So, where were you on July 6th 2013? Well the 6,532 players that ponied up $10k to take part in the World Series of Poker Main Event 2013 all remember where they were.
Each of them set off with a dream of making a deep run in the tournament and taking home a share of the almost $60million prizepool, with the winner pocketing a cool $8,361,570.
On July 15th, they were down to 9 players and suddenly that dream has taken a huge step closer to becoming a reality. Time to sit back and relax for 111 days until the Final Table was to be played. Each of them received 9th place prize money which was $733k so they at least had something to keep them occupied while they waited for their shot at glory.
How they Stacked Up
JC Tran was the man leading the way in the chip counts with 38m chips, and he was also quickly installed as the favourite @ 13/5 with Bet365. He has 2 WSOP bracelets to his name, along with almost $10m in tournament winnings so he was definitely the man to stop. The 2nd and 3rd biggest chip stacks were also 2nd and 3rd favourites in the market @ 5/1 Ladbrokes (Lehavot) and 6/1 BetVictor (McLaughlin).
There was also a lot of money placed on the youngest guy to make the Final Table, 23 year old Ryan Reiss. He told anyone that wanted to listen, that this was his year, he was the best player left and he was going to win the tournament. This didn’t go down too well with some of the more professional players, but it would be interesting to see if he could back up his words with his actions. When the Final Table kicked off, he was backed in to 9/2 3rd favourite.
Sitting with just over 3% of the chips in play, was our shortest stack David Benefield. Benefield, who goes by the online name ‘Raptor’ could be taken @ 12/1 or 20/1 depending on which bookmakers you looked at. There was no doubt that he was going to be a huge danger if he managed to accumulate chips early on, and there was a lot of money placed on him prior to the Final Table.
Full chips counts going into the FT were;
1st: J.C. Tran – 38,000,000
2nd: Amir Lehavot – 29,700,000
3rd: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin – 26,525,000
4th: Jay Farber – 25,975,000
5th: Ryan Reiss – 25,875,000
6th: Sylvain Loosli – 19,600,000
7th: Michiel Brummelhuis – 11,275,000
8th: Mark Newhouse – 7,350,000
9th: David Benefield – 6,375,000
The Final Table Action
First to fall was our 2nd shortest stack, Mark Newhouse. His 99 couldn’t stay ahead versus the AK of Reiss who catapulted up to 37m in chips, sitting 2nd behind Tran and his 41m.
Our 8th place finisher was Benefield who shoved K2 from the button, but Jay Farber woke up with AK in the Big Blind and duly dispatched the much fancied Benefield for $944,593.
Next to go was Brummelhuis who got his 15.5m chips in the middle with 99 versus the AA of Reiss. The result was a formality and Reiss now had a commanding chip lead of 56m, which was 16m more than his nearest rival, Jay Farber.
A few hours passed before we lost another player, then we managed to lose 4 in less than an hour.
Marc McLaughlin met his demise in 6th place at the hands of Jay Farber in the ultimate cooler. He found the 2nd best hand in poker KK, and was so sickened to see that his opponent held the AA in a huge 75m pot. There was to be no lucky escape for Mclaughlin as Farber’s AA held up to propel him to 95m chips and the overwhelming chip lead.
Former chip leader, and bookies favourite JC Tran was next to go in 5th place. Tran shipped his remaining 10m into middle with A7 and was called by Farber with KQ. Farber needed to improve his hand which he did, and sent Tran to the rail with the consolation of $2.1m to soften the blow.
Frenchman Sylvain Loosli was next to bite the dust in 4th spot when his Q7 couldn’t run down the A10 of Reiss, and Reiss didn’t have to wait long until he bust his next opponent when Lehavot got his last 20m in the middle with 77 only to find Reiss with 1010. No suckout for Lehavot and Reiss climbed 85m in chips, 20m behind chip leader Jay Farber on 105m.
Farbet and Reiss were both guaranteed over $5.1m each, and they had to wait 24 hours before they could battle it out to see who walked away with the $8.36m 1st prize.
When the players returned for Heads Up play, it was Reiss who did most of the early running to take a 112m-78m chip lead and by now, he was also the big favourite in the betting market. Reiss started the Final Table a slight favourite @ 5/6 but unless you got on that price before it started, you wouldn’t see that value again.
Farber battled back to even in chips before Reiss once again showed his dominance when he scooped a massive pot with JJ on a 84327 board to once again take a commanding chip lead with 130m playing Farber’s 60m.
That was the beginning of the end for Farber as Reiss just piled on the pressure which saw him take a 176m-14m chip lead. Farber managed to show some fight and got back to 65m chips, but it only staved off the inevitable as Reiss was able to close out the match when his AK held against the Q5 of Farber and take home $8,361,570 and also the title of World Series of Poker Main Event Champion 2013.
A Taxing Day
It’s not as rosey as it seems for the ‘November 9’ though. There was almost $26m paid out to the Final Table players, but of that $26m, a whopping $9.6m is to be paid in tax! If the Final Table consisted of all UK and Ireland players, then they would have been able to keep all of the $26m on offer, but WSOP Champion Reiss must hand over almost $3.5m in taxes. If ever there was a way of putting a downer on winning $8.3m, we’ve just found it.
Full details of tax breakdown can be found here: