The third new bracelet went to Ankush Mandavia (29), who was victorious in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels) event, collecting an impressive $548,139 and the first gold bracelet of his career after besting a field of 524 which generated a prize pool of $2,46 million.
It was the biggest live tournament win yet for Mandavia, a respected online high stakes player with the handle Piston 87 who hails from Georgia.
Surviving a field packed with stars and a tough final table that included fourteen bracelet-holder Phil Hellmuth, Mandavia entered the heads up phase on an even footing with Californian player Daniel Strelitz in what looked likely to be a prolonged battle.
However, in the event Mandavia quickly gained superiority and within the first fifteen minutes he sent Strelitz packing with a second place prize of $338,774.
Referencing his burgeoning live tournament career, Mandavia commented:
“I’ve had a lot of deep runs in the past, but until now had never closed the deal. So, it’s really gratifying to win. It feels really good.”