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Continuing longer than expected, Event #28: $3,000 No Limit Hold ‘em 6- Handed at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) culminated with 31-year old LA resident Gal Yifrach (cover image) emerging the winner after outlasting the last three finalists on Day 4 to win his first WSOP bracelet and a cash reward of $461,798.
Post his victory, an elated Yifrach said, “You don’t make a final table every tournament. I was fortunate enough and am happy my family and girlfriend came to support me. I’m very happy. Everybody has hopes, and everybody is hoping to get very far. I was fortunate enough to get there.”
After surviving through 30 levels of play, the top three finalists began the three-handed play that continued for less than an hour before play was halted. The combatants then resumed play on Day 4 at blinds of 60,000/120,000, with Gal Yifrach in the chip lead (6,965,000) and Gary Hasson (3,100,000) and James Mackey (1,960,000) in hot pursuit.
The event that started off with 868 entries saw the field whittled down to just 20 players who all came back on Day 3 for a shot at the title. There were some big names in the running who all fell out through the course of the day. This list included the likes of Yorane Kerignard (9th for $36,164), Luiz Duarte (10th for $36,164), Anatoly Filatov (11th $27,284), Florian Duta (12th for $27,284), Tony Dunst (13th for $20,975), and Jason Mercier (16th for $20,975).
After Ben Palmer (7th for $48,823) bubbled the official final table, the action moved over to the six-handed final table.
Final Table Recap
Spain’s poker veteran, Ana Marquez became short-stacked after Yifrach won a three-way hand. Several hands later, Hasson opened for 90,000 and the action folded to Marquez who moved all in for 300,000 from the small blind. Hasson snap-called. Marquez showed and Hasson tabled . The flop came and the turn and the river didn’t help Marquez who was eliminated in sixth place.
It was Darren Rabinowitz who joined the rail next. Yifrach opened to 100,000 from the hijack seat and Mermelstein called in from the small blind. Rabinowitz in the big blind, raised all in for 1,200,000. Yifrach folded and Mermelstein made the call. Mermelstein showed and Rabinowitz tabled . The on the flop was favorable for Mermelstein and turn, river completed the board, railing Rabinowitz in fifth place.
By now, Aaron Mermelstein who was down to only 385,000 in chips shoved all-in from first position. On this, Yifrach called from the button. Mermelstein tabled and Yifrach showed . The board ran out and even before the dealer could place the river card on the table, Mermelstein had realized that his tournament run was over and he got up and left his seat.
The three finalists then halted the play and returned for the final Day 4 to play down for the bracelet.
Final Day Recap
The first exit on the final day was Gary Hasson after he shoved all-in from the small blind holding and Yifrach snap called with . The board fanned out and Hasson had to settle for a third place finish.
With that the heads-up battle between Gal Yifrach and James Mackey began and though the latter started with a huge chip disadvantage, he moved up in chips over the course of the next few hands to even the stacks. Yifrach however staged a comeback to end it all.
In the final hand, Yifrach opened to 325,000 from the button and Mackey 3-bet to 1,125,000 from the big blind, Yifrach called. On the flop , Mackey continued betting and got the call. The dealer burned and turned the on which Mackey shoved with and Yifrach tanked for about three minutes before he called showing . Mackey was firmly in the lead but the river completed a full house for Yifrach, who picked up his first WSOP bracelet.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Gal Yifrach – $461,798
2. James Mackey – $285,377
3. Gary Hasson – $193,716
4. Aaron Mermelstein – $133,731
5. Darren Rabinowitz – $93,917
6. Ana Marquez – $67,116
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com.
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