Noah Schwartz has had a lot of close calls over the years in World Series of Poker events. His closest was a 2nd place in this year’s $1.5k Pot-Limit Omaha event. Even at this year’s World Series of Poker Europe, he managed to get 4th place in Mix-Max Hold’em, but all of those previous results saw him falling just short of every player’s overall goal of capturing a WSOP bracelet. He no longer has to worry about just falling short, as he is the newest champion and bracelet winner by taking home €104,580 and the title in Event #6 Mix-Max Pot-Limit Omaha at the WSOP Europe in Paris, France.
This event, like many others on the schedule thus far, has attracted some of the best players in the world. Numerous big names missed out on the win in this unique format tournament. Like the Mix-Max Hold’em event, it combined all the different amounts of players at the table that you see in PLO play and really tests a player’s ability to change his game to adjust correctly to the given situation. Cashing but missing out on the final 4 players, which represented the heads-up matches that would result in the eventual winner, were: Dan Shak in 14th, Padraig Parkinson in 11th, Matthew Ashton in 9th, Stephen Chidwick finished 8th, and Phil Laak captured a 7th place finish. The payouts for this event were not fixed that much from what we saw with the NL variation of this event, as there were huge pay jumps from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 3rd/4th.
The final 4 players returned today to play down to a champion. The first two matches were rather uneventful and Schwartz and Ludovic Lacay came out of both of those matches victorious. As the players began heads-up play, Lacay had a 2:1 chip lead, but blinds were still pretty low, so anything was possible. That anything ended up happening as Schwartz chipped away and then kept battling for the first half of the match until it was basically even. At this point, Lacay and Schwartz traded the lead a few times with each winning big pots but neither really able to gain an upper hand.
Schwartz finally managed to break through and take a pretty substantial chip lead over Lacay. They both played pretty passively after that and neither Schwartz, nor Lacay, was really able to swing the match any more into their favor. It’s one of those times that we forget happens in poker battles. On TV, we only see the big hands and don’t remember or see all the long stretches of passing chips back and forth because neither player can get much going. Schwartz was finally able to break the stalemate, though, and capture the win and his first bracelet.
For Lacay, it is kind of an unfortunate result, but not unlike one we have seen many times at the WSOPE this year. He will have to continue to be in search of a big win, but his name is quickly becoming synonymous with a good player that is someone you will always have to fear. Schwartz, like many others at this WSOPE, managed to complete the comeback to get a victory that is important to their career. While his skills were not in question like some other players that have already won bracelets during the WSOPE, his closing abilities had been questioned, but those fears have been put to rest.
The World Series of Poker Europe isn’t over yet with two major tournaments still on the schedule, so stayed tuned to PokerUpdate.com to get all the updates from Paris as some of the world’s best players square off to become part of history!