The first Event of this year's 39th World Series of Poker is over, meeting expectations in terms of the number and quality of players, prize-pool and most of all a great display of poker talent and action. The final table of the $10 000 buy-in World Championship Pot-Limit Hold'em tournament lasted nine hours, ending in an exciting heads up between Andy Bloch and Nenad Medic in which the latter truimphed, taking home the main prize of $794 112.
It was no mean achievement, playing against opposition that included WSOP bracelet holders like Mike Sexton and Kathy Liebert, and seasoned players such as Andy Bloch, Patrik Antonius, Phil Laak, Chris Bell, Amit Makhija and Mike Sowers.
Going into the final table, Bloch held a substantial chip lead of almost a million, well ahead of his nearest rival Medic on 1.2 million and it served him well, taking him through to the heads up where Medic reversed the positions, starting heads up play with a 2 million chip advantage.
Phil Laak was the comedian of the table, capering victoriously and flashing comical post-it notes at the television cameras before being bundled out in ninth position by Patrik Antonius for $74 448. The 21 year old Mike Sowers was next, a victim to Mike Sexton and finishing in eighth place with $99 264.
Seventh place went to Patrik Antonius, who fell to Andy Bloch and collected $124 080 for his time and trouble. Then it was Chris Bell's turn to head for the exit in sixth place on $157 168 after a clash with Nenad Medic. Andy Bloch vs. Amit Makhija saw the latter head for the rail in fifth position, earning $198 528.
After the dinner break and down to four-handed action, Bloch remained in the strongest position by a million in chips, trailed by Medic and Sexton who were virtually tied and Liebert, the low stack.
Mike Sexton played an outstanding game but it wasn't enough to prevent him being eliminated by Liebert two hours later, taking the fourth place and a useful $248 160. Kathy Liebert's truimph over the WSOP veteran was shortlived, as she was sent home in third place by Medic for $306 064, opening the way to the heads up between Bloch and Medic with the latter holding a 2 million chip lead.
One hour later it was all over, with Medic truimphant and holding his first WSOP bracelet, and Bloch headed home with a $448 048 second placing pay packet.
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