Day 3 completed
|Blinds||600,000 / 1,200,000|
Day 3 completed
It took three days for a field of 2,808 to be whittled down to one, and in the end, it was Salt Lake's Robert Mitchell who captured his first ever WSOP gold bracelet in Event #37: $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack. The 41-year old claimed the first-place prize of $297,537, the largest slice the nearly $2,000,000 prize pool had to offer. The American caught a hot streak of cards early on the final day and rode it all the way to the eventual gold.
Not for the first time this summer, the tournament was finished off in style: holding pocket aces, Mitchell's sole remaining opponent Marco Bognanni raised it up with pocket threes. Mitchell put in a three-bet with the blades, and Bognanni whispered the two words everyone holding aces wants to hear:
The four-bet shove was for more than fifty big blinds and a pot of nearly all the chips in play. Sweated by a large group of friends, after each of them hastily made their way to the Amazon room to rail their buddy, they saw five blanks roll off the deck. Mitchell jumped in the arms of his ecstatic rail, high-fived every single one of them and was lifted onto their shoulders.
The accomplishment means Mitchell can now call himself a WSOP gold bracelet winner. Validation is the first thing that sprung to the new champ's mind, although his love for the game outweighs the now-complete chase for the gold.
"Obviously, the money is surreal, but that's what poker players play for - the bracelet. To have one now on my resumé feels good and it gives me more validation as a poker player."
With someone sporting a love for the game as Mitchell does, his plans with the unexpected windfall of nearly $300k are clear: it's business as usual.
"I'll be here for the rest of the series. I'll just be grinding, going back at it."
Event #37: $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack Final Table Results
|1||Robert Mitchell||United States||$297,537|
|7||Benjamin Moon||United States||$42,524|
|8||Zachary Mullennix||United States||$32,561|
Mitchell was coming off a 17th place in Event #17: No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, which meant he won his first table and got close to winning the second.
"Actually, that Shootout helped me a lot, getting so close to a bracelet," Mitchell said. "I kind of played a little too fast three-handed, here I realized I was gonna pick my time, be in the moment, and play my best game. That tournament helped me win this one."
Whereas others may feel a deep run like that may not happen on short notice - or ever again - the Shootout bolstered Mitchell's spirits that he was close to winning the big one.
“One-hundred per cent it did. I knew I was going to have another shot at it. I’ve been playing poker for a long time and felt like it was long overdue. It’s awesome.”
Action of the Day
While his spirit was high, the cards certainly fell Mitchells way too. Especially in the early stages, it seemed he could do no wrong as the field of 26 that started the day quickly got whittled down to 12 in the early stages. Mitchell, who started the day with just 20 big blinds, quickly working up his way to the biggest stack overall after winning several key coin flips.
Start-of-the-day chip leader Hamid Feiz was one to fall to Mitchell and finished in 15th place when Mitchell check-raised a king-high flush all in on the river. Feiz called, mucked his cards, and saw a depressing day for him come to an end before the big money was divided.
The final table officially consisted of two previous bracelet winners - Nick Jivkov and Benjamin Moon - but it would only be the latter that took a seat on the Amazon Thunderdome stage. Jivkov was knocked off at the same time Josh Boulton busted at another table, and Jivkov took ninth place without playing a hand at the final table. There would be no repeat performance for Moon either, as he ran his pocket nines into Axel Hallay's pocket tens to bust in seventh.
Six players made themselves up for a final table live streamed on CBS All Access. Despite the deep-stacked play allowed by the structure, Kamel Mokhammad quickly fell to Mitchell by jamming his jack-ten into Mitchell's ace-ten. Bognanni then snapped off Benjamin Underwood in fifth with a flopped full house against a rivered straight. Not too long after, Francois Evard bowed out in fourth after whiffing ace-queen versus Hallay's fives.
That left Hallay, Bognanni, and Mitchell to duke it out three-handed with deep stacks. The trio did so for hours on end, with nearly equal stacks at some point. About 60 hands after Evard's bust, it would be Hallay who'd be the first to break. The Frenchman, backed by a boisterous rail of countrymen as is tradition, three-bet shoved ace-jack over a Mitchell open, only to be snapped off by ace-king. Five blanks later, the field was heads-up.
With more than fifty bigs for each player and hour-long levels, a long grind seemed to loom ahead for both. Instead, some perfect timing with aces gave Mitchell his victory soon into the heads-up battle. There was only one thing he could think of; he ran to his rail and celebrated the improbably-quick victory with his friends.
"It's such a surreal feeling to have everybody here on the side. I've known the guys for a long time, throughout the Salt Lake community, it was an awesome feeling. I was so happy I could win it for them too."
Hand #137: Marco Bognanni aised to 3,000,000 on the button, Robert Mitchell three-bet to 10,000,000 in the big blind, Bognanni four-bet shoved all in for 53,000,000 and Mitchell snap-called him off.
Just like that, 106 out of the 112 big blinds left in play were in the middle.
