The 2018 World Series of Poker was in full swing on Saturday, with one of the big “made for the WSOP” marquee events in the $1000 “Double Stack” stepping up for action. The race was on for the bracelet in Event #31 – $1500 Seven Card Stud and a talented unofficial final table of nine gathered for action on Saturday to crown the champion of the $1500 Seven Card Stud crop. To say there was some talent on the table was a bit of an understatement as the defending WSOP Player of the Year, Chris Ferguson, sat in second place behind only Michael Moore in the standings. Putting some more star power in the field, six-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro was a part of the mix along with one of the legendary female players in the game, Esther Rossi. Even former WSOP bracelet winner Frankie O’Dell, with his miniscule stack of 74,000, was a threat in this crowd.
The early action wasn’t good for Ferguson as some early aggression worked against him. He fell from the chip lead in doubling up O’Dell, but he would recover in defeating Stephen Rivers in ninth place (off the “official” final table of eight) to climb back up to second behind Paul Sexton heading to the “official” final table. Once the final table got started, Ferguson was one of the more aggressive players on the felt.
The former World Champion ended the day of Rossi in eighth place and retook the lead in a battle against Sexton. In their key hand, Ferguson and Sexton refused to back down from their respective hands, with Ferguson showing an odd 7-K-3-5 for up cards and Sexton countering with an equally perplexing 8-6-3-10. Both men would check their options on Seventh Street and Ferguson unveiled that he only had a pair of hidden nines that he started the hand with. It was enough, though, as Sexton showed complete air in sending nearly his entire stack to Ferguson and the chip lead (he would depart a few hands later in sixth at the hands of Steve Albini after Moore was knocked off in seventh by Katherine Fleck).
Down to five players O’Dell was still the short stack, but he continued to fight. It wasn’t until back to back chip losses to Fleck and Ferguson that the California pro succumbed in fifth place. After O’Dell’s departure, the hand that changed the tournament fell, putting forth a new chip leader who would ride it to the title.
Ferguson and Albini would go to war in a hand that Ferguson never led. Ferguson paired his first two up cards – a pair of tens – but Albini continued with him and learned some great info when he received a ten himself (leaving one in the deck) on Fifth Street. The betting wars continued through the players being dealt Seventh Street and, after Ferguson fired away, Albini reluctantly called and showed a full house. Ferguson could only muster an Ace-high flush as he sent a monster stack of chips and the lead over to Albini.
It was the beginning of the end for Ferguson. Lisandro would chop another chunk of chips away from the reigning POY before Albini finished him off in fourth place. Once Lisandro ended the tournament of Fleck in third place, the heads-up match was set with Albini holding a slim 100K chip lead.
After a dinner break, the twosome decided the title. Lisandro came out of the gates quick to take over the lead, but Albini bided his time and never got too far behind. After a 2½ hour fight, Albini was able to work his way into the lead and ended the tournament to deny Lisandro his seventh bracelet.
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, $8355
Courtesy: Poker News Daily