06/11/18 10:09:44 PM PDT
Jeremy Wien Conquers Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710 After Epic Heads-Up Battle
After one of the finest wars of attrition the World Series of Poker has ever seen, Jeremy Wien emerged victorious in Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em, defeating a field of 518 players for a $537,710 payday and his first gold bracelet.
"It's pretty surreal. I never really actually expected that it will ever happen but I dreamed about it," Wien said.
While the field boasted a ton of great poker players, there was mainly one rival who proved to be an incredibly tough obstacle for Wien: Spanish professional player David Laka. When the two found themselves heads-up, betting on Wien would be a very long shot. Not only he was a 4-1 underdog but Laka is also a short-handed and heads-up specialist.
Everything was lined up for Laka to become the champion. The 21-year-old was steamrolling the final table - until he clashed with Wien.
"I'd actually played the heads-up tournament last week. It gave me a lot of confidence that I could compete against these guys," Wien said, noting that he won his first match and lost in the second round.
Wien played an unorthodox style heads-up. With the full big blind ante, not many players tend to fold their buttons. Wien utilized a completely opposite strategy. Through 138 hands they played heads-up, Wien gave 32 walks to his rival. Yet, he still managed to keep his chances very much live. Each time he worked his stack back up, and while Laka downed him back to where they started, Wien just kept coming back.
"I had a plan, which was to be more deliberate and folding my button. We were joking that they announced that David got a walk for a 100th time."
Remarkably, Wien's comeback wasn't a case of many double ups as one would imagine as he entered most of his hands out of position. Wien needed help only once when he got it in preflop with ace-nine against pocket tens, facing his elimination. An ace on the flop saved him in the tournament, pushing him to the lead. Since then, it was anyone's game as both players were mostly neck and neck and the lead kept switching back and forth.
It took over four hours until the heads-up culminated. With increasing blinds, the stacks were as shallow as 25 big blinds on average. Then it happened: Laka was dealt pocket queens while Wien peeled aces. They didn't stuff it in pre, but the cards were turned on their backs on a jack-high flop. Aces held and Wien had his opponent barely covered to finally tackle him.
"He did tell me at the last break that he's a heads-up specialist," Wien said, adding that he tried not to look up at the players he was facing off against. "Obviously, I know who Jake Schindler and David Peters are."
"I have a style that's very different than them," Wien said. "I'm very nitty. It's a little different heads-up but in general, throughout the tournament, I played pretty tight and tried to pick my spots. It worked this week."
Final table results:
|1||Jeremy Wien||United States||$537,710|
|3||Eric Blair||United States||$228,307|
|4||Jake Schindler||United States||$159,575|
|5||John Amato||United States||$113,510|
|7||David Peters||United States||$60,618|
|8||Richard Tuhrim||United States||$45,538|
The heads-up took almost half of the whole final table play. The eight-handed final table started with players guarding fairly shallow stacks and it was likely that the deadlock would break soon. Richard Tuhrim couldn't gain any traction and left in the first level, but the tournament would hit a stalemate for a bit. Then, in level 29, three players were eliminated in the span of just four hands. First, Peters and Shawn Buchanan fell to David Laka in seventh and sixth place, respectively.
Buchanan's exit looked to be the key moment of the final table. The Canadian pro raised and then four-bet shoved fives into jacks and Laka had just enough chips to send him to the rail, winning the tournament's largest pot at the time. After Peters and Buchanan were gone, Eric Blair knocked out John Amato on the very next hand and suddenly only four men were sitting at the table.
Laka soon took care of Jake Schindler in a huge cooler that saw Schindler's kings getting cracked by ace-king on the river, propelling Laka into a commanding chip lead. Blair and Wien put up very little resistance to the leader who at one point won 11 out of 12 consecutive hands.
Blair dropped to a short stack and lost his chips to Laka who appeared unstoppable until he found himself up against Wien. When the scheduled 60-minute dinner break arrived, despite being hungry, Wien's plan was to skip the break so he wouldn't have to give his opponent time to study previous hands.
"I was initially thinking: 'Let's get a dinner break, let's relax, let me regroup," Wien admitted. But then he realized that he'd played a very tight table image through the whole tournament and didn't want to let Laka find out about some of the gutsy plays he'd made heads-up.
He may have starved through, but the reward was truly sweet. Now that he's a bracelet winner, Wien plans to come back for the tag team event and try to win another gold together with his wife.
