After more than four hours of heads-up battle with Men Nguyen, Jeffrey Papola has finally won his first WSOP bracelet. This is his second shot at it in four days as well. He finished second in the previous six-handed event, a $2,500, outlasting 1,243 people. Then he turned around and started all over again in the $5,000 six-handed tournament. And this time, the law student/poker pro from New York City bested all 567 opponents and closed the deal. The $667,443 he gets for first boosts Papola to more than $1.1 million in career WSOP earnings. Men Nguyen refused to go quietly but after surviving a remarkable number of all-ins, he simply couldn't hang on any longer. Though he didn't pick up a second 2010 bracelet, Nguyen earned enough points for his second place finish to tie Michael Mizrachi and James Dempsey for the top spot in the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Twelve players returned for Day 3, meaning six had to hit the rail pre-final table. Lucas Greenwood was the first to go in 12th place, followed by French pro Anthony Roux. Evan Panesis, Paul Sheng, and Darren Elias were also eliminated to bring the field down to seven. Taylor McFarland and Erick Lindgren had been tangling in big pots all day, and it seemed inevitable one would take out the other. On the final table bubble, McFarland picked the wrong spot to test Lindgren and wound up out in seventh.
Lindgren outlasted McFarland to get to the final table, but he didn't make it any further than that. Lindgren picked up queens and came very close to folding to Men Nguyen's cold four-bet, but E-dog made the call and was eliminated in sixth place at the hands of Nguyen's pocket kings. Orlando Delacruz was next to go in fifth, followed minutes later by Bruno Launais in fourth. After all that action, Nguyen, Papola, and Mark Radoja played three-handed for three hours without an elimination before dispatiching a disappointed Radoja in third place.
Papola held a better than 3:1 chip lead when heads-up play began. Two hours later, Nguyen took over the chip lead. And for the next two hours, they traded it back and forth until Papola finally finished off the Master.
The next six max event, the much anticipated debut of the $25,000 Six Handed No-Limit Hold'em tournament, will begin on Wednesday, June 30th. Can Papola final table that one too? Stay tuned to PokerNews for live coverage of that event and every one in between.