Lee Davy brings you his final round up of the 46th Annual World Series of Poker before concentrating his efforts on the Main Event, with news of a first-time bracelet victory for Connor Berkowitz.
Tony Cousineau and Tom McCormick must look at people like Connor Berkowitz and puke in their bathtub. Between them, the pair have cashed 124 times at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and Jack Effel still refuses to drape a gold bracelet around their hairy wrists. Berkowitz comes along, plays two events, and he’s in the club.
The 25-year old professional poker player, from New Jersey, created that job title back in January. Online poker is fully regulated in his hometown and he thought he had what it takes to earn a living playing on the likes of WSOP.com. Now he has a bankroll to boot.
Berkowitz exchanged his ‘apprentice’ badge, for one bearing the word ‘master’ after weaving his way through 4,422 players en route to a $487,784 first prize. It was the final side event before the big one, and one imagines we will see Berkowitz plopping in that ocean to swim with the sharks, mermaids and fish later this week.
“This is like a dream for me,” Berkowitz told the WSOP afterward. “I’m speechless. I literally don’t know what to say other than this is a dream come true. It’s every poker player’s dream.”
His victory is all the more impressive when you consider some of the talent that also made the final nine. Matt Matros is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, and he was making his first final table in three years. Faraz Jaka is a former World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year (POY) with over $5m in live tournament cashes. Take a peek below this copy and you will see they fell short when it mattered most.
According to the wonderful reports on WSOP.com, David Yu manhandled the final table for the most of the final day. Berkowitz slowly pulled up alongside him before the pair clashed in a blind on blind limped pot that would send Yu away from the false universe he had started to call his home.
The flop was [Jh] [Tc] [9c] when the pair got it in with Yu holding [Qh] [6c], for the straight draw, and Berkowitz holding [Th] [4h] for middle pin. Yu couldn’t knock it over. He was out in third, but on reflection must be happy with his performance.
That gave Berkowitz a 4:1 chip lead over John Armbrust – a man who finished 18th and 66th in the WSOP Main Events in 2007 & 2010 respectively. The final hand was dealt after Berkowitz shoved the button holding [Ts] [9h] and Armbrust called with [6h] [5d]. The flop of [8s] [5h] [2c] gave Armbrust middle pair, but the [Td] on the turn gave Berkowitz top pair. The [7s] on the river changed nothing. Berkowitz was declared the champion.
Final Table Results
1st. Connor Berkowitz – $487,784
2nd. John Armbrust – $301,615
3rd. David Yu – $217,173
4th. Jeffrey Dobrin – $160,496
5th. Faraz Jaka – $119,606
6th. John Gallaher – $89,890
7th. John Zimmerman – $68,098
8th. Matt Matros – $52,033
9th. Massimo Mosele – $40,085