07/07/17 01:49:35 AM PST
Elior Sion Wins Event #62: $50,000 Poker Players Championship ($1,395,767)
Elior Sion doesn't play many live tournaments, but there's one he looks forward to every year: the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the World Series of Poker. This year, he made it count, topping a field of 100 of the toughest poker players on the planet to win $1,395,767, a gold WSOP bracelet and a place in poker lore forever on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.
"It feels amazing," a visibly drained Sion said after finishing off Johannes Becker in a heads-up match that went about five hours. "It's like a long journey. You take it a step at a time. There were a few blips along the way, but as long as you still have chips, anything can happen.
"At the final table, the cards fell my way and I was fortunate enough to win."
In fact, what Sion had to overcome on Day 3 was more than a mere blip. With limits at 25,000/50,000, he lost a pot-limit Omaha pot with a combo draw to the set of queens held by Mike Wattel, leaving him with 60,000.
Sion doubled back through Wattel, then doubled again in a no-limit holdem flip against James Obst. From there, he climbed all the way to the chip lead at the three-table redraw.
"I got very lucky," he said. "In tournaments, anything can happen. You just have to believe, and sometimes, things can fall your way. Just goes to show you."
Sion said he even thought the recovery strengthened his image in the eyes of his opponents.
"I wasn't really frustrated at all," he said. "I just took it in stride. They were kind of fearful of me in that sense, when they see that nothing really fazed me."
Sion has long been a top player online. He has been a regular for years in some of the highest stakes mixed games and triple draw games there under the screen name "Crazy Elior." Despite that status as a feared and recognizable crusher, he was an afterthought coming into the final table, though it wasn't through any fault of his own.
All eyes were simply fixed on Daniel Negreanu. The ultra-popular Canadian superstar, had a deep, vocal rail crowded around the small viewing area in Amazon Room. Gunning for bracelet No. 7 and perhaps the greatest single accomplishment of his storied career, Negreanu came in as the chip leader and wasn't shy about voicing his confidence heading into the final day.
"I do, I really do," he told PokerNews at the conclusion of Day 4 when asked if he felt he was the favorite.
However, he did single out Sion as the player he was most worried about, and Sion happened to be seated on Negreanu's immediate left.
"Kid Poker" wound up walking out the door massively disappointed, having outlasted only short stack Paul Volpe for a fifth-place finish. He wore his emotions on his sleeve throughout, and it wasn't hard to see how much he wanted it. He simply never got anything going, losing seemingly every major pot he played.
Apparently, though, the respect between he and Sion was mutual.
"The person I feared the most was Daniel Negreanu," Sion said. "He knows what's going on almost always. He was my biggest threat.
"To see him not getting any cards at the final table... he really didn't have a chance to win. That kind of opened the gates and let me do my thing."
Once Negreanu fell, Isaac Haxton looked like the man to beat. However, he fell victim to a massive cooler when he ran kings into Becker's aces three-handed, sending Becker into heads-up play against Sion with a 3-1 lead.
The two went on a dinner break and then returned, engaging in a back-and-forth war, with big pots played across all of the eight games in the mix.
Pot-limit Omaha and razz in particular seemed to be the battlegrounds where the players tussled for the most chips. Sion had Becker on the brink in a PLO pot only to see him hit the river and double into the lead. Sion doubled right back though, and a strong run in the limit games saw him move into a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
"Johnny played really, really well," Sion said. "I've played with him online a bunch. He's just shown he's able to compete with the best in the world. I have a lot of credit for him and everyone else at the final table."
Winning the PPC is a dream for many poker players, particularly many of the most famed and recognizable faces populating the felt. However the competition and the money are what motivated the soft-spoken 26-year-old Brit to pursue a place on the Chip Reese trophy.
Reminiscent of Fedor Holz's words after winning the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop in 2016, Sion said he finds himself playing less and less these days and will be looking to do other things going forward. He named starting a business and getting involved in property as future goals.
"I don't see poker as a longtime goal for me," he said. "Poker's always been a stepping stone in life to be able to do things I really want to do. I think with this win, I'm finally able to do a few things that I have in the back of my mind."
|1||Elior Sion||United Kingdom||$1,395,767|
|3||Isaac Haxton||United States||$595,812|
|6||Paul Volpe||United States||$220,111|07/07/17 12:19:44 AM PST
Johannes Becker Eliminated in 2nd Place ($862,649)
Johannes Becker limped in and Elior Sion checked. On the flop, Sion checked and Becker bet. Sion check-raised and Becker called. The fell on the turn and Sion bet. Becker had less than two big bets behind, gave it brief consideration and moved all in, which Sion quickly called.
Johannes Becker: for a flush and low draw
Elior Sion: for a flopped full house
Becker was looking for a low card to chop it up and stay in contention, but instead the on the river gave Sion quads instead and Becker was eliminated in 2nd place for a payday of $862,649. The German missed out on his first gold bracelet on the 27th birthday, while Sion has been crowned champion.