06/11/18 09:03:34 PM PDT
David Laka Eliminated in 2nd Place ($332,328)
Hand #290: Jeremy Wien limped and David Laka made it 840,000. Wien called the raise and they went to the flop.
Laka fired 1.25 million and Wien processed the situation for well over two minutes before check-raising to 2.5 million. Laka shoved all in and Wien called.
Both players had been dealt a high pair and after six minutes, the cards were turned on their backs.
Laka was in a bad shape and the turn and river didn't help him. Wien had him slightly covered and just like that, the gruelling heads-up was over. David Laka took home $332,328 for his runner-up finish while Jeremy Wien is the newly crowned champion, joining the WSOP bracelet winners' club.
|Jeremy Wien||13,000,000||6,700,000 |
|David Laka||0||-6,600,000 |
06/11/18 08:54:49 PM PDT
Hands #285-289: Wien Gets Even on the River
Hand #285: Laka completed in the small blind and Wien checked.
The flop was , Wien checked and Laka bet 265,000 with Wien making the call.
The turn brought the Wien checked and Laka bet 1,150,000 and Wien folded.
Hand #286: Laka received a walk.
Hand #287: Laka opened to 480,000 and Wien moved all-in for 5,460,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #288: Laka received a walk.
Hand #289: Laka completed from the small blind and Wien checked.
On the flop Wien checked and Laka bet 325,000 and Wien called.
The turn of the saw Wien check again with Laka checking behind.
The river brought the and Wien checked and Laka thought for a few seconds before checking as well. Wien showed for a rivered pair of sixes and Laka mucked.
|David Laka||6,600,000||200,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||6,300,000||-300,000 |
06/11/18 08:45:42 PM PDT
Hands #280-284: Wien Keeps Jamming
Hand #280: Jeremy Wien shoved the button and David Laka folded, allowing his rival to virtually tie him in chips.
Hand #281: Laka called and folded to Wien's shove.
Hand #282: Laka received a walk.
Hand #283: Laka limped but Wien pushed all in again, forcing another fold from the Spaniard.
Hand #284: Wien limped this time and Laka raised to 1.65 million. Wien didn't have it.
|Jeremy Wien||6,600,000||600,000 |
|David Laka||6,400,000||-600,000 |
06/11/18 08:40:43 PM PDT
Hands #275-279: Wien Limp-Shoves On Laka
Hand #275: Laka opened to 480,000 and Wien jammed all-in for 3,510,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #276: Wien opened to 525,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #277: Laka opened to 480,000 and Wien called.
The flop showed Wien checked and Laka checked back.
The turn brought the Wien check-folded to a bet of 350,000 from Laka.
Hand #278: Wien completed in the small blind and Laka raised to 1,250,000 and Wien then shoved all-in for 3,990,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #279: Laka opened to 480,000 and Wien shoved 5,240,000. Laka folded.
|David Laka||7,000,000||-2,200,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||6,000,000||2,200,000 |
06/11/18 08:32:28 PM PDT
Hands #270-274: Laka Jams over Wien's Second Barrel
Hand #270: Jeremy Wien gave another walk to David Laka.
Hand #271: Laka limped and Wein checked his options. Laka claimed the pot with a bet of 325,000 on a flop of .
Hand #272: Wein made it 625,000 and Laka defended his big. Wien fired a 1,100,000-cbet on the flop and Laka called again.
The turn was the and Wien barreled, firing 1.65 million. Laka paused for a moment and then moved all in, forcing a fast fold from Wien who was left with 2.8 million.
Hand #273: Laka min-raised but quickly folded when Wien jammed his last 13 bigs or so.
Hand #274: Wien shoved once again and Laka didn't find a hand that would fit in his calling range.
|David Laka||9,200,000||3,000,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||3,800,000||-3,000,000 |
06/11/18 08:21:13 PM PDT
Level 34 started
06/11/18 08:08:41 PM PDT
Hands #265-269: Getting as Shallow as it Gets
Hand #265: David Laka limped in and Jeremy Wien made it 700,000. Laka folded.
Hand #266: Wien limped and Laka raised to 1.5 million, prompting a fold from Wien.
Hand #267: Laka raised and won the pot preflop.
Hand #268: Wien threw in 550,000, Laka called and then check-folded to a bet of 400,000 on a flop.
