Las Vegas (19 June 2017) – Christopher Frank earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet tonight after emerging victorious in Event #33: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. Frank bested a field of 1,698 players to earn $384,833.
"I don’t think it really has sunk in yet," a clearly elated Frank said after securing his victory. "But it’s a very good feeling. I’ve been playing the live circuit for pretty long, and I’ve always dreamed of winning something big. And now I’ve done it."
This is not the first bracelet for Frank, a 22-year old from Germany, now living in Austria. It's also the biggest live score of the young pro's burgeoning poker career. Before today, he had just over $1,100,000 in live tournament earnings, and his biggest payday had been for £112,000 ($168,540) in 2013. He more than doubled that amount today.
The final table was a fast-paced affair, lasting only about four hours. Frank explained that it really boiled down to two players running hot. "Ryan [Leng] had good hands and played well and was busting people, and we were shorthanded pretty quickly. Then I just ran super good. And I think I played well, but I just had really good situations and spots, and it was pretty easy because I had such good hands." Once the final table began, Leng and Frank were the only players to eliminate any opponents, scoring all eight bustouts between them.
The third and final day started with 22 players out of a starting field of 1,698. The most recognizable face in the field likely belonged to Max Pescatori (recognizable not only for his four career WSOP bracelets, but also his bright green hair). Pescatori made it to the final table, but his fifth bracelet will have to wait for another day, as he eventually bowed out in eighth place ($39,060).
Day 3 began at noon on Monday, and at about 5:00 p.m. the 22 players had been reduced to 10. They combined to the unofficial final table, and Kami Hudson was eliminated in 10th place about half an hour later, leaving the official final table of nine players. It was a strong final table that included four previous bracelet winners: Pescatori, Arkadiy Tsinis, Georgios Sotiropoulos, and Michael Gagliano. Gagliano just barely missed out on his second bracelet just a few days ago, finishing in third place in Event #27: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed. Gagliano finished in ninth, and Sotiropoulos was eliminated in sixth. Tsinis eventually ended up in third, ensuring the winner would be a first time bracelet winner.
Another of the final tablists, Pratyush Buddiga, came close to finally breaking through at the World Series. The 28-year old Buddiga already has a stellar tournament career with over $6,000,000 in recorded earnings. Most of that success has not come at the WSOP, however. Buddiga came close to filling that gap on his poker resume, but ended up finishing in fourth place for $124,615. Both the finishing position and payout are his best ever at the WSOP.
Frank is the first bracelet winner from Germany in 2017, and now players from nine countries have earned victory at this year's WSOP. (The others are the US, UK, Russia, Venezuela, Canada, Australia, Spain, and India.)
Of the 1,698 entrants, 258 made the money. Other players earning a payout include Ray Henson (248th place), Jeff Gross (244th), Niall Farrell (224th), Garrett Greer (210th), Nam Le (191st), Norbert Szecsi (187th), John Strzemp (182nd), David Pham (178th), Griffin Benger (162nd), Roland Israelashvili (157th), Brandon Cantu (144th), Allen Cunningham (141st), Mel Wiener (108th), Jason Les (90th), Scott Davies (87th), and Phillip Hui (54th).
LIVE UPDATES FROM THE EVENT Event #33: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Final Table Results (POY points in parentheses):
1 – Christopher Frank – $384,833 (214.8)
2 – Ryan Leng – $237,776 (183.0)
3 – Arkadiy Tsinis – $171,208 (164.0)
4 – Pratyush Buddiga – $124,615 (147.5)
5 – Grant Denison – $91,699 (133.2)
6 – Georgios Sotiropoulos – $68,226 (120.7)
7 – Noah Vaillancourt – $51,332
8 – Max Pescatori – $39,060 (100.2)
9 – Michael Gagliano – $30,063 (91.9)