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Naydenov Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

The WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout event has gone to Bulgarian Simeon Naydenov, who won his first ever WSOP Gold Bracelet and $326,440 for his stellar play.

The three day-long event attracted 1,194 players, but only 12 remaining to play it out on the final day of play. It did not take long for the final table to be set as the remaining players had their eyes on the top prize.

First to go from the final table was Noah Bronstein after he lost his final hand of the tournament against Naydenov. Bronstein’s Jack Ten off suit was no match for the eventual winner’s Ace Nine off suit, which hit a pair of Nines on the turn to win the hand and send Bronstein out of the tournament in ninth spot.

Salman Behbehani was he next player eliminated from the event when he was knocked out in eighth place by Jack Schwartz. Behbehani’s Pocket Kings ended up being beaten by Schwartz’s Ace Queen off suit when the Ace of Diamonds came on the turn, giving him a pair of Aces to win him the hand and bring the event down to seven players.

Seventh place was determined just five hands after Behbehani’s elimination when Jan Kropacek was knocked out of the tournament by Andrew Kloc. Kropacek moved all in pre flop with Pocket Eights, but it was no match for Kloc’s Pocket Tens, which held on the board to win him the hand and knock Kropacek out of the tournament.

Naydenov then claimed his second final scalp after he took out Mike Watson in sixth place. With Pocket Queens, Watson was initially ahead of Naydenov after the Bulgarian showed Pocket Nines. That all changed after the turn, however, when the Nine of Clubs was shown, which gave Naydenov a set while ending Watson’s time in the event.

Argentinian Nacho Barbero was the fifth placed player in the tournament when he lost a showdown against German Tobias Wenker. Barbero’s Queen Ten of Hearts was no match to Wenker’s Ace King of Spades, which hit a pair of Kings on the flop to further cement his lead. He won the hand after the turn and river did not help Barbero and the tournament was down to four players.

The elimination was not much help to Wenker despite the chip up as he would be the next player to be eliminated after losing his last hand to Schwartz. Wenker, who had King Jack of Hearts moved all in pre flop and was promptly called by Schwartz, who showed Pocket Aces.  The Aces held on the board to win Schwartz the hand while knocking Wenker out of the event in fourth place.

Three-handed play lasted a short while before Kloc was eliminated in third spot at the hands of Naydenov. With Ace Nine off suit, Kloc was outkicked by the eventual winner, who showed Ace Jack off suit. Both players hit a full house on the river, but it was Naydenov who had the higher full house which won him the hand and put the event down to heads-up play.

Naydenov had a sizable chip lead over Schwartz when heads-up play began and it stayed that way as the Bulgarian won the event after just ten hands of play between the final two players. In the final hand of the event, Schwartz hit a two pair on the flop with Ace Nine off suit, which would win most hands.

This one was an exception, however, as Naydenov hit a nut flush on the flop with King Eight of Spades. That led Naydenov to move all in, which was called by Schwartz, who was knocked out in second place while Naydenov was crowned the winner of the event.

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