Army veteran wins first bracelet and a last-longer in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
June 25, 2017 (Las Vegas, NV) - On Day 1 of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event, Nathan Gamble entered a last longer bet with five other players. Three days later, he won both the last longer event and the entire tournament.
Gamble defeated the 830-player field and put on an impressive performance at the final table to win his first bracelet and $223,339. Thanks to nearly a lifetime of playing the game, Gamble felt that this was one of his best games and jumped in a last longer with five other very good players, including bracelet winners Leif Force and Calen McNeil.
"It was three bracelet winners and me," said Gamble. "I know my game and this one is strong."
Despite the confidence to hop in the last longer on Day 1, Gamble still was overcome with emotion after taking it down on Sunday night.
"Right now, I'm in shock," said the 27-year-old from Texas. "Pot-limit Omaha and pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better. I used to play it growing up as like a 13 or 14-year-old kid. So, I have extreme confidence coming into this. I've played four Omaha tournaments this World Series and cashed on three. So honestly, I felt better going into this than any other event."
Gamble was confident, but it was still his first time playing at a WSOP final table. It can be tough for anyone to keep their calm and play their game, but Gamble it wasn't Gamble's first time playing under bright lights. He drew on experiences from his run in last year's Main Event to help keep his nerves in check.
"Last year, I had the Main Event cash and made it to Day 5, where they put me on the secondary feature table," said Gamble. "That got my nerves. I had Greg Raymer on my left and a couple other guys. So, just having that exposure and having that time in a game that I'm extremely comfortable with helped a lot."
Gamble bested a final table that featured a top professional at the top of his game, Ray Henson, and two-time bracelet winner Marco Johnson. He may not have had the most extensive tournament resume, but he's had a ton of experience outside the poker world that puts things in perspective for him.
He enrolled in the Military and was active duty from 2013-2016. After that, he spent some time traveling the world before settling in Hawaii wit his fiance.
"I started playing [poker] when I was 13, so poker has always been a big part of me," he said. "I think it's just about maintaining a balanced life. I got engaged recently and been living in Hawaii and it's just having the ability to realize that poker isn't everything. It's the people around you. It's about everywhere you end up in life that you are able to make a difference at. So, hopefully I can make a difference after this."
The most immediate impact he plans on making is his father. Gamble plans on giving his first bracelet to him as a thank you for supporting him through his poker career and being the one who actually got him into the game.
"My Dad put together tournaments, just home game and has always supported me in this," said Gamble. "And honestly, he doesn't have a chance of getting one. So, this one goes to him. It means the world to me."
The third and final day started with 21 players remaining and several strong players still in the field. Three-time bracelet winner Barry Greenstein, Kevin Saul and Jason Gooch were among the top pros who were alive at the start of the day, but were unable to survive long enough to make the final table.
Gamble dominated the entire day. He started near the bottom of the chip counts, but kept his chip stack trending in the right direction throughout the day's action. Throughout the first few levels of the day, he took over the chip lead and took that lead into the final table. He never let it go and went wire-to-wire for the victory.
"I absolutely ran good," said Gamble. "Going into today, I had 250,000. I think it was good for like 17th place. There was a cluster of a bunch of people together. I just destroyed the first table because I felt like I was playing better than them and then I hit an one-outer to get us to two tables. Every since then, it's just been everything I needed came true."
Wendy Weissman was eliminated in ninth place by Michael Gross to leave the table with just eight players and over the next couple of hours, nobody was eliminated and Gamble continued to chip up. Gamble eliminated Millard Hale in eighth place with the nut flush and with seven players left, Gamble had nearly half of the chips in play.
Fernando Macia was eliminated in seventh by Henson just a few hands later and it was Miguel Use hitting the rail in sixth by Adam Hendrix. Use got all in on a flop of with against Hendrix's . The turn was the and the river was the .
Hendrix, who was playing in his first-ever WSOP event, won the pot with two pair and the final five players went on a dinner break.
After they came back from dinner, Gamble really turned on the heat, eliminating the final four players standing between him and a bracelet in less than an hour. He eliminated Johnson in fifth place, Michael Gross in fourth, and Henson in third.
He took a 10-to-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Hendrix and that heads-up battle didn't last very long before Gamble had the last of the chips in play.
Staying true to his last name, Gamble already has plans for the first place money.
"I heard a rumor that there is a $10K tomorrow," he said. "So, I think that might be on the table right now."
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Final Table Results:
1st: Nathan Gamble - $223,339
2nd: Adam Hendrix - $137,992
3rd: Ray Henson - $96,555
4th: Michael Gross - $68,544
5th: Marco Johnson - $49,379
6th: Miguel Use - $36,106
7th: Fernando Macia - $26,803
8th: Millard Hale - $20,205
9th: Wendy Weissman - $15,470