Tonight was a big night for 26-year old Steven Wolansky as he finally managed to put a WSOP gold bracelet on his wrist. The win came in the $1,500 Deuce to Seven event that attracted 241 runners. The victory was that much sweeter coming after his defeat in the heads-up of an 8-game event during last year’s series in which he had a 30:1 chip advantage over his opponent at one point.
Wolansky came back to play today as the first in chips of the remaining six players, but it wasn’t that big of a difference between him and the two players hot on his heels, Samuel Touil and Joseph Cheong. With blinds going up to 3k/6k with a 1,500 ante soon after the start of the day, we expected a fast and action-filled final table and we weren’t wrong.
Six hands into play, Touil made an early exit. Two hands before that he lost the majority of his chips to Wolansky and then jammed his last 50,000 in to the made Ten-Nine of Cheong. Touli drew one, but paired his hand and was eliminated, taking home $12,529 for this short final table performance.
Some ten hands later, Orjan Skommo met the same fate and once again it was Cheong who played the executioner role. Skommo drew two cards while Cheong took one. Although Cheong ended up with Qx 7x 6x 4x 3x, it was good enough as Skommo missed the cards he needed and paired up to finish in fifth, banking $17,445.
Cheong continued steamrolling the table as he then took out Christopher Mecklin ($24,908). It was an action hand involving three players but faced with an all-in and a call, Max Kruse got out of harm’s way. Mecklin drew one card and despite ending up with Nine-Eight, it was no good as Cheong was dealt the 2-7 absolute nuts, 2x 3x 4x 5x 7x.
Kruse fell as the last victim of Cheong at this final table, as he single-handedly got rid of the competition. An interesting fact about Kruse is that he was very close to joining the German national team for the World Cup in Brazil but he was left out last month. Borussia’s striker instead came to Vegas to play on a different green felt. The German will be taking home $36,494 as his first ever WSOP cash and it came in the game he learned only recently from his friend George Danzer.
With Kruse’s demise, the stage was set for heads-up play. Cheong had a lead of about 100,000 over Wolansky but Cheong’s luck was about to run out. Wolansky took a couple of pots to propel him into the lead and that led to the final showdown of the tournament.
Cheong raised from the button and then called off when Wolansky set him all in. Wolansky drew one, while Cheong stood pat with 10x 7x 6x 3x 2x. He was ahead for the moment as Wolansky drew one to try and improve his 8x 7x 5x 2x. But this time it was Wolansky’s turn to get lucky as he drew #9s to make his Nine-Eight and eliminate Cheong in second place, good for $55,309.
Steven Wolansky finally won a WSOP bracelet and together with $89,483 he received for the victory, his winnings in Las Vegas have surged to nearly a quarter million dollars. Although Wolansky may have waited some time before claiming his first bracelet, this final table moved quickly and was completed in what could be a record time for this series.