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After a four-day run, Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold ‘em at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has crowned a winner! Farhintaj Bonyadi (cover image) overcame a field of 2,191 competitors to win her first gold bracelet and a payday of $311,451. Bonyadi, who’s a mother of three, one of them being three-time WSOP bracelet winner Farzad ‘Freddy’ Bonyadi’, is the first woman to win a bracelet in the ongoing WSOP. Together, the two have emerged as the first mother-son duo to win WSOP gold bracelets!
While Bonyadi has been playing poker since 1997, this is her second year of participation in the WSOP, the first dating back to 2011 where she finished 351st in the $1,000 NLHE Seniors Championship for $1,823. Winning the tournament has now taken her total live earnings to a whopping $401,555!
“I’m just so so happy,”Bonyadi said. Beyond WSOP, her two best scores came through the $235 NLHE Event at Rio Daily Deepstacks in 2012 and 2016 where she finished runner-up each time for $35,992 and $27,097, respectively.
As the rail cheered for Bonyadi’s victory, her son, Farzad Bonyadi was all smiles. “She wants to catch me now,” he said, adding, “She did it all on her own. I told her to play patiently when she was short and she did it, I think she played masterfully today.”
The huge player field in the event accumulated $1,971,900 in the prize money that was shared among the top 329 places. The money bubble burst on Day 2 and 43 players returned for Day 3.
Some notable eliminations included, Sam Grizzle (32nd for $8,120), bracelet winners Michael Moore (125th for $2,209), Konstantin Puchkov (180th for $1,972) and Gary Benson (230th for $1,780), and Swedish poker icon and two-time bracelet winner Chris Bjorin (263rd for $1,625).
Just after four levels on Day 3, the final table was reached and two-time bracelet winner Steve Zolotow bubbled the official final table, exiting in tenth place for $19,968. By the end of Day 3, the play was down to three players who resumed the battle on the final Day 4.
Bonyadi started the final day with a 4.5:1 chip deficit but she went on in a combative mode to beat the odds and kept putting the pressure on the other two players who kept up with small ball preflop strategy, with most flops resulting in limped pots. Soon, she closed the gap to 2:1 and started to display more post-flop aggression. She won several crucial pots and took over the lead, extending it by continuing her aggressive stance with bets and flop raises that eventually won her the title.
Final Table Recap
Bill Fogel was the first one out on the final table after his pocket sevens ran into the pocket nines of Neil Henley. He finished his run in ninth place.
Next, Neil Henley’s pocket tens were beaten by Iwaniak’s pocket aces.
Following this, Bonyadi sent Charles Thompson packing in seventh place. She opened to 200,000 from under the gun and Thompson moved all in for 535,000 from the cutoff. Bonyadi made the call and both players flipped over their hands. Bonyadi had and Thompson showed . Thompson was trailing on the flop . and couldn’t improve on the rundown , exiting in seventh place.
It was Alan Denkenson who was eliminated next by Robert Beach. Beach opened to 100,000 from the cutoff and Denkenson who had only 265,000 left, moved all in. Beach snap-called tabling while Denkenson showed . The flop brought . Denkenson clearly needed a king but the on turn and the river didn’t help and Beach won the pot with his pair of eights while Denkenson exited in sixth place.
The action began to slow down and the next elimination took some time coming. The next major hand saw Bonyadi raising to 300,000 and Russel Sutton shoved all in for 455,000 from big blind. Bonyadi called, and turned over while Sutton showed . When the board ran out , Bonyadi’s pair of queens earned her the pot while Sutton was knocked out in fifth place.
Bonyadi kept the heat up in the subsequent hands and it was Linda Iwaniak who faced the brunt next. Iwaniak raised to 150,000 from the button. Bonyadi called from the small blind while Lee called from big blind and they went three-handed to the flop . The action checked to Iwaniak who shoved all in for her remaining 750,000 on which Bonyadi folded and Lee snap-called. Lee tabled for trip deuces while Iwaniak held . The turn opened and the river came . Lee improved to quad deuces while Iwaniak was busted in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, action went slow for a while. Then, Paul W Lee moved all in from small blind for 315,000 on which Beach called from the big blind. Lee with needed to improve in order to survive against Beach’s . The dealer peeled the flop on which Beach paired his king to put a hammerlock on the hand. Lee was drawing dead when the showed up on turn and he was relegated to the rail in third place when the river completed the board.
The heads-up between Robert Beach and Bonyadi started slow but picked up later to see back and forth action. Beach adopted an aggressive stance making his bid for the title but the play again slowed down after a while, till it was agreed to halt the event for the day.
Day 4 Recap
The two finalists returned to the felts to battle it out for the bracelet. While there was a lot of give and take action and Bonyadi played passive for a few hands, she began to chip up to a decidedly dominant position.
On the final hand, Beach completed in the small blind and Bonyadi raised to 425,000. Here, Beach called and the flop came . Bonyadi checked, and Beach announced a bet of 600,000. Bonyadi check-raised to 1.2 Million, and Beach called. The turn revealed Bonyadi fired another bet of 600,000 and Beach made the call. river put a straight to seven on the board. Bonyadi moved all in and Beach called. He saw that Bonyadi had straight to the eight, with her and snagged the title as Beach tabled !
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Farhintaj Bonyadi – $311,451
2. Robert Beach – $192,397
3. Paul W Lee -$140,273
4. Linda Iwaniak – $103,215
5. Russell Sutton – $76,655
6. Alan Denkenson – $57,465
7. Charles Thompson – $43,489
8. Neil Henley – $33,227
9. Bill Fogel – $25,633
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com
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