A recap of today's action is to follow shortly.
|Elior Sion||25,005,000||2,220,000 |
|Johannes Becker||0||-2,220,000 |07/07/17 12:15:27 AM PST
Becker Folds, Leaving Himself Just Over 2 Million
Elior Sion limped in, and Johannes Becker raised. Sion called, and they saw flop. Becker check-called, then did so again on the turn. He checked a final time on the river and faced a bet.
Becker exhaled a deep breath, put his head in both hands, and thought for about 30 seconds before folding.
|Elior Sion||22,785,000||1,480,000 |
|Johannes Becker||2,220,000||-1,480,000 |07/07/17 12:06:03 AM PST
Becker Below 4 Million
Elior Sion raised to 450,000 from the button and Johannes Becker called from the big blind.
They checked to the turn of a board where Becker bet 400,000. Sion called, the river completed the board, Becker checked and Sion bet 1,200,000. Becker folded instantly and Sion collected the pot.
|Elior Sion||21,305,000||800,000 |
|Johannes Becker||3,700,000||-800,000 |07/07/17 12:02:45 AM PST
Sion's Kicker Plays
Elior Sion raised to 450,000 and Johannes Becker called. On the flop, both players checked and did so again on the turn. After the river, Becker checked and Sion bet 600,000. Becker quickly tossed in a single chip for the call and Sion flipped over for sevens and sixes with an ace kicker.
Becker mucked the and dropped below five million.
|Elior Sion||20,505,000||1,070,000 |
|Johannes Becker||4,500,000||-1,070,000 |07/07/17 12:00:30 AM PST
Expensive 2-7 Hand for Becker
2-7 Triple Draw
After winning a 2-7 triple draw hand, Johannes Becker lost the last hand of the same game type to see Elior Sion pull away further.
Becker raised and Sion made it three bets, which Becker called. Sion drew one card and Becker drew three cards, Sion bet and Becker called.
Sion drew one card again and Becker drew two cards. Sion bet and Becker called.
Sion drew one card for the third and final time, and Becker stood pat. Sion bet and Becker folded.
|Elior Sion||19,435,000||900,000 |
|Johannes Becker||5,570,000||-900,000 |07/06/17 11:52:44 PM PST
Sion's Nine Takes it
2-7 Triple Draw
Johannes Becker raised, Elior Sion reraised, and Becker called. Sion took one.
"Take two," someone from Sion's rail shouted.
Becker laughed and did indeed ask for two, but he said they should have told him to take three.
"Want to keep it realistic," came the response.
Sion bet and Becker called, and then each drew one. Sion bet again and Becker called, and Sion was pat. Becker still needed a card, and both checked on the end. Becker threw in , and Sion revealed .
|Elior Sion||18,535,000||2,930,000 |
|Johannes Becker||6,470,000||-2,930,000 |07/06/17 11:50:13 PM PST
Non-Completed Stud Hi-Lo Hand Goes the Distance
Sion: / /
Becker: / /
Elior Sion was the bring-in on third street and Johannes Becker called. Both players checked the same board on fourth street before Becker bet his open pair on fifth street. Sion raised, Becker called, and Becker led out again with his open two pair on sixth street. Sion called, Becker checked on seventh street, Sion bet, and Becker called.
Sion tabled for trip tens, Becker mucked, and Sion won the pot.
|Elior Sion||15,605,000||3,780,000 |
|Johannes Becker||9,400,000||-3,780,000 |07/06/17 11:43:40 PM PST
Sion Takes Three Quarters
Elior Sion: / /
Johannes Becker: / /
Johannes Becker completed with the and Elior Sion called with the . Sion checked fourth street when he picked up the and Becker bet with the , Sion then check-raised and becker called. Sion bet fifth street and Becker called before both checked sixth street.
On seventh street, Sion bet and Becker called. Sion showed for a flush and 9-8 low and took three quarters of the pot, as Becker only had for a pair of nines and the same low.
|Johannes Becker||13,180,000||-1,645,000 |
|Elior Sion||11,825,000||1,645,000 |07/06/17 11:38:24 PM PST
Becker Flops the Joint
Johannes Becker raised and called a reraise from Elior Sion. Sion bet the flop, and Becker raised. Sion called, then called more barrels on the turn and river. Becker showed for a flopped straight.
|Johannes Becker||14,825,000||3,605,000 |
|Elior Sion||10,180,000||-3,605,000 |07/06/17 11:36:04 PM PST
Sion Pulls Back Ahead
Johannes Becker raised from the button and Elior Sion called from the big blind.
The flop came down and Sion checked to Becker who continued. Sion check-raised, Becker called, and the turn fell. Sion bet, Becker called, the river fell, Sion bet again and Becker called.
