When Greg Merson made his incredible run to a Main Event victory last year, Anthony Gregg was the best friend he could’ve asked for. The Maryland-based poker pro was at every rail, traveled with his friend to Europe, and helped keep Merson focused on poker, friendship, family, and the important things in life. He was a supportive friend while Merson had his moment in the spotlight.
Today, it is Anthony Gregg’s turn to shine though. The 26-year-old from Columbia, Maryland trumped one of the toughest fields of the year to win the $111,111 One Drop High Roller event, his first bracelet, and a massive payday of $4,830,619. The mild-mannered pro certainly kept his cool during this time of high stress for most any other player. In fact, he was so calm, cool, and collected during the late stages of play, he even registered the $25,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event and multi-tabled.
He will have plenty of time to play the $25,000 event’s Day 2 today, as he plowed through the final four players in the span of just 90-minutes en route to the marquee victory. He defeated fellow East Coast poker pro Chris Klodnicki heads-up for the bracelet shortly before 2:30pm PT. When asked if he had anything to say about the win, he simply shrugged, suggesting, “What is there to say?”
In the case of Anthony Gregg, his actions today certainly speak louder than any words could.
The final four of this $111,111 One Drop High Roller Event rivaled the star power of any basketball tournament. From a field of 166 top pros, businessmen, poker enthusiasts, and philanthropists, the four players who returned for the fourth and final day of play were all familiar faces to poker fans.
Perhaps the most familiar face of all was that of Antonio Esfandiari, who was looking to make it back-to-back One Drop bracelet victories after winning a record $18 million in last year’s Big One for One Drop Event. As Esfandiari joked on Twitter the night before, he was hoping to make it “One more time”, but it was not to be. He exited on just the fifth hand of the day when Klodnicki spiked a dramatic ace on the river to best Esfandiari’s pocket pair and send him to the rail in fourth place.
It took just four more hands to see another reversal of fortune at the final table, as Anthony Gregg doubled through the start of day chip leader Bill Perkins, leaving Perkins short on chips. The lone amateur in the line-up got it all-in just four hands later, with Gregg’s besting Perkins’ to eliminate him in third place. The venture capitalist and film investor collected $1,965,163 for his efforts.
That left the two young East Coast poker pros heads-up for the bracelet and the $4.8 million payday. It is a career-high payday for both players. The top five finishers in this event also join Benny Chen on the list of players with seven-figure WSOP paydays this year.
Klodnicki finished as runner-up in this event at his second final table of the summer. The finish puts him in the top five of the WSOP Player of the Year race. It also marks the second time the Philadelphia-area poker pro has been heads-up in a WSOP bracelet event. He finished second to Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi in last year’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
Here are the final table results from the $111,111 One Drop High Rollers Event:
1st: Anthony Gregg - $4,830,619
2nd: Chris Klodnicki - $2,985,495
3rd: William Perkins - $1,965,163
4th: Antonio Esfandiari - $1,433,438
5th: Richard Fullerton - $1,066,491
6th: Martin Jacobson - $807,427
7th: Brandon Steven - $621,180
8th: Nick Schulman - $485,029