A total of 112 players took part in this event but just one player emerged with a flawless run to eventually claim the title. That player was Sean Swingruber who overcame the field winning seven heads-up encounters without a single loss. That enabled the 30 year old to win his first ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet and the accompanying purse to that hardware was a sweet $186,356 (~INR 1.29 Crores).
On his way to the gold, Swingruber also eliminated Cord Garcia in the second to last matchup round. Garcia, you may remember, was the winner of the inaugural Colossus tournament introduced in the 2015 edition of the WSOP. The final battle for the title was with 3-time bracelet winner Ben Yu and to compound it, Swingruber was facing a 4:1 deficit at one point but he overcame that to take the lead and called Yu’s all-in shove. Yu looked like he was going to take the lead back with his pocket Sixes but running hearts gave the 6h 8h of Swingruber the flush and win.
“It feels indescribable,” Swingruber said in his post win interview. Swingruber is primarily a cash game player and plays tournaments infrequently however he has worked hard on his HU game, “I’ve put a lot of work into heads-up recently. I’ve always eyed this tournament and thought I could have an edge versus other MTT players.”
Saturday night saw the finale of the 6-handed Event #16 being played out between US pro Isaac Baron and SIngapore’s Ong Dingxiang. The two final players remaining from a field of 1,832 were battling for the much coveted WSOP bracelet and of course top prize of $407,739 (~INR 2.82 Crores).
While the duo played over a 100 hands in heads-up the previous day when play was called off, took just four hands for things to wrap up on Saturday with the 31 year old Baron emerging as champion and finally claiming his first WSOP bracelet after several attempts over the last 12 years, “I’m feeling pretty good. It’s been a long time coming getting this first bracelet. I’ve wanted it for a while and am just glad it was pretty easy today,” Baron said in his winner interview. “I’m not sure what it means for my career, but it feels good. I’ve wanted a bracelet for a long time. I started out watching the World Series. I’ve played these tournaments for 12 years and have never gotten one, so it feels good … I don’t really know how to put it into words. It feels like a long time coming.”
Aside from his latest achievement, Baron has a number of other high profile victories including winning Card Player Magazine’s first-ever Online Player of the Year Award in 2007, a 3rd place finish in 2014’s PCA for $1.2 million, 4th in 2008’s EPT4 Grand Final for $932,006 and a 2nd place finish in 2015 at the renowned WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star for $704,200.
Baron got dealt pocket rockets in the final hand of the tournament and flat-called Dingxiang’s three-bet with KQ. Dingxiang paired his Queen on the flop and bet out again which was once again called by Baron. Dingxiang jammed on a brick turn and Baron was happy to call. Another nothing card on the river and that gave Baron his maiden WSOP bracelet. Unusually enough, Baron intends to take a 10 day break and heads home to Los Angeles. But he will return later, “I don’t like doing the whole WSOP so I have to try to break it up,” he said. “I’m just going home for ten days and then I’ll be back.”
Plenty more pieces of gold are waiting to be given out at WSOP 2019 and you can keep following GutshotMagazine.com for the latest updates.
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