Frank Maggio capped off a four-and-a-half-hour final table to win his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and $617,303 in Event #31: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship. This year's event was the largest ever as a total of 5,389 entries contributed to the $4,850,100 prize pool.
Maggio sealed the win after only eight hands of heads-up play against runner-up William Murray. Two hands before the final hand, Maggio gained the chip lead when he five-bet shoved on Murray.
"I had tens," said Murray. "I just decided I wasn't going to back down."
Two hands later, the two players got all in on a queen-high flop. Maggio three-bet shoved and Murray called with middle pair against Maggio's pocket jacks.
"I wasn't that concerned with the three. I was just worried about spades," said Maggio about the hand.
By the time the board ran out, the spades didn't come and Maggio was $617,303 richer. Maggio won his first WSOP bracelet on his third-ever WSOP cash.
"I've been coming out here every year since I turned fifty," he said, "to play the Senior's event and some other stuff."
"I cashed a couple years ago and this year's a big surprise."
Seniors Championship Final Table Results
|1||Frank Maggio||United States||$617,303|
|2||William Murray||United States||$381,233|
|3||Dieter Dechant||United States||$281,691|
|4||Mark Lillge||United States||$209,715|
|5||Anthony Licastro||United States||$157,321|
|6||Gina Bacon||United States||$118,923|
|7||Lewis LeClair||United States||$90,594|
|8||Paul Spitzberg||United States||$69,552|
|9||Dan Heimiller||United States||$53,817|
The final table started when Dan Heimiller was eliminated on the very first hand of play. He four-bet shoved pocket jacks from the big blind and Murray, who had three-bet from the small blind, called with pocket kings.
Paul Spitzberg busted nine hands later in eighth place when he got it all in with ace-king versus the pocket tens of eventual third-place finisher Dieter Dechant.
It only took six more hands to lose the seventh-place finisher, Lewis Leclair. He was eliminated by Murray when the two got all in on an eight-high flop. Murray had a pair of sevens with an ace kicker and Leclair had pocket queens. Murray rivered an ace and took the chip lead with over 9,000,000 chips.
Gina Bacon was the next to go. Her stack had dwindled down to a little over three big blinds before she shoved with ace-jack and ran into the pocket queens of Mark Lillge.
"I got good hands at just the right moments," said Maggio.
The hand that sent Anthony Licastro to the rail in fourth place was the second-biggest pot of the final table — second only to the final hand. Licastro had been very aggressively raising big amounts and he played a massive 14,000,000 pot with Maggio. The single pot was worth more than half the chips in play and set Maggio up for the eventual win.
"I smooth-called with ace-king suited and [Licastro] shoved for a rather large amount. I hit an ace and a king on the flop and I really needed to hit that hand or I would have been out the door."
Mark Lillge was the short stack and busted seven hands after Licastro. He got it all in against Murray with eights and Murray paired one of his two overcards on the flop.
Murray earned his fourth knockout of the final table when he got all in against third-place finisher Dieter Dechant with a set of fives. Dechant had flopped a wheel but couldn't fade the board which paired on the river and was eliminated in third place.
Maggio is a "union sprinkler fitter in Chicago" and says he plans on continuing to play WSOP Circuit events at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. He will also likely be back next year to defend his title.