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Staking the claim to the title in Event #31: $1,500 Seven Card Stud at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was Steven Albini (cover image), who emerged victorious among the 310-strong player field and an intensely competitive final table to win his career-first WSOP bracelet along with $105,629 in prize money.
“I’ve been playing stud my whole life. I love it, so I’m very comfortable playing stud,” said Albini, who was all smiles after taking the event down.
While Albini modestly calls himself a mediocre player, he has certainly proved he can hold his own against tough opponents. In the heads-up play against multiple bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro that lasted for more than two hours, Albini played with measured ease and competitive confidence.
Later, Albini admitted to not having that much heads-up stud experience but added that he had an excellent mentor in former Poker Players’ Championship winner Matt Ashton.
“He (Matt) and I had some conversation about what raising ranges would look like. I was using the sort of thumbnail version of his heads-up stud game strategy,” Albini explained. He also credited networking with poker veterans like Matt Grapenthein, Brandon Shack-Harris and Eric Rodawig in Chicago that has an active mixed game community as something that has helped him develop as a player.
Nine players returned to play at the Brasilia poker room in the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino on the final day of the event. The action resumed at Level 21 and the official final table began after Stephen Rivers got busted in the ninth place for $6,451. Rivers had a very short stack and was sent packing by Chris Ferguson right before the end of second level on Day 3.
Final Table Recap
Esther Rossi was the first player to get eliminated from the final table after losing out to Chris Ferguson. Next, Michael Moore lost a pot against Fleck and exited in seventh place. Within the next ten minutes, Paul Sexton bounced off in sixth place.
Frankie O’ Dell, who went short-stacked several times on the final table and somehow managed to stay afloat lost a hand against Ferguson and went out in fifth place.
The mighty Chris Ferguson had a great run throughout the event but he taken out by Albini. Ferguson was already alarmingly low on stacks after he lost a big pot to Albini. Ferguson did the bring-in and Albini completed. With only 27,000 left, Ferguson moved all in. Ferguson tabled / and Albini showed / . Ferguson looked bright, with split deuces that were also blocking one of Albini’s cards, but the latter made a pair of sevens on fifth to take the lead. The play took an interesting turn as Ferguson instantly received an ace for aces up but Albini got another seven on the same street! To survive, Ferguson now needed an ace or a deuce to make a full house but he instead got the and Albini showed the river card. Coolered, Ferguson was sent packing in fourth place.
Katherine Fleck was the next to go, paving the way for the heads-up. She tabled / / while Lisandro showed / / . Fleck had the bring-in with a five and Lisandro completed. Fleck made the call, Lisandro bet on which Fleck called, before facing another bet on fifth. With only 93,000 remaining, Fleck shoved all in. Lisandro snap-called and was far ahead with pocket tens and Fleck, who had pocket-fives couldn’t best his hand, bouncing off in second place.
The heads-up between Jeff Lisandro and Albini began with both players practically evenly placed. There was a lot of back and forth action with each player winning pots and taking hold of the lead momentarily before the other eventually caught up. In the first hour Albini went slow and it looked like Lisandro would win his seventh bracelet but Albini displayed resilience and bounced back.
Soon, within two hands, Lisandro’s short stack melted. In the first hand, Lisandro tabled XxXx/ / Xx, while Albini tabled XxXx/ /Xx. Lisandro bet fourth and Albini called, before repeating this on the fifth to seventh street. Albini announced a two-pair and showed . Lisandro showed for a pair of eights.
In the second hand, Lisandro tabled / / and Albini tabled / /.
By now, Lisandro was down to his last 40,000 and he announced all-in the very next hand. Albini was leading with an ace-high and then caught a pair of tens while Lisandro bricked the rundown and finished in the runner-up place, conceding the gold bracelet to Albini.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Steven Albini – $105,629
2. Jeff Lisandro – $65,282
3. Katherine Fleck – $43,765
4. Chris Ferguson – $29,999
5. Frankie O ‘Dell – $21,035
6. Paul Sexton – $15,096
7. Michael Moore – $11,095
8. Esther Rossi – $8,355
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com.
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