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The four-day long Event #21: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em MILLIONAIRE MAKER at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) finally came to an end in the late hours of June 13. Having begun with a staggering number of 7,361, the final day saw only 17 survivors return to the tables. With a WSOP gold bracelet and top prize of $1,173,223 on the line, the game play was intense from the get go. Ultimately, Germany`s Arne Kern (cover image) was crowned the winner and won his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet.
Kern, who is a relatively new face on the WSOP circuit, has been playing poker since 2014. He had participated in the MILLIONAIRE MAKER last year, which was his first WSOP event, and placed 795th for $2,659. He has total live earnings of $1,229,924.
The runners-up Sam Razavi is a notable personality in the poker community and for all the right reasons. Popular amongst poker players for his humours side, Razavi holds the unprecedented record of winning the Asian Poker Tour ‘Player of The Year’ title four times in a row. Razavi has also participated in several domestic tournaments in Goa including the Poker Sports League. With total live earnings of $1,725,436, the Englishman is ranked 57th on the England All Time Money List.
India’s Raghav Bansal made the best finish from the Indian camp at the event. Running deep to make it to Day 3, Bansal’s dream run was ended by Ralph Massey in 21st place for $40,898 (~₹27.64 Lakhs). This was Bansal’s second appearance in the MILLIONAIRE MAKER, following his run last year when finished 377th for $4,683 (~₹3.16 Lakhs).
Final Day Recap
Day 4 opened with Chad Hahn leading the remaining 17 players with 6,525,000 in chips, followed by Sean Marshall (6,160,000) and Manuel Ruivo (5,930,000).
In a span of about three hours, eight players were eliminated starting with Manig Loeser (17th place for $51,188), Aaron Messmer (16th place for $51,188), Jared Narzem (15th place for $64,552), Enio Bozzano (14th place for $64,552), Richard Dixon (13th place for $64,552), Michael Finstein (12th place for $82,018), Kelly Wolfe (11th place for $82,018) and Hahn (10th place for $82,018).
Final Table Recap
The final table featured the likes of Sean Marshall, Ralph Massey, Barny Boatman, Manuel Afonso Soares Ruivo, Justin Liberto, Michael Souza, Joe McKeehen, Sam Razavi and Arne Kern with McKeehen leading the way (11,020,000), followed by Liberto (9,570,000) and Ruivo (7,760,000).
Sean Marshall departed early when he moved all-in from the middle position with pocket fives and was called by Barny Boatman in the big blind with . With the board fanning out , Boatman won the pot as Marshall finished in ninth place.
33 hands later, Ralph Massey joined Marshall at the rail. Joe McKeehen raised from under-the-gun which caused Michael Souza to 3-bet from the middle position. Massey jammed with from the button, McKeehen folded as Souza called with pocket rockets putting Massey at risk. The rundown showed ending Massey’s run in eighth place.
It took two more hours to bring about the next elimination. As Barny Boatman shoved all-in from under-the-gun holding , Kern came over the top with and all other players folded. The community cards were tabled giving Kern a two pair of aces and jacks, eliminating Boatman in seventh place.
Two hands later, Manuel Ruivo was busted in sixth place. Ruivo went all-in from the button with pocket nines and Sam Razavi snap called with from the big blind. With the board missing both players, Ruivo was sent to the rails.
On the 94th hand, Justin Liberto was removed from the felts by Michael Souza. Souza raised 800,000 from the button and Liberto jammed holding from the small blind. Souza called with which put Liberto at risk. The flop gave an advantage to Souza with the top pair of aces. The turn gave Liberto hope of hitting a back-door flush but the river could only get him a pair of kings instead which were no match for Souza’s aces.
Michael Souza however was next to go. He limped in from small blind with and Razavi raised from big blind with . Souza shoved all-in and Razavi snap-called. The flop fell and Razavi clipped two pair. Souza was hoping for ace or king next but unfortunately for him the turn and river missed Souza’s outs and he was sent into the arms of his supportive rail in fourth place.
2-time WSOP bracelet winner and former world champion Joe McKeehen’s dreams of a third bracelet came to an end when he moved all-in from small blind with . His move was countered by Kern who called with from the big blind. The showdown brought Kern a pair of nines which won him the pot eliminating McKeehen in third place.
The heads-up play between Sam Razavi and Arne Kern went on for another 62 hands. On the final hand, Kern moved all-in with and Razavi snap-called with . The flop gave Kern hopes of drawing a flush. On the turn , Kern got there with his spades flush and Razavi was already drawing dead. The river officially declared Kern as the champion while Razavi was relegated to the rail in second place.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Arne Kern – $1,173,223
2. Samad Razavi – $724,756
3. Joe McKeehen – $538,276
4. Michael Souza – $402,614
5. Justin Liberto – $303,294
6. Manuel Afonso Soares Ruivo – $230,120
7. Barny Boatman – $175,865
8. Ralph Massey – $135,383
9. Sean Marshall – $104,987
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com
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