Sion tabled for eights and sevens, Becker mucked and Sion took down the pot.
|Elior Sion||13,785,000||3,745,000 |
|Johannes Becker||11,220,000||-3,745,000 |07/06/17 11:27:50 PM PST
Level 28 started
|07/06/17 11:16:25 PM PST
No Action in PLO and Next Break
As soon as the game switched to pot-limit Omaha, Johannes Becker and Elior Sion both started laughing. "Have you ever played the 3x 9x game?" Sion joked. Becker shook his head.
Sion limped in and Becker checked. On the flop, Becker bet 180,000 and Sion folded.
Becker limped and Sion raised to 480,000, Becker called. The flop came and Sion's continuation bet for 600,000 won the pot.
Sion raised to 480,000 and Becker called. The flop came and Becker checked, then folded to a bet worth 425,000 by Sion.
Becker raised to 480,000 and Sion called. On the flop, Sion checked and folded after Becker had continued for 400,000.
Last but not least, Sion limped and Becker checked. The flop saw a check by Becker, a bet of 175,000 by Sion and a call by Becker. The turn was checked by both and Becker bet the river for 225,000 to claim the last hand of the lecvel uncontested.
Right after, the players were sent on their next 15-minute break.
|Johannes Becker||14,965,000||-1,060,000 |
|Elior Sion||10,040,000||1,060,000 |07/06/17 11:05:13 PM PST
"I Hate Having to Make Good Folds"
Johannes Becker raised, Elior Sion reraised, and Becker called. On the flop, Sion bet, Becker raised, and Sion called. Both checked the turn, and Sion checked the river. Becker bet and Sion took some thinking time.
"I hate having to make good folds," he said as he mucked.
|Johannes Becker||16,025,000||720,000 |
|Elior Sion||8,980,000||-720,000 |07/06/17 11:02:20 PM PST
Top Pair for Becker Takes It
Johannes Becker raised from the button and Elior Sion called.
The flop came down and Sion check-called a bet from Becker. The turn was the , Sion check-called another bet from Becker, and both players checked the river.
Becker tabled for a pair of kings, Sion mucked, and Becker won the pot.
|Johannes Becker||15,305,000||1,805,000 |
|Elior Sion||9,700,000||-1,805,000 |07/06/17 10:58:40 PM PST
One for Each in Omaha Hi-Lo
The last three hands of seven card stud all went to fifth street and Johannes Becker won two of them while Elior Sion claimed one. Neither went to any kind of showdown.
In Omaha hi-lo, the action started with a raise by Sion and Becker called. On the flop, Becker checked and called a bet by Sion before the turn went check, check. After the river, Becker bet and Sion folded.
Becker raised the next hand and Sion called. The flop came and the action was checked through. After the turn, both checked again and Sion bet the river. Becker sighed, gave it some consideration and called. Sion showed for two pair and a low, and that scooped the entire pot.
|Johannes Becker||13,500,000||795,000 |
|Elior Sion||11,505,000||-795,000 |07/06/17 10:48:31 PM PST
Sion Caught Bluffing
Johannes Becker completed with the and called a raise from Elior Sion, who had the . Sion proceeded to bet every street after catching an ace and then three hearts.
Becker: / /
Sion: / /
Becker thought about 30 seconds and then splashed in a river call. Sion start to show but then muttered that Becker had the winner. The German showed for kings and sevens and took the pot.
|Johannes Becker||12,705,000||3,105,000 |
|Elior Sion||12,300,000||-3,105,000 |07/06/17 10:48:12 PM PST
Sion's One Pair-is Good
Sion: / /
Becker: / /
Elior Sion was the bring-in, Johannes Becker completed, Sion raised, and Becker called.
Becker check-called bets from Sion on fourth and fifth street before leading out on sixth street. Sion called, Becker bet on seventh street, and Sion called.
Becker turned over his cards briefly and mucked, while Sion showed for a pair of tens to win the pot.
|Elior Sion||15,405,000||2,980,000 |
|Johannes Becker||9,600,000||-2,980,000 |07/06/17 10:40:10 PM PST
Becker Back in Narrow Lead
Johannes Becker raised to 425,000 and Elior Sion three-bet to 1,500,000, which Becker called. On the flop, Sion continued for 1,100,000 and Becker gave him a stare down before electing to raise to 2,500,000.
"How much do you have behind?" Sion asked. Becker counted his stack, then replied "almost six." Sion released his cards into the muck and the stacks went back to even.
|Johannes Becker||12,580,000||2,300,000 |
|Elior Sion||12,425,000||-2,300,000 |07/06/17 10:35:24 PM PST
"Welcome to Value Town"
2-7 Triple Draw
Elior Sion raised on the button and called a three-bet from Johannes Becker. Becker took one and Sion two. Becker bet and Sion called. Draws went the same, but this time, Sion folded to a bet.
Two hands later, Becker raised to 425,000 on the button and got action. They checked through to the river on . At that point, Sion checked and Becker bet 475,000. Sion called after about 10 seconds but couldn't beat for jacks and eights.
"Welcome to value town," someone yelled from the rail.
|Elior Sion||14,725,000||-2,280,000 |
|Johannes Becker||10,280,000||2,280,000 ||