Hand #269: Laka raised to 400,000 and Wien folded for one last time in this level.
The players headed for a 15-minute break. The average stack will be worth just over 25 big blinds when they come back.
|Jeremy Wien||6,800,000||-200,000 |
|David Laka||6,200,000||100,000 |
06/11/18 08:00:49 PM PDT
Hands #260-264: Laka Likes His Walks
Hand #260: Laka received a walk.
Hand #261: Laka completed from the small blind and Wien checked.
The flop came Wien bet 250,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #262: Laka received a walk.
Hand #263: Laka raised to 400,000 and Wien folded.
Hand #264: Laka received a walk.
|Jeremy Wien||7,000,000||-200,000 |
|David Laka||6,100,000||400,000 |
06/11/18 07:56:36 PM PDT
Hands #255-259: Wien's Second Barrel Does It
Hand #255: David Laka raised and took down the pot.
Hand #256: Jeremy Wien made it 525,000 and Laka defended and then checked the texture. Wien announced a bet of 850,000 and Laka called.
The turn saw Laka check again and Wien blasted 1.8 million. Laka briefly studied the situation and then decided to fold.
Hand #257: Laka min-raised and that was enough to win the hand uncontested.
Hand #258: A limped pot saw the hit the felt and Wien bet 425,000 in position, forcing a fold from Laka.
Hand #259: Laka limped in and Wien checked. Laka used high cards on the flop to bet 225,000 and Wien had no business on the .
|Jeremy Wien||7,200,000||6,590,000 |
|David Laka||5,700,000||5,060,000 |
06/11/18 07:48:55 PM PDT
Hands #250-254: Laka Goes for a Few Walks
Hand #250: Laka received a walk.
Hand #251: Laka completed the small blind and Wien checked.
The flop came Wien checked and Laka bet 225,000. Wien then put in a raise to 625,000 and Laka mucked.
Hand #252: Laka received a walk.
Hand #253: Laka opened to 400,000 and Wien folded.
Hand #254: Laka received a walk.
|David Laka||6,400,000||200,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||6,100,000||-600,000 |
06/11/18 07:44:17 PM PDT
Hands #244-249: It's Always Calm Before the Storm
Hand #244: Jeremy Wien took the pot with a raise to 500,000.
Hand #245: David Laka now took the lost blind back, earning a preflop fold from Wien.
Hand #246: Laka received a walk.
Hand #247: Wien raised to 700,000 over Laka's limp and Laka called to continue to the flop. Wien fired another shell of 1,100,000 and Laka gave up.
Hand #248: In a limped pot, both players quickly checked the board and Laka's hand appeared to include a king while Wien played the board with .
Hand #249: A raise-and-take for Laka.
|Jeremy Wien||6,700,000||1,000,000 |
|David Laka||6,200,000||-1,000,000 |
06/11/18 07:40:33 PM PDT
3 Hour Heads Up Mark Reached
Three hours have passed since David Laka and Jeremy Wien first began heads-up play, the two remain about even stacks as they battle for the bracelet.
06/11/18 07:37:32 PM PDT
Hands #239-243: Battle For Chip Lead Continues
Hand #239: Laka completed from the small blind and Wien checked. The flop fell , Wien bet 675,000 and Laka called.
On the turn, Wien shoved all in for 5,140,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #240: Wien completed in the small blind and Laka checked. The flop came and the action checked through.
The turn fell with checks through again. Another check-check on the river and Laka showed for a pair of sevens which was good enough to win it.
Hand #241: Laka called Wien checked. The flop was , Laka bet 225,000 Wien folded.
Hand #242: Wien opened to 525,000 and Laka called. The flop showed , Laka checked and Wien checked back. The turn saw Laka check again and Wien bet 750,000. Laka folded his hand.
Hand #243: Laka raised to 400,000 and Wien folded.
|David Laka||7,200,000||500,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||5,700,000||-500,000 |
06/11/18 07:27:18 PM PDT
Hands #234-238: Wien Gets Back to Even with a Check-Shove on a Turn
Hand #234: Jeremy Wien raised to 500,000 and David Laka three-bet to 2 million. Wien folded.
Hand #235: Laka made it 400,000 and Wien defended his big blind, calling. Wien decided to stab on the flop, firing 350,000. Laka called and the turn was checked by Wien. Laka reached to his stack and cut out a bet of 1.45 million. Wien double-checked his hand and folded.
