When a nosebleed cash game regular takes home his first bracelet at the World Series of Poker, you’d generally expect it to come in one of the $10,000 Championship events or a pro-heavy field. For Doug Polk, it came after outlasting a field of 1,473 in a $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em event.
Less than 30 hours after sitting down Monday afternoon, Polk finished off Andy Philachack to take home the coveted WSOP gold bracelet and $251,969 – along with an extra chunk of money from side bets he made on winning a bracelet. For Polk, this is just the first step in his effort to become a more recognizable face in poker.
“I’m tired of being ‘WCGRider’. I want to be Doug Polk. I want to try to establish myself in poker, and my long term goal is to be sponsored and work with other people in the industry. I need to not be ‘hiding behind a computer screen’ to do that,” said Polk.
After one big suckout saved Philachack during heads-up play, Polk bared down and chipped him down again. On the most crucial and of the final table, Polk raised to 120,000 and Philachack called, with the flop coming down T 8 3. Both players checked and the turn was the 3. Polk bet 155,000, Philachack raised to 310,000 and Polk called, bringing the J on the river. Philachack shoved all in and Polk quickly called, tabling 9 7 for the rivered straight. Philachack could only produce the 5 3 for trip threes, and Polk had his victory.
Despite all of the differences between his regular games and the turbo format, once it got down to two players Polk was in his dominion.
“When I looked at how he was playing, his strategy had some gaping holes in it,” said Polk. “Three-handed was actually much tougher, because there are a lot more variables there. Heads-up is my specialty, so three-handed I actually had to do a little guesswork and I actually got owned in a couple of hands by Jonathan.”
As you might expect in a Turbo event, the action was fast and furious in the first level of the day. What you might not have expected was four eliminations in the first 40 minutes of play. On just the second hand of the final table, Philachack raised to 43,000 in the hijack and Andrew Mackenzie called in the big blind. The flop was 8 7 4, Mackenzie checked, Philachack bet 50,000 and Mackenzie sprung the check-raise all in for 218,000. Philachack called and neither player had a made hand, though Philachack’s J T was in the lead against Mackenzie’s T 9. The 7 turn and 2 river changed nothing, but Philachack’s jack-high was enough to eliminate Mackenzie in ninth.
Anthony Gregg was among the shorter stacks when the final table started, but he got an early double after open-shipping for 214,000 with J T. Dash Dudley three-bet all in over the top for 281,000 with A K and everyone else folded. The J 8 4 flop gave Gregg a pair and Dudley the flush draw, but the turn and river bricked out. Gregg was up to 475,000, while Dudley had just three big blinds left.
On the next hand Dudley raised to 40,000 under the gun, leaving himself with one big blind, Philachack called, Chad Cox called and Gregg called to go four ways to a T 7 5 flop. Cox was first to act and went all in, with only Dudley calling. Cox was way ahead with Q T to Dudley’s 4 4, and stayed that way on the K turn and T river to eliminate Dudley in eighth.
The flurry of activity continued as short stack Gianluca Cedolia shoved for 116,000 in the small blind with A 2 and Polk called with Q 8 in the big blind. The Q J 7 flop put Polk in the lead, and Cedolia couldn’t find an ace to catch up as the 4 turn and 5 river spelled the end for the last Canadian standing in seventh place.
The same hand continued to play a role in many big hands, with Gregg the next to pick up A K. After Cox raised to 53,000, Gregg three-bet all in and Cox called for less with J J. While he was able to beat ace-king earlier to score a double, Gregg was unable to win with it as the 7 5 4 4 6 runout kept Cox’s jacks best and left Gregg on the short stack.
Three hands later Gregg pulled the same move Dudley did an orbit before, minraising to 40,000 and leaving himself just a couple of chips behind. Philachack called on the button and Cox called too, with the flop coming out K J 8. It checked to Philachack, who bet 50,000, and Gregg reluctantly tossed his last 5,000 chip with 5 3. He’d need runner-runner to beat Philachack’s K J, and while Gregg picked up some tangible outs with a flush draw on the Q turn, the Q river sent him out in sixth place to close out the first level of the day.
Jonathan Hanner got into the action and played one of the biggest pots of the tournament to that point, opening the action with a raise to 55,000. Liam Alcock three-bet to 111,000 and Hanner four-bet all in for 416,000, sending Alcock into the tank. After thinking it over Alcock called with A T, but Hanner’s Q Q were best and held through the 6 4 4 J 5 runout.
After losing a small pot to Philachack, Alcock opened for the third time in four hands to 52,000 under the gun. It folded to Polk in the big blind, he three-bet all in with A K and Alcock called with J J. Alcock’s rail called loudly for a jack and got just what they asked for as the flop was J T 3. Polk was left with only a queen for an out, and he’d be drawing dead if the board paired. The turn was the 8, keeping Alcock well out in front. The crowd called out for opposing cards, but a brief silence fell as the dealer burned, and then flipped the Q on the river to make Polk’s straight. Alcock shook his head and then shook hands with his four opponents, falling out in fifth place.
Cox was the next one to put himself at risk, open-shoving 270,000 (nine big blinds) from the small blind. Polk called with Q J in the big blind, and while Cox was ahead preflop, Polk caught up on the flop as it came down J 9 2. The turn was the 3 and the river the 7, knocking Cox out in fourth and leaving Polk, Philachack and Hanner to fight it out for the bracelet.
As quickly as the first six players went out at this final table, it became an absolute slog during three-handed play. Hanner went from the shortest stack to the chipleader in short order thanks to two key pots. He called Philachack all the way down with K T on a K Q J 4 A board and was right, and then two hands later he flopped the nut flush with K 8 against Polk and took down another significant pot. The chips continued to circle around, but Philachack started to slip once they hit the 25,000/50,000 level.
After hours without an all in to speak of, Philachack eventually slipped to 12 big blinds. He made his stand after Hanner raised to 100,000, three-betting all in for 620,000 only for Hanner to snap him off with J J. Philachack had A 7 and needed to connect with the board in a big way to stay alive. The A T 2 was just what the doctor ordered, putting Philachack into the lead, and the 9 turn and T river gave him a double.
A couple of orbits later they’d clash again, as Philachack raised to 100,000 and Hanner three-bet all in for just over 500,000. Philachack took his time, but eventually called with the Q T and faced off with Hanner’s A 3. The flop was an absolute dream for Philachack and a nightmare for Hanner, coming out K T 5. The 7 turn left Hanner with just two outs, and the 8 completted Philachack’s flush for good measure, eliminating Hanner in third.
Polk’s lead over Philachack was a slim 2.4 million to 2 million difference as heads-up play began. He won a significant pot with 6 4 on a 7 7 4 5 7 runout against Philachack’s 3 3. After taking down another medium-sized pot, Polk raised to 125,000, Philachack three-bet all in and Polk snap-called, tabling J J. Philachack had A 3 and needed to catch up big once again. He flopped a gutshot straight draw on an 8 5 4 board, but the T turn put Polk one card from a bracelet. The A spiked on the river, though, and Philachack kept his bracelet hopes alive.
Polk chopped him down again, though, and after making a jack-high straight to clinch the final pot Polk thrust his hands into the air in victory.
2014 World Series of Poker – $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
- Doug Polk – $251,969
- Andy Philachack – $155,756
- Jonathan Hanner – $102,503
- Chad Cox – $73,894
- Liam Alcock – $54,088
- Tony Gregg – $40,168
- Gianluca Cedolia – $30,252
- Dash Dudley – $23,093
- Andrew Mackenzie – $17,857
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