WSOP: Sam Stein Wins First Bracelet in $3K PLO

Stein's mom and sister were on hand cheering him on
Stein's mom and sister were on hand cheering him on

In a tournament plagued by late starts and later nights, it was only fitting that the final table turned into marathon affair that culminated in a 5am finish.  For Sam Stein, the early morning finish was a small price to pay for something that has eluded him for a couple of years: a major tournament victory.  Plagued by second places and deep runs at major final tables, today it was Stein’s turn to be the last guy standing.  Not only did he pick up his first WSOP bracelet, he also took the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

The eliminations at the stacked final table commenced with Dilyan Kovachev’s elimination in ninth place at the hands of Austin Scott when Scott’s KT92 rivered trip nines against Kovachev’s A8K5 after the two got it all-in preflop. The extra chips helped Scott for a while, but he was the next to go. Scott had the best of it when he and Warren Fund got it effectively all-in on a 742 flop. Scott held T752 for top and bottom pair as well as a flush draw, but his clubs were drawing dead against Fund’s AJ84. Fund hit his flush with the K on the turn and the last of the chips went in the middle. Scott failed to fill up and hit the rail, while Fund vaulted to the chip lead.

Fund’s stack grew even bigger when he eliminated Brock Parker in seventh place. The two got it all-in preflop with Fund holding AA39 to Parker’s AKKT. The board ran out J42J4 and Fund’s aces held to take the pot. Kings in the whole were no kinder to Zimnan Ziyard.

Though Ziyard had kings and fours in the hole when he doubled through Christian Harder, his AKK4 was no match to Adam Junglen’s JT97. The 997 flop gave Junglen trips, Ziyard failed to improve, and the field shrank to six.

The six-handed stretch of play saw the chips start to shift around the table. Funds stack shrank than swelled thanks to a double up from Ben Lamb, but it didn’t hurt the big stacked Lamb, who was the only player not sitting on around 20 big blinds.

Once Stein dispatched of Junglen in fifth place, it was his turn to take on the chip lead. Stein delivered Junglen his second fifth place finish of the series when the two got it all-in on an 853 flop with Stein holding J854 for top two pair to Junglen’s QT98 for top pair. Junglen failed to improve and Stein took the pot.

Harder’s hopes for a bracelet came up short a little while later. Running very low on chips, Harder took a stand with K9J8 and Lamb called him with AJ99. The board ran out A75Q4 and Lamb made a flush to knock out Harder and trim the field to three.

Three quickly became two when Fund and Stein got it all-in on a flop of KQ3. Stein held KQJ6 for top two pair. Fund turned over AA7T for a dry pair of aces. The 2 on the turn was no help, and with the 9 on the river, Stein eliminated Fund to take a more than 2-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Lamb.

Heads-up play ended with six minutes remaining before the hard stop would force the players into Day 4 of action. Play abruptly ended when Stein shoved all-in on the turn of a KJ3T board. He had the nuts with AQJ6 for a Broadway straight. Lamb held QJ94 and was dead to a chop and needed an ace on the river in order to stay alive. The river brought the 2 and there was a moment of stunned silence as it sunk in that, after more than 11 hours of Day 3 play, Stein finally captured the title.

Here are the final table results from the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha event:

1st: Sam Stein – $420,802
2nd: Ben Lamb – $259,918
3rd: Warren Fund – $184,368
4th: Christian Harder – $132,623
5th: Adam Junglen – $96,737
6th: Zimnan Zivard – $71,548
7th: Brock Parker – $53,633
8th: Austin Scott – $40,748
9th: Dilyan Kovachev – $31,360

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