Today there were 12 players returning to take their shot at the bracelet and the $326,440 first prize. At the end of it all, it was Simeon Naydenov with his head held high and his country's flag draped around his shoulders as he held the World Series of Poker Bracelet for his winner's photo. Naydenov was making his second appearance at a shootout final table this year and while he finished tenth in that event, he was able to do today what he couldn't then.
It only took about seven hours to reach a winner here in Event #36, but play today began with 12 men all trying to reach the final table. With the 12 players beginning at two six handed tables, two had to fall for the players to reach the official final table. It looked as if Nacho Barbero would be one of the first to fall as he found himself on a short stack, but he was able to double up to save is tournament life. The first to fall today was Vladimir Kochelaevskiy, who showed up late and left first. Kochelaevskiy was crippled after his couldn't catch up to Salman Bebehani's and he was eliminated on the next hand. Next to fall was Kevin Vandersmissen who was eliminated when his ran into Mike Watson's .
It was 28 hands into the final table when Sumanth Reddy was eliminated. He got his money in good, but Andrew Kloc ran better and eliminated Reddy from the tournament. The next three to fall were Noah Bronstein, Salman Behbehani, and Jan Kropacek. Kropacek got off to an early chip lead at the final table, but ended up doubling up Naydenov with a combo draw against Naydenov's aces. It was Mike Watson who fell next. He moved all in with an overpair of s against Naydenov's s, but a nine on the turn ended Watson's tournament and he left in sixth place. Falling after Watson was Nacho Barbero, who moved all in with and was instantly called by Tobias Wenker's . Barbero couldn't catch up and he was sent to the rail in fifth place.
Coming in fourth was Wenker himself. He moved all in from the small blind with and was snap called by Jake Schwartz's aces. The board didn't improve Wenker at all and he was sent home with fourth place prize money. The third to last man to drop was Andrew Kloc. Kloc four bet shoved all in with and was snap called by Naydenov who was holding . The board brought both players a full house, but Naydenov held a better one and he scored the knock out.
Heads up play only lasted 10 hands. Just before the last hand of the match, both Naydenov and Schwartz took a shot of tequila. That shot may have proved to be Schwartz's downfall because on the next hand he ran his top two pair into Naydenov's nut flush. Naydenov faded Schwartz's outs and that was it, the match was over. Schwartz walked away with second place prize money for his efforts while Naydenov took down $326,440 and a World Series of Poker bracelet for his accomplishments.
Lynn Gilmartin spoke with Naydenov after his win:
That's it for us at PokerNews.com here in Event #36: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. Be sure to stay tuned to all our coverage of the 2013 World Series of Poker.