No poker legend, no former bracelet winner. Just one 40-year-old Minnesota-based limit-poker specialist with no World Series of Poker final table experience whatsoever. No poker millionaire, no uber-aggressive young gun. Just a poker writer and featured coach on PokerXFactor.com.
This is how we can describe the latest winner of Event #22: the prestigious $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship. How can he describe himself after the biggest success of his career?
“When I would go on break and relax, my heart would be racing. When I would get back to the table, I would be calm and focused,” Chris Wallace said after the win, according to WSOP.com.
In other words, whenever he is at a poker table, he is in his element, just like the poker legends and hot shots he watched come and go in the last day of the event. Big names like Daniel Negreanu (18th), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (16th), Justin Bonomo (15th), Nick Schulman (14th), Tommy Hang (13th), and David Benyamine (11th) didn’t even manage to reach the final table while Wallace kept his cool and waited for his opportunity to arise.
But don’t think that because of all these eliminations the final table lacked experience. Not by a long shot considering that 2014 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship runner-up Richard Ashby, “the Italian Pirate” Max Pescatori, two-time bracelet winner Bill Chen, and former 2-7 Triple Draw champion Randy Ohel were still in the mix at the start of the official eight-handed final table play.
Calvin Anderson was the first to fall in a Stud hand after failing to transform his flush draw into a winner. Chen followed him in seventh spot; he moved all-in in a Limit Hold’Em hand with top pair and a good kicker but couldn’t dodge the river that gave Wallace the winning flush.
Lee Goldman was eliminated in sixth, with Pescatori joining him at the rail soon after with a decent fifth place finish.
Fourth place was reserved for Ashby, who put his remaining chips in the middle on third street against Richard Sklar in a Stud 8 hand. “I’ve got s–t,” Sklar said, with Ashby replying in the same way: “I’ve got s—t too.” Eventually, Sklar made a flush high for the high by the seventh street, while Ashby failed to make his low.
Sklar did a great job coming from behind and finishing in third place. He had the shortest stack of the final 21 entering the final day but managed to climb the ranks until Ohel gave him the final blow in an Omaha 8-or-Better hand.
The winner between Wallace and Ohel was decided in a Stud hand. The future winner showed sixes full, enough for Ohel to muck his holding and give the 40-year-old player an insurmountable 5-to-1 chip lead. The next hand sealed the deal with another full house by Wallace.
Here are the final table payouts:
- Chris Wallace – $507,614
- Randy Ohel – $313,715
- Richard Sklar – $206,499
- Richard Ashby – $150,625
- Max Pescatori – $112,066
- Lee Goldman – $84,844
- Bill Chen – $65,273
- Calvin Anderson – $50,966
Congratulations to Chris Wallace on winning the prestigious event and the first WSOP gold bracelet of his career. According to Hendon Mob DB, the $500k is his largest cash prize in a live poker tournament by far. He never cashed a six-figure number before and now that he set the tone, expect to hear from him again in the next mixed-games event of the WSOP.