The summer of 2013 was a profitable one for Andrew Rennhack. Despite striking out in all of the bracelet events he played, Rennhack made three final tables and cashed five times in Carnivale of Poker events at the Rio, taking home Player of the Year honors and locking up a profitable summer.
The 2014 World Series of Poker has already treated him much better – despite a slow start in the first two weeks – as Rennhack put together a tremendous run in Event 26. The $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event drew 1,594 players, and when the final card was dealt Rennhack was left as the last man standing.
He defeated Michael Katz heads-up, losing a lead of over 2-to-1 before coming back from an even bigger deficit in an action-packed 41 hand heads-up match to win his first career WSOP bracelet and $408,953 – the biggest live tournament cash of his career. Rennhack was a regular in the mid-to-high stakes Mixed Games at the peak of the online poker era in the United States, but poker is only one of his streams of revenue these days.
“I only play poker part time,” said Rennhack. “I have an ATM business that I started and own up in Seattle, so managing that takes up a lot of my time. I did go out to Aussie Millions and played a few events up there, and I’ve been going up to Vancouver and playing a bit online there. It’s kind of off and on where I’ll play a lot, and then go back to Seattle and work.”
As the blinds climbed higher and higher heads-up, it all came down to one big hand. Katz raised to 200,000, Rennhack three-bet to 500,000, Katz four-bet all in and Rennhack called it off quickly, with good reason – he had K K. Katz had J T and needed some help from the board to eliminate Rennhack, some of which he got on an A Q 7 flop as he picked up two tangible outs. It got better for Katz on the turn as the 3 gave him a flush draw too, but the 6 gave the pot and a commanding chiplead to Rennhack.
Five hands later Rennhack limped the button, Katz raised all in and Rennhack considered his options for a minute before calling, tabling 6 6. Katz had live suited overs, but the 7 2 2 flop wasn’t much help to him. The Q gave Katz 14 outs to survive, and Rennhack had to dodge another flush draw to claim his bracelet. That’s just what he did, though, as the 5 clinched the title for him on the river.
Just 12 players returned for Day 3 of Event 26, and Rennhack’s tournament nearly came to an end on the very first hand. He got all in with Q Q against Christoper Symesko’s K K and had to spike a Q on the turn to survive. Symesko was crippled, but got it in good again against Heinz Kamutzki with K J against K 9. Kamutzki flopped a 9, though, and Symesko was out in 12th. Will Failla ran A 7 into Eric Rappaport’s A A to bust in 11th, and just like that it was down to a single table of 10.
The chips were flying 10-handed, but it wasn’t until a big confrontation between Jonas Wexler and Geremy Eiland that they reached the official final table. Eiland put Wexler all in on an A K 5 flop and Wexler called with A K. Eiland had a naked flush draw with 8 9, but the Q on the river made his hand and sent Wexler home in 10th.
The most accomplished player among the final nine was Dan Smith, and he quickly found himself in a flip for his tournament life. Kamutzki raised to 50,000, Smith three-bet all in with A K and Kamutzki called with 9 9. Smith picked up four more outs on the Q T 2 flop, but the T turn and 2 river did not improve him, dashing his bracelet hopes in ninth place.
Before they could even complete a second orbit another massive pot developed after Rappaport raised to 50,000. Reed Goodmiller called and they went heads-up to a Q 9 3 flop. Rappaport checked, Goodmiller bet 57,000 and Rappaport called, with the K falling on the turn. Rappaport checked, Goodmiller shoved and Rappaport snapped him off with A A. Goodmiller had K Q for a turned two pair, though, and the 7 that peeled off on the river ended Rappaport’s run in eighth.
Rennhack’s good fortune continued in a massive pot against Eiland, when Rennhack raised to 50,000 and Eiland called. THe flop was 8 7 2, Rennhack bet 80,000, Eiland called and the turn was the 6. Rennhack checked, Eiland bet 250,000 and Rennhack raised all in for just shy of 800,000. Eiland called and showed A 8 but Rennhack had A A and a commanding lead. The T gave Rennhack the flush and left Eiland with less than two big blinds.
On the very next hand Eiland got those chips into the middle, and for the third time in the first 21 hands A A featured in an all in pot. Those aces belonged to Ryan Welch, who took on Eiland’s K 8, and while the flush draw came out by the turn of a 5 4 2 7 board, the A sealed Eiland’s fate in seventh.
