Wednesday June 10,2015 : U.S. AMATEUR WINS WORLD SERIES OF POKER MILLIONAIRE MAKER
27-year-old electrical engineer Adrian Buckley bests 7,275 entrants to claim $1,277,193 first prize.
With 7,275 entrants and a prize pool worth $9,821,250, the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker competition attracted huge interest at this year's World Series of Poker, and five days on it has produced a winner.
27-year-old Lockheed Martin electrical engineer Adrian Buckley from Dacono, Colorado will be taking home his first WSOP bracelet and the winner's prize of $1,277,193 after five days of grueling stress and competitive action.
It was a series of WSOP firsts for Buckley – his first tournament, his first cash, his first final table and his first bracelet.
"This is one hundred percent surreal; it makes no sense to me so far," Buckley said immediately after besting Spanish player Javier Zarco in heads-up play. "I don't even know what's going on yet. I feel extremely lucky … I fought through it. It's been crazy. It's been the run of the century, I don't see how it could ever happen. It doesn't make sense, especially to a guy for his first cash."
The win empowers Buckley with enough cash to enter as many events as he wants to in the tournament, and he has already decided to invest in a seat for this year's main event, and perhaps in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship. It also means he can clear his student loan and other debts.
The final table was a formidable affair, with four previous WSOP bracelet winners seated – Mike Sexton (1), Erick Lindgren (2), Justin Pechie (1) and David Miscicowski (1) Other braceklet holders who did not survive to the final table included Steve Zolotow, Blair Hinkle, Hoyt Corkins, Justin Bonomo, Larry Wright, Brian Rast, Ronnie Bardah and Jeff Madsen.
A big bonus for Buckley was that in Millionaire Maker he got to play against some of the biggest names in the game, including an idol of his from online poker days – Oliver Busquet, who fell in third place for $589,569.
Busquet's departure cleared the way for a heads up between Buckley and Spanish player Javier Zarco from Madrid, who embarked on a 93-hand exciting heads up in which the lead changed hands several times before Buckley managed to oust the aggressive and talented Spaniard with the runner up prize of $791,690.
"He is a fantastic heads-up player," Buckley enthused after the game. "He's extremely aggressive. It's really hard to put him on any hand at all. He's three-betting and four-betting light. We're seeing a lot of flops, and he plays post-flop way better than I do … it was just back and forth. We exchanged the lead three or four times at least, and I just told myself at the end, you just need to make the best move I know at the exact moment and time."
Other pay-outs for the table were:
4 Randy Pfeifer $441,465
5 Mohammad Siddiqui $333,038
6 David Miscikowski $253,093
7 Erick Lindgren $193,675
8 Justin Pechie $149,238
9 Mike Sexton $115,890