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Holloway Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Chad Holloway has taken out the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event, winning himself $84,915 for his stellar play throughout the two-day event.

It was the first WSOP Gold Bracelet win for Holloway, whose previous largest cash was $3,719 in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP in 2012. The Wisconsin native was third on the chip ladder going into the second and last day of the event, and he kept up his solid poker play to take the chip lead and eventually the victory.

Holloway boosted his stack to 869,000 chips after knocking out Sean Small in sixth place. Holloway, who had Ace Four suited, hit a pair of fours on the flop , which beat Small’s Jack High and knocked him out of the tourney.

It was not all smooth sailing for Holloway throughout the final table, however, with his stack taking a battering after being on the wrong end of a showdown against Brian Pingel. Pingel doubled up after his Ace high had a stronger kicker than Holloway’s, reducing Holloway’s stack to 485,000 chips.

He reclaimed the chip lead after doubling up in a hand against Bobby Rooney, which left Rooney with a very small amount of chips to his name. Allan Kwong was the one who eventually knocked Rooney out of the event in third place, leaving just him and Holloway as the last two players in the event.

Holloway held a commanding chip lead against Kwong going into heads-up play, with a stack of 1,730,000. Kwong’s stack of 875,000 was relatively small compared to Holloway’s, but he managed to reduce the deficit and there were times where it appeared that Kwong might have taken it all.

Heads-up play lasted for a little bit over an hour before Kwong was eliminated and Holloway would take first place. In the last hand of the tournament, Kwong raised to 75,000 pre-flop, which was called by the eventual winner. The flop came Five of Clubs, Queen of Spades and Queen of Diamonds, after which Hollaway checked before Kwong raised another 85,000 chips. Holloway reraised and Kwong responded to by moving all in.

Holloway promptly called before showing his Queen Nine, giving him three of a kind after the flop. Kwong on the other hand, showed Ace King off suit, which meant he had little hope of winning the hand and staying in the tournament. The Ten of Hearts on the turn and the Two of Diamonds on the river was of no help to Kwong and he was knocked out in second place, making Holloway the winner of the first event at this year’s WSOP.

The champ bested a total field of 898 to win the first WSOP Gold Bracelet of the 2013 WSOP in Las Vegas.

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