Michael Davis had plans to move to Las Vegas for warmer winters than back home in Iowa. Talk about making a statement when coming to town.
Davis was able to beat out Scott Buller and his impressive chip lead to win the $1,000 Seniors No Limit Hold’em World Championship (Event 43), $437,358 and the World Series of Poker gold bracelet Wednesday night.
“I sold my (home inspection) business last week, now I don’t have a job to go home to,” Davis, 58, joked after the win.
Davis won the championship when his A 9 was able to beat out Buller’s A J. The flop came down 4 3 5, but the 9 on the turn put Davis ahead. A jack or a deuce would keep the game going, but the 4 on the river ended the tournament and gave Davis the win.
The 2-1 chip lead Buller had as he and Davis began heads-up play quickly swapped. Davis raised from the button with A A and Buller went for the knock out, re-raising all in with 9 9. Davis jumped even further ahead hitting the A on the flop and Buller was unable to catch up.
Davis was able to pull closer to Buller’s massive chip lead by eliminating Barry Bounds to face Buller heads up. Bounds moved all in with A 6 and Davis called with A Q. The flop came down 4 2 7 and Bounds would need a six or runner-runner for a straight. The 5 hit on the turn to give him a two-way straight draw on the turn and when the 8 came on the river he turned around and gave former Main Event Champion Tom McEvoy, who had been sweating him the entire day, a high five, not realizing the card gave Davis a flush. Bounds left with $179,210 for finishing third.
“I got lucky,” Davis said. “Both those guys played great. Everybody at that table deserved to win.
“I feel I got lucky the entire tournament,” he said. “It was unbelievable fun.”
The tournament, held specifically for players at least 50 years old, had a record field with 2,707 creating a prize pool of $2,463,700. This was the second time Davis entered in the event, finishing 115th last year.
“I figured I’m not getting any younger,” he said. “Make it a yearly pilgrimage.”
As with most final tables at the WSOP, the last 10 were going to combine, but as one table said good bye to Ted Garner in 11th, Mitch Garshofsky was all in at the other table and lost the hand. So, instead of playing down to the official final table, Davis, Buller, Bounds, Dan Delatorre, Robert Beck, Michael Morusty, Richard McCall, Art Duncan, and Charles Simon made their last table change to play for the gold bracelet.
The group played only for a few minutes before going on dinner break, and played only a few hands before losing three players.
Beck was the first eliminated when he moved in with top pair against a set. Holding K J, he pushed on the J 6 8 flop and Morusty instantly called, holding 6 6. Needing another running cards, the turn and river came 9 and Q, sending Beck out in ninth, collecting $53,208.
Then, almost immediately after, McCall was knocked out, again, with top pair. He made his move with Q J on the board of Q 7 2, but DeLatorre made the call with K J. Like Beck, McCall would need runner-runner for a full house, but the K and 6 eliminated him in eighth. He won $56,903.
The third elimination of the table came about 20 minutes after play resumed when Duncan was knocked out. He re-raised Simon, who opened from under the gun, with K J, and Simon made the call with K Q. The A Q 6 flop gave Simon a pair, but Duncan was able to improve his odds to win by picking up the straight draw with four outs instead of the three he would have had with the jacks. The next two streets, however, came 3, 9, and Duncan was sent to the rail in seventh, winning $64,047.
After the Razz tournament wrapped up at the feature table, the seniors made their move t0 the stage. The bright lights, however, were unkind to DeLatorre as he was next to leave. He made a push from under the gun with Q 4 hoping to get the blinds and antes, but Morusty, to his right, had kings. The board ran out 8 3 2 6 8 and the K K of Morusty stood up. Delatorre took $76,118 for the sixth place finish.
Simon was eliminated soon after as well. He moved all in from the small blind after Buller raised from under the gun. Simon’s A Q was the underdog to Buller’s A K going to the flop, which came down J 6 2. The K gave Simon a straight draw to a ten, and the 9 on the river gave him and the crowd some excitement, but was ultimately not enough. He finished in fifth for $95,332.
But the excitement and disappointment from that hand was no match for the next elimination. Morusty re-raised Buller’s under the gun raise from the big blind and Buller moved all in, which Morusty instantly called. The crowd went insane when Morusty flipped over A A, which was a huge favorite to Buller’s A K. The audience was much calmer when the flop came K 3 8. They almost cried when the 4 hit on the turn, and Buller channeled the excitement they used to have. The river came with another club, 7, and Morusty was out. He took $126,863 for the fourth-place finish, and Buller took a dominating chip lead three-handed.
Final table results and payouts
- Michael Davis – $437,358
- Scott Buller – $268,507
- Barry Bounds – $179,210
- Michael Morusty – $126,863
- Charles Simon – $95,332
- Dan Delatorre – $76,118
- Art Duncan – $64,047
- Richard McCall – $56,903
- Robert Beck – $53,208
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