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Hilton Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Jonathan Hilton has won his first ever World Series of Poker (WSOP) Gold Bracelet after taking out the WSOP National Championship at Harrah’s New Orleans.

Along with the bracelet, the Tennessee native also won $355,599 for his stellar play throughout the 127-player tournament. Despite having a fairly modest stack going into the final table, Hilton’s patient play on the final day allowed him to take the chip lead in the late stages en route to a victory.

Jeremy Ausmus was the first player to be eliminated from the final table despite being second on the chip ladder at the start of the the final day. Nicolas Vaca-Rondon was the next to go after falling victim to then chip leader Brock Parker’s top pair on the river.

2010 NAPT Main Event winner Joe Tehan was eliminated in sixth place after Tim Bowman also hit a pair on the river, which bested Tehan’s Ten high. The win was not all that helpful to Bowman, however, as he was the next player to be knocked out of the final table by Max Steinberg.

Two-time WSOP Gold Bracelet winner Brock Parker was eliminated in fourth place, also by Steinberg. Parker had well and truly let go of the chip lead by that point, but attempted to get back into the game after moving all in with Ace Four off suit. Steinberg had him dominated, however, with Ace Eight off suit and hit an Eight on the flop to knock Parker out of the event.

Third place in the Championship would go to 62-year-old player Robert ‘Uncle Krunk’ Panitch, who was the eventual winner’s first scalp on the final table. Panitch, who had Seven Eight of Clubs, re-raised all in after the flop, which showed Four of Spades, King of Clubs and Ace of Clubs, giving the Illinois resident a flush draw. Hilton called with Ace Nine and won the pot after the Three of Hearts and Five of Spades came on the turn and river respectively.

Although Hilton’s stack was shorter than Steinberg’s going into heads-up play, he was able to take the chip lead after a double up and never looked back. Hilton had King Ten of Spades in the final hand of the tournament, while Steinberg had Nine Seven off suit.

Hilton called Steinberg’s 240,000 three-bet before the flop, which turned King of Hearts, Ten of Clubs and Eight of Diamonds. Although this gave Hilton a two pair and the lead, it also gave Steinberg an open ended straight draw with two more cards to be turned.

After a 275,000 bet from Steinberg and a call from Hilton, the turn showed Ace of Diamonds, which prompted Steinberg to move all in. This was snap called by Hilton, and Steinberg was eliminated after he was unable to hit his straight draw on the river. Steinberg still earned a cool $219,799 for his efforts in the tournament.

Hilton placed second in a $1,000 No Limit event at last year’s WSOP, winning $405,156. While that amount is larger than his cash prize at the 2013 WSOP National Championship, this victory will likely be more memorable given that it is Hilton’s first WSOP Gold Bracelet win.

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