His stellar play meant he came into the final table of WSOP Event #17 with the chip lead, and Athanasios Polychronopoulos played even better on the final day to win the event.
The New Yorker beat a field of 2,105 to win the event, which was a $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em tournament, to win his second WSOP Gold Bracelet and $322,908. Polychronopoulos eliminated a total of five players from the final table en route to taking out the tourney.
Thomas Nicotera was the first player eliminated from the final table after Polychronopoulos beat him with Pocket Kings. David ‘Bakes’ Baker was sent packing soon after when Everett Carlton eliminated him from the event with Pocket Aces, a hand which boosted the once-short stack’s stack significantly.
Samuel Taylor claimed his first and only final table scalp when he eliminated Joe Ward from the tournament in seventh place. Ward went all in pre flop with Jack Seven off suit and was called and beaten by Taylor’s Ace Queen off suit after Taylor hit an Ace on the flop.
Sixth place went to Michael Jurth after he was knocked out by Manuel Mutke. After flopping a flush draw, Jurth went all in with Three Four of Diamonds. Mutke called with Queen high, which won the hand after Jurth was unable to hit his flush draw on the turn or the river.
Polychronopoulos then claimed his second final table scalp as he continued on his quest for a second WSOP Gold Bracelet. The victim was Taylor, who lost the bulk of his hands in the previous hand to 2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada. Taylor had an inside straight draw on the flop of his final hand, but the eventual winner hit a Nine, which was enough to win him the hand and knock Taylor out of the event.
Cada was next to go after he was eliminated at the hands of Polychronopoulos. The youngest ever WSOP Main Event winner had the New Yorker outkicked before the flop, with Cada’s Ace Queen beating Polychronopoulos’ Ace Jack. That had little relevance after the turn, however, as the Jack of Spades was shown, which gave Polychronopoulos a pair. The Six of Clubs came on the river, which knocked Cada out of the tournament in fourth place.
Third place in the event went to Carlton, who had a solid day of play considering he had the second shortest stack when the final table was set. Polychronopoulos eliminated Carlton from the event after the New Yorker’s Ace Jack outkicked his Ace Six off suit. Carlton finished the event in third place and earned $224,455 for his efforts.
Carlton’s elimination left Polychronopoulos and Mutke as the last two players in the event, with the New Yorker having a small chip lead when heads-up play began. It took just three hands of heads-up play for Polychronopoulos eliminate Mutke and take out the event.
Polychronopoulos raised to 250,000 and Mutke responded by three-betting to 650,000 before the flop. Polychronopoulos, who had Queen Jack off suit, then reraised all in and was snap-called by Mutke, who showed Ace Jack of Diamonds.
The Jack of Clubs, Five of Spades and Three of Diamonds on the flop gave both players a pair, but kept Mutke ahead, as did the Two of Clubs that came on the turn. Things changed on the river, however, when the Queen of Clubs was shown, which gave Polychronopoulos a two pair and knocked Mutke out of the event.
Polychronopoulos won his first WSOP Gold Bracelet in 2011, when he took out another $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em tournament at that year’s event.