Colombian pro makes the most of a second chance, winning first bracelet in $1,500 no-limit 2-7
Las Vegas, NV (7 June 2018) - Daniel Ospina’s first bracelet was three years in the making. After finishing second in the $1,500 no-limit 2-7 single draw in 2015, he came back in 2018 and won the event.
Ospina becomes Colombia’s first bracelet winner by defeating 260 entries and earning $87,678 on Thursday afternoon. Ospina came to Las Vegas prepared for success. When he was at the airport in Colombia to depart for the desert of Nevada, he made sure to pick up a vital accessory for the winner photo.
“I was walking past a gift shop that has all the Colombian stuff,” said Ospina. “I just happened to see that flag and thought ‘I should buy that flag in case I happen to win a bracelet.’ If I make Day 3 or go deep in a tournament, where am I going to go in Vegas to find a Colombian flag? I don’t know. I bought it and was like ‘I’m going to need this.’ Everything just came together. This is pretty crazy.”
Despite the confidence he displayed in preparing for a winner photo, Ospina wasn’t sure if he was going to continue to pursue poker as his life’s profession. Shortly after his runner-up finish in 2015, Ospina headed back to Colombia and took a few years away from the game.
“It was different things,” said Ospina “Uncertainty about whether or not I wanted to play more poker. I had a few good years and then I kind of had a few bad years. I didn’t know if I wanted to keep doing it. And I was trying to think of what other stuff I could do with my life… Then I had that inner fire and desire to come back and play poker again. I kind of just jumped into it without played much in the last two years. And here we are.”
Since he was in a more negative place mentally a few years ago, he thinks that he appreciated it more to win this year.
“If I had won it, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did today,” said Ospina. “And I’ve been thinking about that the last few months before the World Series. It’s just like ‘Wow, I’m in so much of a better state of mind and in my life. I’ve got everything more figured out. I was a little bit lost before, so to win it now is kind of a culmination of a process of growing and things that I’ve done personally. This is kind of icing on the cake.”
The 30-year-old, born in Canada, is a student of all the games, but won his first bracelet in one of his favorites. While not spread in a lot of places, no-limit 2-7 single draw incorporates a lot of intangible poker skills, which is what drew him to the game in the first place.
Even with all the time he took away from the game, the game allowed Ospina’s raw talent to take over and rise to the top.
“It’s just such a pure poker game,” said Ospina. “There’s some theory, but there is a lot of feel and a lot of leveling. I would play a different style against each opponent in general… I always liked to learn all the games when I started learning and deuce was always one of my favorite ones. It has some no-limit hold’em aspects, but it’s just like pure poker.”
The three-day tournament kicked off on Tuesday. It reached a final table late on Wednesday and still found a way to eliminate more than half of the final table before bagging up the final three players. Ospina bagged up the chip lead and took a sizable chip lead into Thursday’s final day against Shaun Deeb and Timothy McDermott.
“It didn’t weigh on me. It was weird,” said Ospina about finishing Day 2 with such a big lead. “I felt like everything came full circle from three years ago and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away. I really felt like good things were destined to happen.”
Cards got in the air at 2 p.m. and Ospina came out swinging. Within the first 30 minutes of play, Ospina sent Shaun Deeb home in third. Deeb drew one card and made a 9-6 low, but Ospina was dealt a pat 8-7 low and eliminated Deeb just a few spots shy of his third bracelet.
Deeb was eliminated from the event, but still had another Day 3 to play. Deeb was running back and forth between the final table of this event and the final day of the $1,500 no-limit hold’em big blind ante event, which was down to two tables when he headed back to that tournament.
Deeb’s elimination gave Ospina a massive chip lead at the start of his heads-up duel against McDermott. McDermott scored an early double up when they each drew one. Ospina paired his six and McDermott made an ace-low.
Ultimately, it was Ospina’s tournament to win. About 15 minute later, Ospina finished off McDermott. They got all in before the draw and each drew one. McDermott showed and ended up making a queen-low.
Ospina showed and peeled a four to make a 9-7 low and bring the first bracelet back to Colombia. It’s an honor that isn’t lost on Ospina.
“There are so many friends back home that would dream about having the opportunity to even play one,” said Ospina. “So, it’s a big deal for the country and for all the Colombian poker players. It’s a really tight community.”
Here are the final table results:
1st: Daniel Ospina - $87,678
2nd: Timothy McDermott - $54,180
3rd: Shaun Deeb - $36,330
4th: Mike Wattel - $24,290
5th: James Alexander - $17,494
6th: Brant Hale - $12,576
7th: Michael Gathy - $9,263
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