Cash game players are very rarely in the public spotlight. Michael Drummond is the epitome of a cash game grinder, but got his time in the limelight by winning his first career bracelet and $541,747 in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six Max at the 2014 World Series of Poker.
Before this tournament, Drummond had amassed career tournament earnings of $127,796, but has earned much more than that playing cash games. Before his win, he was most well known for winning the BLUFF Pro Challenge in April of 2011.
It was a competition that took place on Lock Poker for the entire month. The player who won the most money on the site would earn a sponsorship deal with the site, a cover story on BLUFF, and a WSOP Main Event seat.
Drummond won over $90,000 in the month playing No Limit Hold’em heads-up and six max cash games as high as $10/$20. He easily ran away with the competition, earning more than double his closest competitor.
“I faded away from the limelight and now I’m back,” joked Drummond after his win. “It’s definitely more fun to play the live events because friends and family back home can keep up with them and watch stay updated, but I still like cash games better than tournament, but you can’t beat winning a tournament while family is watching.”
In the first event that Drummond played this summer, he topped a field of 452 players to take home his first career bracelet in just his fifth career cash. Despite the win, the New Hampshire native only planned on playing three or four tournaments this summer and doesn’t plan on upping his volume in the future.
“I’ll probably play the PLO tournaments when they are there,” said Drummond. “But I probably won’t be traveling specifically to play tournaments. I just kind of happened to be here at the right time.”
Drummond spends most of his time at the cash tables, but he understands the validation that a bracelet brings to a poker player’s career.
“It’s kind of justification for the hard work that I have put in to PLO and the career path that I have chosen with poker.”
Phil Laak made his first final table of the summer and came into the final table as one of the chip leaders. But after doubling up Darius Studdard, he dropped down the chip counts and ended up being eliminated in sixth at the hands of Brant Hale.
With blinds of 15,000/30,000, Laak got his last 520,000 into the middle preflop. Hale tabled AA54 and Laak showed AK88. The flop was QJ6, which gave Laak some extra equity with a flush draw, but the turn was the J and the river was the 6 which sent the man known to most as “The Unabomber” to the rail in sixth place.
Hale shot up to second in chips after the elimination of Laak, but he couldn’t hold onto those chips for long. Action checked around on a flop of 653 and the 4 fell on the turn. Studdard led out for 250,000 and Hale moved all in for 980,000 and Studdard took a few minutes in the tank before calling.
Hale showed AQ98, giving him the nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. He needed to improve against Studdard’s T975, good for a straight and a gutshot straight flush draw. The river was a brick for Hale, as the 3 fell on the river, which kept Studdard in the lead and scooped the pot.
Just a few hands later, Ryan Schmidt exited the final table area in fourth place. Schmidt raised on the button and Kory Kilpatrick defended his big blind and the flop was KT7. With a couple bets and raises, Schmidt was all in for his last 345,000.
Schmidt tabled AK92, giving him top pair top kicker and a backdoor diamond draw. Kilpatrick showed AQJ7, giving him bottom pair and a wrap. The turn was the 8, keeping Schmidt in the lead, but the river was the 9, which gave Kilpatrick a straight and the pot.
Kilpatrick scored the knockout, but as three-handed play began, he was the short stack at the table and was eventually eliminated by Drummond, who had gradually increased his stack and the chip lead as the tournament progressed through three-handed play.
With the blinds at 40,000/80,000, Drummond raised to 175,000 on the button before Kilpatrick three-bet to 605,000 out of the small blind. Kilpatrick moved all in for just over 1 million and Drummond called. Drummond tabled KKJ4 and was up against Kilpatrick’s AKQ4.
The flop gave Kilpatrick a big lead as the dealer burned and turned a flop of A96. The turn was the T, which gave Drummond a few extra outs as he picked up a gutshot straight draw. He would still need to find a king or a queen on the river to stay alive, though. The dealer peeled off the Q on the river and Kilpatrick was sent to the cashier’s cage to collect his third place prize money of $217,113.
That left Drummond and Studdard heads-up for the bracelet and the more than $500,000 on the line. Drummond started with a better than three-to-one chip lead and didn’t seem to lose a pot. The final hand of the tournament was a cooler that went Drummond’s way.
On a flop of 843, the Studdard put his last 1.5 million into the middle and the cards were tabled. Drummond gave a fist pumped and turned to his supporters in the crowd as he saw the good shape he was in. Drummond tabled 8744, good for middle set and just needed to dodge a three as he saw Studdard’s QT33. Studdard picked up a little more equity on the turn, picking up a straight draw with the 6, but the K on the river missed Studdard’s draw and Drummond picked up his bracelet.
Here are a look at the results:
- Michael Drummond – $541,747
- Darius Studdard – $334,593
- Kory Kilpatrick – $217,113
- Ryan Schmidt – $143,397
- Brant Hale – $95,598
- Phil Laak – $66,918
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