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The hard-fought Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) finally came to a close after crowning a first time bracelet winner Registering 89 entries on Day 1, the championship came down to a final table of eight players on the final day with Yaniv Birman (cover image) overthrowing all others to claim his first WSOP gold bracelet and a career-best score of $236,238.
Making his third appearance at the WSOP, the California resident had total live earnings of $271,025 from three WSOP cashes. In the post- event interview, Birman said, “The cards were just running my way. I was just leaning on [Jesse Martin] all the time and the cards did all the work for me all day.”
When asked about his style of play, he stated, “I play aggressively; if they’re going to play back at me it is what it is. I’m probably going to fold. But I’d rather two or three-bet it and see where I’m at. I feel more comfortable that way, but everybody here’s a good player – there were no soft spots.”
Final Day Recap
The third day of the event began with Birman leading the chip counts with 958,000. He was closely trailed by Jesse Martin who had a stack of 916,000, while Ben Yu was a distant third with 559,000. The other players making up the final table were Matt Grapenthien, Lee Salem, Joseph Cappello, James Obst and Lars Gronning.
Final Table Recap
The first casualty of the day was Lars Gronning who exited in eighth place. When Joseph Cappello went all-in with //Xx, Gronning was put at risk and called holding //Xx. Cappello was able to better his hand to a two pairs on the fourth street, and Gronning acquired a pair for himself on the sixth street. As Cappello picked up on seventh street, Gronning needed an ace, king, five or three to beat his opponent’s hand but drew a resulting in his elimination.
Following Gronning’s elimination, Joseph Cappello could not sustain any longer and was ousted in seventh place by Jesse Martin. Holding //Xx, Cappello went against Martin who held //Xx. Cappello drew a on the seventh street Martin drew busting the former from the event..
Less than 5 minutes later, James Obst joined Cappello at the rail in sixth place. Obst bet his last 25,000 against Ben Yu with //[x]. Yu held //Xx and added to his hand on the seventh street. Hoping for any ace, king, nine, eight, or deuce, Obst found instead and lost the pot to Yu.
Similar to Obst, Matt Grapenthien went all-in against Yu with //Xx. Yet again, Yu had the better hand with //Xx. As Grapenthien and Yu drew and on the seventh street respectively, it was Grapenthien’s turn to pack up in fifth place.
The fourth place finisher was Lee Salem who went all-in with // against Martin who held //.
Ben Yu went head-to-head with Birman next. Yu was leading in the fourth street and received calls from Birman on the fifth and the sixth street. Yu called all-in and tabled /. Birman hit a straight with /. Hoping for a queen, Yu instead drew on the seventh street, while Birman picked , busting Yu in third place.
In the final heads-up hand between Jesse Martin and Yaniv Birman, the former open-completed with his remaining 40,000 and received a call in the dark from Birman. With //, Birman made a pair of nines and Martin with // failed to hit a straight or better and his chase for a third bracelet though agonizingly close came to a close with a runner-up finish.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Yaniv Birman – $236,238
2. Jesse Martin – $146,006
3. Ben Yu – $99,540
4. Laith Salem – $69,928
5. Matt Grapenthien – $50,669
6. James Obst – $37,904
7. Joseph Cappello – $29,306
8. Lars Gronning – $23,443
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com
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