A steady stream of eliminations followed, including Sorel Mizzi who busted in 54th place to claim his fourth cash of the series, this one worth $13,957. Surely the young Canadian will have a deep run in the Main Event?

Hellmuth busts in 24th

As the field thinned dramatically the camera crews and reporters were getting excited about the possibility of Phil Hellmuth winning his 12th bracelet but it wasn't to be as his all-in bet with pocket sevens was called by Peter Feldman's Big Slick, which spiked a king on the flop to eliminate Hellmuth. This 24th place finish was self-proclaimed Poker Brat's fifth cash of the 2009 WSOP and his 74th of his WSOP career. Impressive, even if he does say so himself!

By the time play came to an end at 0300 Las Vegas time, only 16 players still had chips in front of them and they were being lead by Rory Matthews, Matt 'Hoss_TBF' Hawrilenko, Peter Feldman and Robert Kay, all of whom were closely matched in terms of number of chips held.

It only took 20 minutes of the start of the third and final day for the first player to be felted. That honour went to Frank Calo but he was not without company for long as Eugene Katchalov and Peter Feldman followed him soon after, the latter exiting to a cruel set over set situation.

Final table bubble bursts

After nearly four hours of play the final table bubble burst when Robert Kay tangled with Matt Hawrilenko with the former ending up all-in preflop with KhQs only to find his hand badly dominated by the AhKc of Hawrilenko. By the time the board ran out 2d3cKcThJs, Kay was on his way to collect his $100,230 from the cashier.

Josh Brikis then eliminated two players in quick succession, the first being Matthew Waxman who ran AdTs into pocket kings and then Jonas Wexler got it in bad with KdQh against Brikis' AdQd. The board ran out 5s8d4cQs meaning Wexler needed a king and only a king to double up but it wasn't to be as the 7c fell to take the play to four-handed.

It was then Hawrilenko's turn to bust out two players, first winning a race with his Jacks versus the Ace-queen of Sean Keeton then out-flopping the Queens of Faraz Jaka with Ace-king to take the tournament to the heads-up stages.

Amazingly, there were only four hands of heads-up play, with all the money going in preflop with Brikis holding Ace-nine of diamonds and Hawrilenko once again holding pocket Jacks. The board played out 2h8c8d3sTc and after twelve WSOP cashes and four final tables Matt 'Hoss_TBF' Hawrilenko won his first World Series of Poker bracelet.

Commiserations to Josh Brikis who did fantastic to outlast 926 players only to fall at the final hurdle. I am sure the $619,609 for second place will help ease the pain of missing out on a bracelet.

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