Who says positive thinking can’t do wonders? Take Chicago native and mixed-games specialist Brandon Shack-Harris for example. He managed to come up victorious yesterday in winning the first WSOP bracelet of his career. Shack-Harris had high hopes even before entering the lucky Event #3 – the first $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament in World Series of Poker history.
I felt good coming into the series. I even started a thread on the 2+2 forums about how I was going to win a gold bracelet this year and told everyone that they would regret not picking me for their fantasy teams,” the Chicago native told WSOP.com after gathering all the chips in play.
But don’t think his journey was easy. First of all, he topped a record field of 1,128 players, the largest number of entries in non-No Limit Hold’Em events ever. Secondly, he defeated a very tough and experienced final table packed with big names like the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history, Steve Billirakis, and Australia-New Zealand Player of the Year Iori Yogo.
I was really surprised at the quality of players who played in this event, so to win it is great.”
Billirakis was in the chip lead when six-handed play started. Shortstack Robert Paddock was the first to bust after committing his 15-big-blind stack with a nut flush draw, a wrap, plus a valuable overcard for a 56% chance to win the showdown. Unfortunately for him, the turn and river blanked and left him with only a $31,978 prize.
Next to fall was Matthew Ryan, who moved all-in preflop as a 38% underdog. He left the final table $42,658 richer.
After that, the Shack-Harris domination began. Billirakis lost the lead and was eventually eliminated in fourth place at the hands of the future winner. It was the 20th WSOP cash of his career and was worth $57,785.
Yogo followed him to the rail after being severely crippled in a battle of shortstacks. He had #kc#qc#jc#8h while his opponent, Morgan Popham, held #ac#kh#qh#5c for the 61% advantage. Yogo’s hand didn’t improve postflop so he was left with under one big blind. The next hand sealed the deal for the Japanese who left the tournament with $79,611 in his pockets.
The heads-up play lasted almost one hour and Popham couldn’t do anything to take the chip lead and the run-good away from Shack-Harris. In the last hand of the event, Popham was a 72% dog – which is huge in PLO – with his #ah#ad#10h#5c. The Chicago native held #ac#kh#kc#5s and a very lucky runner-runner made him the man of the hour.
For Popham, however, it was just second place and a $127,245 cash.
Congratulation to Brandon Schack-Harris on winning his first WSOP bracelet and the big prize of $205,634. Before this event, he cashed in four other times, all of them being non-NLHE events. He plans for more of the same, having already made plans to play around 20 events in this year’s WSOP.