It was the culmination of years of dedication and sacrifice for the 28-year-old Coloradoan, who dropped out of graduate school to pursue a life in poker that resulted in a successful online training site (PLO Quick Pro), a byline in BLUFF Magazine, and now, the biggest prize in the game.
“It’s what every poker player grinds for,” I think I’ve had a dream about playing heads-up for a bracelet a thousand times, but nothing really matches the actual experience.”
It all could have ended differently for Beauprez, whose heads-up battle with Loeser for the bracelet was up in the air until the very end. They started out even in chips, with Loeser eventually opening up a lead of almost three-to-one. Then came the hand that would alter the course of the entire tournament.
Beauprez opened to 80,000, Loeser three-bet to 220,000 and Beauprez four-bet all in for 1.2 million. Loeser called and it was a race between his K Q and Beauprez’s 6 6. The dealer fanned out the Q 5 4 flop and Loeser’s rail let out a celebratory shout as he paired his queen. Beauprez was far from drawing dead, though, as he had flopped a flush draw.
The turn was the 8. Beauprez was one card away from a second place finish and in need of some help to stay alive. The river was the A and it was Beauprez’s turn to celebrate as he made his flush and evened the counts once again.
“It’s a pretty intense burn, as gamblers call it,” said Beauprez, “And I think that’s a quintessential example of a burn. Nobody wants to get this close and get second, that kind of thing haunts you.”
Beauprez then turned up the pressure and took a three-to-one lead of his own. On the final hand of the tournament Loeser opened to 100,000 on the button and Beauprez three-bet to 230,000. Loeser four-bet all in for 1.3 million and Beauprez eventually called, tabling A 8. Loeser was in great shape to double up and even the counts again, until the 8 6 5 put him in a dramatically worse position. The 5 left only three outs for the German, and the 4 left him to settle for second best in Event 4.
Day 3 started on the brink of a final table, and Keven Stammen began seven-handed play as the shortest stack. He got an early double-up as his 7 7 held off Loeser’s A J. Zohar Spivack would be the final table bubbler, running A J into Beauprez’s J J. The J 9 3 flop looked bleak for Spivack but the A on the turn gave him two outs to survive. The K river was not what Spivack was looking for, though, as his two-pair was second best to Beauprez’s set and he was eliminated in seventh.
Stammen wasn’t far behind, as he still had the shortest stack of the remaining six players. He opened to 27,000, Beauprez three-bet to 61,000 and Stammen four-bet all in for just over 300,000. Beauprez snap-called and tabled A A, crushing Stammen and his pair of 2 2. The T 5 3 T 4 runout changed nothing for Stammen, denying him a chance at a second WSOP bracelet as he went out in sixth place.
Mike Mustafa was the chipleader going into Day 3 and kept that lead through the first two eliminations of the day, but his fate quickly took a dramatic turn for the worst. Beauprez opened to 33,000, Mustafa three-bet to 77,000 and Eric Blair cold four-bet all in for 420,000. Beauprez got out of the way but Mustafa elected to call with 8 8. Blair’s K Q was behind but quickly caught up on the A Q 5 flop. The Q turn and K river gave him a full house and took him from one of the shortest stacks to the middle of the pack.
The pair would tangle in an even bigger pot just five hands later when Mustafa opened to 35,000. Loeser flat-called in the small blind, Blair three-bet to 115,000, Mustafa four-bet to 205,000 and Loeser bowed out. Blair five-bet all in for 830,000 and Mustafa called, setting up a showdown for almost all of their combined chips in a pot worth 1.7 million. Mustafa had a pair of T T against Blair’s A K, but the flop was once again not in his favor as it came down A 4 2. The 2 turn and J river changed nothing and left Mustafa with less than 60,000.
Those chips would go in on the next hand and Loeser, Blair and Beauprez all called. It was checked all the way down as it ran out A 5 3 9 T and Blair’s 7 7 were enough to take the last of Mustafa’s chips, ensuring the tournament veteran of a fifth place finish. That rush of pots put Blair ahead of Beauprez and into the chiplead, but that wouldn’t last for long.
Loeser opened to 40,000, Blair three-bet to 98,000 from the button and both blinds folded. Loeser four-bet to 202,000, Blair responded with a five-bet to 452,000 and Loeser six-bet all in for 1.1 million. Blair snap-called, but neither player had a hand you might normally expect in a six-bet pot as Loeser’s 7 7 was flipping against Blair’s A Q. The Q T 6 flop put Blair well ahead with a chance to take a commanding chiplead into three-handed play. The 7 turn put an end to that, though, locking the pot up for Loeser in dramatic fashion as the meaningless 4 hit the river.
At this point Loeser had almost twice as many chips as Beauprez in second and Joe Cada, who was previously the short stack and had avoided most of the big confrontations, moved up to third. Blair was once again left as the shortest stack. After an extended period of four-handed play that saw few flops and even fewer rivers, Cada would be the next player at risk.
Cada called from the small blind, Loeser raised to 74,000 and Cada check-raised all in for 600,000. Loeser called and he was well ahead with A 9 against Cada’s A 7, with the 2009 WSOP Main Event champion in need of some serious help. The flop was everything Loeser could have asked for, with the K 8 2 board leaving Cada drawing dead. The Q and J completed the board, guaranteeing a first-time winner as Cada was eliminated in fourth place.
Blair continued to fight and got his chips in good against Loeser with A 8 against A 6, with the Q J 9 [5s 7 runout giving him a much-needed double. It also pulled him nearly even with Beauprez, with half the chips of Loeser, the chipleader. The two shorter stacks tangled in one of the biggest pots of the tournament as Blair raised, Beauprez three-bet to 145,000 and Blair called.
The J 9 3 flop brought a bet of 170,000 from Beauprez and a quick all in from Blair. Beauprez called and tabled A J, well ahead of Blair’s J 8 with the chiplead at stake. The turn was the K, leaving Blair with three outs, and the 4 on the river sealed the pot for Beauprez. Blair exited in third place, leaving Loeser and Beauprez essentially even going into a heads-up match with very deep stacks.
They left for an hour-long dinner break and began their heads-up battle for the bracelet upon their return. Beauprez would get the better of both all ins and that would earn him the victory.
“The whole thing feels like a dream,” said Beauprez, “Only you never wake up.”
Here are the final table payouts for Event 4 of the 2013 World Series of Poker, $1,500 6-Max No Limit Hold’em.
- John Beauprez – $324,764
- Manig Loeser – $200,698
- Eric Blair – $127,300
- Joe Cada – $83,558
- Mike Mustafa – $56,499
- Keven Stammen – $39,325
Latest posts by Tim Fiorvanti (see all)
- Things Are Getting Real for Joe McKeehen on the Thunderdome Stage - July 14, 2015
- Justin Schwartz Seeks End to Dark Days with Deep Main Event Run - July 14, 2015
- Pierre Neuville Lives Post-Retirement Poker Dreams to the Fullest - July 13, 2015
- Moneymaker Legend Grows as Bruce Peery Takes WSOP Main Event Lead - July 12, 2015
- Justin Bonomo Chips Up, Busts His Friends Deep in WSOP Main Event - July 12, 2015