The 1993 World Series of Poker Main Event winner, Jim Bechtel, ends 26-year drought with his second title, and father-to-be, Jorden Fox, wins his first.
With so much high-tech weaponry charging around the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino this time of year, it’s awe-inspiring to see a dreadnought like Jim Bechtel smashing through a World Series of Poker (WSOP) field.
After winning the 91-entrant Event #21: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, Bechtel told the press pack that he doesn’t play much poker these days, a statement backed up by his Hendon Mob profile with only four live tournament victories since 1979, none since 1993, and no ITM finishes in four-years. It didn’t stop him hailing ‘taxi’ for all eight of his final table opponents in this one.
Bechtel started the final table in the middle of the crowd. Jean-Robert Bellande, who won his first bracelet last year, was in pole position, and some heavyweights were bringing up the rear, including bracelet winners Paul Volpe, Galen Hall and Prahlad Friedman. Praise should also go to Ajay Chabra who made the Championship final after finishing runner-up to Yuval Bronshtein in the baby version.
It seemed for all the world that Bellande would win it, especially when he held 40% of the chips during five-handed play, but the high stakes cash grinder started to feel as comfortable as a naked man wearing an itchy wool sweater, eventually hitting the rail in the fifth spot. Bechtel took the title after beating Vincent Musso, heads-up, and with it, set a new record for the longest gap between bracelet wins (26-years).
Final table results
1. Jim Bechtel – $253,817
2. Vincent Musso – $156,872
3. Darren Elias – $109,738
4. Prahlad Friedman – $78,157
5. Jean-Robert Bellande – $56,693
6. Pedro Bromfman – $41,897
7. Paul Volpe – $31,556
8. Galen Hall – $24,232
9. Ajay Chabra – $18,979
Three more folks who downed double-double expresso shots in this thing included the French phenom, Julien Martini (11th), one of the best non-pros in the world in Dan Shak (12th) and the canny Canadian, Mike Watson (13th).
Jorden Fox wins Event #22: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em
From a 91-entrant tournament to one containing 3,253-entrants, and Jorden Fox managed to convince his heavily pregnant wife that a three-tournament trip to the WSOP was in order, and ended up banking close to half a million dollars in the last of those three shots.
Fox is no stranger to the belly-tickles of the WSOP. Last year, he made the final four tables of the WSOP Main Event before his incredible run ended in 27th position.
The final table of Event #22: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em included Jeffrey Smith, who won a 1,940-entrant $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em bracelet in 2014, and Scott Vener who finished 5/454 in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo bracelet event in 2015.
But the spoils went to Fox, for only his second-ever live tournament win, although he did make the final table of a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em bracelet event in 2015, finishing seventh.
Final table results
1. Jorden Fox – $420,693
2. Jayachandra Gangaiah – $259,834
3. Jeffrey Smith – $191,789
4. Simon Legat – $142,648
5. Marco Garcia – $106,917
6. Ryan Teves -$80,760
7. Scott Vener – $61,480
8. Andrew Glauberg – $47,173
9. Christopher Andler – $36,484
Three more players dashing to the dark side of the moon in this one included the WPT Player of the Year, Erkut Yilmaz (12th), bracelet winner, Timur Margolin (20th) and the million-time Asian Poker Tour’s (APT) Player of the Year, Sam Razavi (25th).