Katz got a well-timed double through Welch with J J against A Q, with both the Q and J falling on the flop. Tony Gargano was down to just seven big blinds, but he earned a triple-up when he shoved A 9 and got called by Rennhack and Goodmiller. The runout was A 4 3 K Q, and Gargano’s hand was best against Rennhack’s A 8 and Goodmiller’s Q J.
Five all ins over the course of just seven hands dramatically altered the outlook of this final table. Gargano kicked it all off by doubling through Goodmiller with 8 8 against A K, crippling Goodmiller in the process. Rennhack doubled Goodmiller’s stack of just over one big blind on the following hand, but the biggest pot of all saw Gargano and Kamutzki in a classic race for a tournament-altering pot.
Gargano raised to 70,000, Kamutzki three-bet to 265,000, Gargano four-bet all in for 1.3 million and Kamutzki called with A K. Gargano’s J J looked to be in trouble with the A in the window and the K behind it, but the third card was gin – the J. The 3 turn and 9 river completed a tremendous comeback for Gargano, and left Kamutzki in big trouble.
Two hands later Rennhack raised to 85,000, Kamutzki three-bet all in, Gargano cold-called in the big blind with A 8 and Rennhack called along with him. The flop was A A 5, Gargano and Rennhack checked and the turn was the 3. Gargano bet 60,000, Rennhack called and the river was the K. Gargano bet 180,000, Rennhack eventually mucked, and Gargano’s trip aces was good enough to beat Kamutzki’s Q 8 to knock him out in sixth.
After Goodmiller hung on for a pay jump of over $22,000, he found himself all in two hands later. Katz raised to 80,000 under the gun, Rennhack called in the small blind and Goodmiller shipped for 155,000 total, which both of his opponents called. It was checked through the A 9 4 flop, the turn was the Q and Rennhack bet 125,000, which made Katz fold. Rennhack’s A Q had Goodmiller’s Q J drawing dead and the river was the 7, leaving Goodmiller to make his exit in fifth place.
Welch patiently waited for the right spot, but once it got down to four-handed play he made his stand. He open-shoved with J T and Katz called with A K. It looked bleak through the Q 8 5 flop and 2 turn, but the 9 on the river gave him a straight and saved his tournament. He’d go on to lose two small pots, though, and soon made another stand against Katz that wouldn’t end so well.
On the first hand of a new level Katz raised to 100,000, Welch three-bet all in and Katz snap-called with J J. Welch needed help with K 4 but got none as it ran out T T 7 6 5, knocking him out in fourth. With Welch’s elimination, a first-time bracelet winner was guaranteed.
Gargano, Rennhack and Katz went to the dinner break three-handed, with Katz holding the slight edge over Gargano and Rennhack on the short stack.
- Michael Katz – 3,245,000
- Tony Gargano – 2,730,000
- Andrew Rennhack – 1,200,000
Shortly after returning from dinner, Rennhack made a stand as his stack got shorter. He open-shoved with 8 9 and Gargano called with A 3, putting Rennhack on the brink as the flop was dealt J 5 3. Rennhack’s rail called for a nine and, like clockwork, the 9 peeled off on the turn to put him in the lead. The river was the Q, and the stacks tightened up significantly.
After losing a couple of medium-sized pots, Gargano was left as the shortest of the final three stacks. Katz raised to 160,000, Gargano three-bet all in for 1.8 million and Rennhack four-bet all in from the big blind. Katz folded A J and got out of the way as Rennhack tabled Q Q to take on Gargano’s A 6. The 8 5 4 gave Gargano some possibilities, but the T turn and J river led to nothing and his tournament came to an end in third.
Despite starting heads-up play behind, Katz took seven straight pots at one point and dominated the action without many showdowns. Rennhack looked to be on the ropes a bit going into the final break, but one hand swung the balance and shortly thereafter the tournament belonged to him.
2014 World Series of Poker – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
- Andrew Rennhack – $408,953
- Michael Katz – $252,826
- Tony Gargano – $166,384
- Ryan Welch – $119,946
- Reed Goodmiller – $87,797
- Heinz Kamutzki – $65,202
- Geremy Eiland – $49,106
- Eric Rappaport – $37,486
- Dan Smith – $28,986
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