Hand #236: Wien gave Laka yet another walk.
Hand #237: Wien raised to 600,000 after Laka limped from the button. Laka called and they went to the flop where Wien continued for 475,000 and Laka called.
The turn was checked by Wien and Laka bet out 825,000. Wien moved all in for 3.57 million total and Laka folded his hand rather quickly.
Hand #238: Wien made it 525,000 and Laka three-bet to 2 million. Wien let it go.
|David Laka||6,700,000||100,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||6,200,000||-200,000 |
06/11/18 07:16:20 PM PDT
Hands #230-233: All In and a Call... and Another Chop
Hand #230: Wien opened to 500,000 and Laka three-bet to 1,500,000 Wien shoved all in for 5,390,000 with Laka calling instantly.
The board ran out the two chopped the pot.
Hand #231: Laka raised to 400,00 and Wien folded.
Hand #232: Wien completed the small blind and Laka raised to 1,500,000, Wien then three-bet all-in for 5,090,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #233: Laka raised to 400,000 and Wien folded.
|David Laka||6,600,000||-1,000,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||6,400,000||1,000,000 |
06/11/18 07:12:21 PM PDT
Level 33 started
06/11/18 07:09:11 PM PDT
Hands #224-229: Laka Takes the Lead in the Last Hand of the Level
Hand #224: Jeremy Wien folded on the button.
Hand #225: David Laka raised to 325,000 and Wien defended his big. The flop was and Wien checked to Laka who fired 240,000, earning a fold from his opponent.
Hand #226: Wien raised to 425,000 and Laka called. They both checked the flop and the appeared on the turn. Laka took the betting lead, sliding in a huge 1.29 million. Wien immediately folded.
Hand #227: Jeremy Wien three-bet out of the big blind, making it 800,000 against Laka's 325,000-raise. Laka, however, announced he was all in for 5.64 million. Wien seemed interested in the exact count but then decided to let his hand go.
Hand #228: Wien made it 425,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #229: Laka raised to 325,000 and Wien decided to peel the flop. The dealer spread the in the middle of the table and Laka bet 275,000 in position. Wien check-called.
The turn hit the felt and Wien checked again. Laka skipped the second barrel and let the river land for free. Wien led out 525,000. Laka called and Wien showed for the bottom pair. Laka had him beat with the and took over the pole position again just before the blinds went up.
|David Laka||7,600,000||2,900,000 |
|Jeremy Wien||5,400,000||-2,800,000 |
06/11/18 06:56:23 PM PDT
Hands #219-223: Wien Grabs the Chiplead
Hand #219: Laka completed in the small blind and Wien checked his option.
The two saw a flop of , Wien checked and Laka bet 175,000. Wien then check-raised to 375,000 total and Laka folded.
Hand #220: Wien opened to 425,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #221: Laka completed the small blind and Wien checked.
The flop showed a board of , Wien checked with Laka checking back.
The turn brought the , Wien bet out for 275,000 and Laka made the call.
On the river Wien paused before assembling a hefty bet of 725,000 and Laka didn't take long to make the call. Wien then tabled for trip sevens and Laka mucked.
Hand #222: Wien completed in the small blind and Laka checked the option.
On the flop, Laka checked and Wien fired 400,000 and Laka folded.
Hand #223: Laka completed his small blind and Wien checked.
They saw a flop of Wien checked and Laka checked behind.
The turn was the and Wien checked again to face a bet of 390,000 from Laka. Wien took a few seconds before mucking his hand.
|Jeremy Wien||8,200,000||1,700,000 |
|David Laka||4,700,000||-1,800,000 |
06/11/18 06:44:20 PM PDT
Hands #214-218: Still Neck and Neck
Hand #214: Jeremy Wien raised to 425,000 and David Laka called in the big blind before check-folding to a 1,100,000-bet on the flop.
Hand #215: Laka took the big blind and the ante with a raise to 325,000.
Hand #216: Wien made it 425,000 and scooped the pot preflop.
Hand #217: Laka limped in and Wien checked his options. The flop fell and Wien check-called 175,000. Laka barreled the , firing 475,000. Wien considered his options and figured out that it was the right time to give up.
Hand #218: Wien gave Laka another walk.
|Jeremy Wien||6,500,000||-600,000 |
|David Laka||6,500,000||600,000 |