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Event #25: $800 NLHE Deepstack of the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) drew a massive 4,062 entries and made a two-day race to the finish line. Rob Wazwaz (cover – left) made his way past the competition to grab his career-first bracelet and a personal-best $358,346 in prize money.
A Minnesota native with five kids, Wazwaz is an entrepreneur who considers poker a side hobby, even though he’s been playing the game for a long time. The bracelet win has improved his live tournament winnings to over $1.8 Million.
After winning the event, Wazwaz informed that his name was erroneously entered as Rajajee Wazwaz on his WSOP card, but his actual name is Rob.
On the final day, Wazwaz had his buddies railing him all night. “It was my third final table, but first for a long time…back then, I wasn’t as experienced… I didn’t play them right when I got deep. But I’ve come a long way, and my dream was to come out here and win a bracelet,” he shared, adding – “I ran so pure, so pure, like my whole life of playing tournaments, this was the purest tournament I’ve ever ran in my entire life”.
Wazwaz was all praise for his FT opponents. “They were all great players; it was a very tough match, very tough. I’m just so proud of myself for winning. My wife will be happy, and I really appreciate my rail being here. My rail was amazing”.
India’s first solo bracelet winner, Young Gun Abhinav Iyer (cover – right), was one of the nine players on the FT. The poker pro had already added his first cash at the series last week, with an 870th place finish in Event #21 for $2,400.
He entered the final day with a slightly above-average stack of 940,000, ranked 52nd among 240 players. Guaranteed a min-cash of $2,222, Iyer sidestepped the rapid pace of eliminations. When the field was down to the final three tables, Iyer scored a crucial triple-up. The hand in question saw Adam Kharman jamming ace-jack, and Iyer called from the small blind with pocket nines. Vincas Tamasauskas also made the call with ace-king. Kharman hit a jack on the flop, but Iyer turned a set to triple up.
Around two hours later, Iyer sent Jorge Rodriguez packing in 17th place with his ace-king connecting on the flop to dominate Rodriguez’s ace-eight.
One of the shorter stacks on the FT, Iyer couldn’t get much going. Down to less than 2 BBs, he moved all-in with ace-six, and Wazwaz didn’t even have to think before calling him off with four-five. Iyer was ahead after the flop, but Wazwaz made two-pair on the turn, ending Iyer’s dream chase for a second bracelet in seventh place. Iyer banked $56,388 (~₹43.99 Lakhs) for the FT finish, which happens to be his 32nd WSOP cash.
The tournament paid out 610 places from the $2,859,648 prize pool, and the top four places walked away with paydays worth over $100,000.
Two-hundred-and-forty players returned on Day 2, each vying for the coveted WSOP bracelet. The eliminations came quick, and over the next six hours, the field was down to42 players. It took another six hours for the nine-handed final table to be formed.
Day 1 chip leader Ahmed Nimer (57th for $6,389), Ryan Phan (53rd for $7,673), Craig Mcconville (18th for $13,929), Jorge Rodriguez (17th for $17,256), Dean Hutchison (15th for $17,256), and Martin Hogarty (14th for $17,256) were among out short of the final table.
The nine-handed FT was set into motion following the elimination of Fabrizio Petroni (10th for $27,094).
Final Table Recap
Less than 10 minutes after Petroni’s departure, Liran Betito made his way out in ninth place, after his king-nine was outdone by Wazwaz’s pocket aces that further rivered a set.
Sebastien Clot was the next to fall after he ran ace-king into Maxime Duhamel’s queen-jack. Duhamel flopped trip queens, eliminating Clot in eighth place.
Around 20 minutes later, Wazwaz scored his second FT knockout, sending India’s Abhinav Iyer out in seventh place. Iyer, who had only 3.90 Million in chips, shoved from the small blind, and Wazwaz called from the big blind.
The flop gave both Wazwaz and Iyer a pair, but Wazwaz hit two-pair on the turn. The on the river kept Wazwaz ahead, crushing Iyer’s bracelet hopes.
Over the next two hours, Maxime Duhamel, Dov Markowich, and Sean Legendre made their way out from sixth to fourth, respectively.
The three-handed play didn’t last long. Within minutes of Legendre moving out, Raz, who had eliminated Markowich, moved all-in with ace-trey. Terence Raid called all-in for his last 9 Million, tabling king-deuce. The board drew a blank, eliminating Reid in third place.
The heads-up between Wazwaz and Robert Crow saw the former starting with the shorter stack, but he took under 20 minutes to seal his victory. On the last hand of the event, Crow raised it to 10 Million from the button, and Wazwaz called. Wazwaz check-called the flop for 10 Million, and both players checked their option on the turn . After the completed the board, Crow jammed for 34 Million. Wazwaz mulled over it for a full minute before tossing a chip in the middle, indicating a call.
Crow said – “Good call,” before showing . Wazwaz tabled for a superior pair to win his maiden WSOP bracelet.
Final Table Results (USD)
Content & Images Courtesy: PokerGO, PokerNews & WSOP
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