"Hooold!" Mitchell's rail yelled. He ran over to them and high-fived them in advance. The flop came down to keep him way ahead, and after the turn Mitchell only needed to fade the treys to win his first-ever WSOP bracelet.
The dealer burned and turned the on the river and Mitchell ran over to his ecstatic rail. He high-fived every one of them before one of his friends took him on their shoulders in celebration.
Bognanni's amazing run in Event #37 came to an end in second place, parlaying an $800 investment into a $183,742 score.
Stay right here for a full recap of the day's action.
Hand #132: Robert Mitchell called and Marco Bognanni checked behind and then bet out 1,5 million on the flop, which took down the pot.
Hand #133: After Bognanni called and Mitchell checked, Mitchell then check-called a bet of 1.5 million from Bognanni, but then check-folded to Bognanni's 4.1 million bet on the turn.
Hand #134: Mitchell raised to 3 million but folded after Bognanni three-bet to 10.3 million.
Hand #135: After Bognanni called and Mitchell checked, the two players then checked it down to the river on a board of and Mitchell took the pot.
Hand #136: Mitchell raised it to 2.5 million and Bognanni made the call. After both players checked to the turn on a board of , Bognanni bet out 4.2 million and Mitchell folded.
Hand #129: Marco Bognanni limped in and Robert Mitchell checked. Bognanni's bet of 1,500,000 on the flop did the trick.
Hand #130: Mitchell raised to 2,500,000 and Bognanni called. The flop was and Mitchell won it with a bet of 3,000,000.
Hand #131: Bognanni limped in and Mitchell shook him out with a raise to 4,200,000.
Hand #123: Robert Mitchell got a walk.
Hand #124: Mitchell limped in, Marco Bognanni raised to 4,200,000 and Mitchell folded.
Hand #125: Bognanni raised to 2,600,000, Mitchell three-bet to 8,000,000 and Bognanni folded.
Hand #126: Mitchell raised to 2,500,000 and Bognanni folded.
Hand #127: Bognanni raised to 2,600,000 and Mitchell was the first in five hands to see a flop. The flop came down and both players checked. On the turn, Mitchell checked, Bognanni bet 2,000,000, and Mitchell folded.
Hand #128: Mitchell raised to 3,500,000 and Bognanni called. The flop came and Bognanni check-called 2,000,000 from Mitchell. The turn went check/check.
The river completed the club draw and both players checked. Mitchell flung open for a pair, which was good enough to win.
Hand #117: Robert Mitchell got a walk.
Hand #118: Marco Bognanni's turn to walk.
Hand #119: After Bognanni just called preflop and Mitchell checked his big blind, Mitchell then check-called Bognanni's bet of 1.5 million on the flop. Both players then checked the turn and river and Mithcell scooped the pot.
Hand #120: Mitchell decided to just call and it was then Bognanni's turn to check in his big blind. Bognanni then check-called a 1.2 million chip bet from Mitchell. Both players checked the turn, and after Bognanni led out for 3.2 million and Mitchell made the call, Bognanni tabled for the winner.
Hand #121: Bognanni raised to 2.6 million, Mitchell three-bet to 8 million and Bognanni folded.
Hand #122: Mitchell made it 3 million to play and Bognanni called. Bognanni check-called Mitchell's 2.5 million bet on the flop, and after both players checked the turn, Bognanni bet out 5 million on the river and took down the pot.
Hand #111: Marco Bognanni limped in and Robert Mitchell checked. Mitchell bet 1,000,000 on the flop and got called. He check-folded the turn against a bet of 2,500,000.
Hand #112: Mitchell raised to 2,500,000 and Bognanni folded.
Hand #113: Bognanni raised to 2,500,000 and Mitchell called. On the flop, Mitchell check-folded to a bet of 2,000,000.
Hand #114: Limp Mitchell, check Bognanni. The flop was and Bognanni check-folded to a bet of 1,200,000.
Hand #115: Bognanni raised to 3,000,000 and Mitchell called. The flop came and got checked twice. The rolled off on the turn and got checked again.
On the river, Mitchell took it with a bet of 2,500,000.
Hand #116: Mitchell raised to 2,500,000 and Bognanni saw a flop. The flop was and once again, two quick checks. The turn didn't entice the players to move either, but the on the river did. It was Bognanni who bet 3,000,000 and that was the end of it.
Hand #110: Robert Mitchell raised to 2,000,000 on the button and Marco Bognanni folded the small blind. Axel Hallay three-bet shoved 18,300,000 from the big blind and Mitchell called it off.
Mitchell had Hallay dominated and the Frenchman needed one his jacks if he was going to survive. The flop brought and the French railed yelled for a "Trois", a three, to chop the pot.
Neither the turn nor river was what he was looking for, and now it was Mitchell's rail who erupted in cheers. Hallay shook his two opponent's hands and made his way off the stage in 3rd place, receiving a payday of $134,817.