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Taking down a field of 596 players, Robert Nehorayan (cover image) won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in Event #41: $1,500 Limit Hold ‘em! The American player pocketed $173, 568 in prize money for his win.
The tournament win is Nehorayan’s career-best WSOP score, one that has catapulted his overall WSOP live tournament earnings to $239,812. He first WSOP score dates back to 2007 when he finished 146th for $58,570 in the $10,000 NLHE Main Event.
Known more as a recreational player, Nehorayan expertly battled with and outlasted a big line up of experienced pros in the event. In the heads-up play, Nehorayan had to face Kevin Song, who was playing with an aggressive streak to make a bid for his second WSOP bracelet, 21 years after his first. There were many fluctuations in stack sizes through the final table play but Nehorayan maintained his dominant position all through.
“It feels pretty good. I got a little frustrated throughout the match but fortunately was I able to overcome my emotions. The cards helped too obviously,” Nehorayan said, admitting that he didn’t see himself as a poker pro and even has a nickname due to his recreational nature.
“People call me ‘Rec Rob.’ Funny thing, I was playing No-Limit Hold’em one night, I think 20/40/80 at Commerce and I called a huge bet on the river with just an ace. This kid just flipped out, and he said: How do you call with just an ace!? Another kid was like: that’s Rec Rob! He’s a recreational player; he can’t fold an ace!” Nehorayan recalled.
19 players returned for Day 3 and the fast pace of eliminations saw seven players dropping from the field within the first level of play. Bracelet winner Matt Grapenthien (12th for $8,846), Michael Lipner (11th for $8,846) and Jeffrey Scheibner (10th for $8,846), all busted before the official final table play commenced.
Final Table Recap
Matt Woodward who had entered Day 3 as the chip leader was the first player to be sent to the rail from the official final table when his ace-king lost out to Gutierrez’s two pair.
Following this, Matt Russell’s pocket jacks were overpowered by Russell’s pocket kings and the former busted in eighth place.
Next up, Russian pro Oleg Chebotarev who held ace-queen came up against the ace-king of Gutierrez. With the board missing both players, Gutierrez won the pot with her king-high kicker.
Eight hands later, action folded to Nehorayan in the small blind and he raised only to pick up a call from Brad Albrinck in the big blind. The flop came and Albrinck called the c-bet. On the turn , Nehorayan check-raised Albrinck’s bet and the latter retaliated by moving all in for 56,000, Nehorayan called. Albrinck tabled while Nehorayan held . The river gave Nehorayan top pair, eliminating Albrinck in sixth place.
By now, Michael Jex was very short-stacked. When Gee raised from under-the-gun position, action folded to Jex who was all-in in the big blind for his last 15,000. Jex tabled and Gee showed . The board ran . Though Jex picked a gunshot straight draw, he missed the turn and the river to settle for a fifth place finish.
One of the toughest players of the final table, Terricita Gutierrez was the chip leader at the start of the four-handed play but she was the next to exit. Nehorayan raised the button and Gutierrez 3-bet from the small blind with just 110,000 behind. Nehorayan made the call to see the flop open . Gutierrez bet and Nehorayan raised, putting his opponent at risk. Gutierrez made the call and tabled while Nehorayan turned over . The rundown , kept Nehorayan ahead while Gutierrez was eliminated in fourth place.
“Terri was my toughest opponent because she’s a limit pro. She plays 80/160, 40/80 every single day. That’s her game,” Nehorayan said, on his confrontation with Gutierrez on the final table.
The three-handed play continued for a while before David Gee raised from the button and Nehorayan and Song both called from the blinds. The flop was checked by both Nehorayan and Song, before Gee moved all in for 45,000 prompting Nehorayan and Song to call. The turn peeled out and Nehorayan bet. A bewildered Song called. The river brought on which Nehorayan continued with another bet and he got the call once again. The three way showdown saw – Gee , Song and Nehorayan . Gee’s pair of sevens were no match for Song’s pocket aces, but Nehorayan bested them both with two pair, kings and sevens to win the huge pot, eliminating Gee in third place.
There was a lot of back and forth action in the heads-up play between Kevin Song and Nehorayan but towards the end, Nehorayan picked up a convincing lead and on the final hand, he limped in from the button and Song raised. Nehorayan then 3-bet, cornering Song to an all-in. Song made the call. Song showed while Nehorayan tabled . The rundown confirmed Nehorayan as the champion!
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Robert Nehorayan – $173,568
2. Kevin Song – $107,242
3. David Gee – $73,860
4. Terricita Gutierrez – $51,733
5. Michael Jex – $36,860
6. Brad Albrinck – $26,725
7. Oleg Chebotarev – $19,723
8. Matt Russell – $14,820
9. Matt Woodward – $11,343
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com
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