Friday, July 19, 2024
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John Hennigan wins the WSOP’s $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event

Event #7: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice has come to a close here at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. It took just over six hours for a winner to emerge from 10 hopefuls who made it to the final day.

After the dust had settled, mixed game legend John Hennigan was the last player standing, last-defeating Robert Wells after a brief heads-up duel. With the win, Hennigan became only the ninth player to capture a seventh WSOP gold bracelet.

“It’s Interesting to know, I guess, just like any other number” Hennigan commented when asked about the accolade. “Very happy to win the tournament. I mean to me, the best thing about winning the tournament is not losing it. Not getting second, or knowing they’re still playing and wandering around after you go broke. It’s just very satisfying to come out on top.”

Hennigan quickly took the chip lead once the final table was set and never lost it en route to victory. The Poker Hall of Famer mentioned how comfortable he was navigating the rest of the tournament from the top of the chip counts.

“I had a similar experience at PokerGO, like two months ago, where I just had a huge chip lead, and every hand just played themselves. It was very easy. You know, this tournament was similar to that. When you have a monster chip lead, it’s a pretty simple game.”

With 21 games to choose from Hennigan described how playing to his strengths was a big part of his strategy in terms of the games he selected.

“I don’t really think too much about that. I just played stud because it’s the game I’m best at. And frankly, you know, these guys are not young. But the younger people are, the less that they played (stud). It’s undoubtedly my best game, and it’s probably low on their list. So I just picked stud, and frankly, I’ve always been lucky in that game, too, so I seem to win every pot.”

The win marks the smallest buy-in event in which Hennigan has ever won a bracelet. The majority of his wins have come in events with a buy-in of $10,000 or higher.

“I normally don’t (play $1,500 events), but, you know, I just happened to jump in this one. It was a pretty lucky coincidence, actually. I usually just stick with the ten because I don’t want to burn myself out too much, but I guess I’ll be in the mix for player of the year now. So get ready for the burn.”

The action got off to a quick start after Hennigan scored a double knockout in the first level of the day to send off Venkata Tayi and Lawrence Brandt. Six-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb was left with crumbs shortly afterwards in a Badeucy hand that saw most of his chips get split between Viktor Blom and start of day chip leader Clint Wolcyn. Deeb quadrupled up right after but was still short, and it did not take long before he was eliminated in eighth-place on the final table bubble.

Wolcyn entered the final table with the chip lead, but Hennigan was right behind him. In one of the first hands of the final table, Hennigan took down a four-way Triple Draw pot to take the lead, which he would hold on to all the way until the end of the tournament.

Ryan Pedigo became the first final table casualty after losing most of his chips to Blom in Triple Draw before Hennigan took the rest of it in Stud. It took just under two hours before Pedigo was followed out the door by Wolcyn, who had taken some big hits from Blom and Wells to fall from the top of the counts to the middle of the pack. Brayden Gazlay then got the better of Wolcyn in a massive Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better hand to send off the start of day chip leader.

Hennigan began to significantly extend his chip lead over the rest of the field following the elimination of Wolcyn and, at one point, held more than three-quarters of the total chips in play with five remaining. In one notable hand during this period, Blom started with rolled up kings in a hand of Stud-8 only for Hennigan to make a full house on seventh street to leave the online legend short. Blom managed to outlast Gazlay who was knocked out in fifth by Hennigan before he fell in fourth place at the hands of Peter Gelencser.

Gelencser began three-handed play as the shortest stack and was next to fall after flopping top pair in Omaha, only for Hennigan to show up with the better kicker and turn two pair. That hand left Hennigan with nearly a 6:1 chip advantage going into heads-up play versus Wells. Hennigan switched from choosing Stud to No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw once heads-up play began and made short work of Wells, who could not close the gap and was ultimately eliminated after running his pat jack-ten into Hennigan’s pat jack-nine.

Final Table Results
1 John Hennigan United States $138,296
2 Robert Wells United Kingdom $90,339
3 Peter Gelencser Hungary $60,343
4 Viktor Blom Sweden $41,237
5 Brayden Gazlay United States $28,845
6 Clint Wolcyn United States $20,665
7 Ryan Pedigo United States $15,182

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