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2015 46th Annual World Series of Poker

Friday, July 03, 2015 to Sunday, July 05, 2015

Event #66: $777 Lucky Sevens No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $777
  • Prizepool: $3,095,400
  • Entries: 4,422
  • Remaining: 0
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07/06/15 07:10:28 PM PDT

EVENT #66:  $777 Lucky Sevens (No-Limit Hold’em)
ENTRIES:  4,422
PRIZE POOL:  $3,095,400
DATES:  July 3-6, 2015
Connor Berkowitz Rolls a Seven
25-Year-Old New Jersey Poker Pro Wins $777 Lucky Sevens Debut and a WSOP Gold Bracelet
Berkowitz’s First WSOP Cash is a Big One
Final Tourney Before 2015 WSOP Main Event Draws 4,422 Entries
Name:  Connor Berkowitz
Birthplace:  Freehold, NJ
Age:  25
Current Residence:  Manalapan, NJ
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  None
Number of WSOP Cashes:  1
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  None
Total WSOP Earnings:   $487,784
[Note:  All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
The final tournament before the Main Event Championship concluded tonight at the 2015 World Series of Poker, taking place at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Connor Berkowitz topped another huge field of 4,422 players and won his first gold bracelet.  The 25-year-old poker pro collected first place prize money in the amount of $487,784.
The first-of-its-kind “Lucky Sevens” No-Limit Hold’em tournament had a buy-in of $777, which created a prize pool in excess of $3 million.  The top 468 players collected prize money, with Berkowitz coming out with the largest share.  The competition took four days and nights to complete, extending into an unscheduled finale on the ESPN Main Stage.
Berkowitz is from Manalapan, NJ.  Before playing poker full time, he graduated from the College of New Jersey.  He worked for Chase Bank for a time, before deciding to try grinding out a living in online poker tournaments (where Internet poker is legal and regulated). Now, he’s about to make nearly a half-million dollar deposit.  
Remarkably, this was Berkowitz’s first time ever to cash in a WSOP event of any kind.  This was his first trip to the WSOP and only the second event he’d played.
“This is like a dream for me,” Berkowitz said afterward.  “I’m speechless.  I literally don’t know what to say other than this is a dream come true.  It’s every poker player’s dream.”  
Much of the final table and fourth day belonged to David Yu, who was the chip leader during much of the way.  However, Yu got into trouble late and Berkowitz ran away with the prize.  When heads-up play commenced, Berkowitz was ahead by nearly a 4-to-1 margin.  He closed out the victory in less than a half hour.
John Armbrust, from Austin, TX finished as the runner up, which paid a nice consolation prize of $301,615.
Berkowitz has been playing poker full time since January of this year.  He acknowledged that winning such a large sum will make the transition much easier.  Berkowitz was also humble in thanking his rail and many who watched and cheered for him via live-stream coverage on
“To all my friends and family who are watching, that was huge to me,” Berkowitz said.  “Knowing they were rooting for me really made me want to win even more.  Like I said, this is an absolute dream.”
Also of note was Matt Matros’ deep run, finishing in 8th place.  Matros enjoyed his first final table appearance in three years with this showing.  The Brooklyn-based writer and semi-pro poker player won gold bracelets in three consecutive years (2010-2012).
Following Berkowitz’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place:  John Armbrust, from Austin, TX finished in 2nd place, which paid $301,615.  He is the executive director of a charter school in the Texas capitol.  
Third Place:   David Yu, from Foster City, CA finished in 3rd place, which paid $217,173.  The Chinese-born statistician cashed for the second time at this year’s series.
Fourth Place:   Jeffrey Dobrin, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 4th place, which paid out $160,496.  This was his best WSOP-related performance, although he’s previously won a WSOP Circuit gold ring (14 cashes on the Circuit, as well).
Fifth Place:  Faraz Jaka, from San Jose, CA finished in 5th place, earning him $119,606.  He’s been playing poker as a pro for ten years, and now has posted 28 WSOP cashes.  With this prize, he’s close to $1 million in career earnings at the series.
Sixth Place:   John Gallaher, from Lebanon, TN finished in 6th place, which paid $89,890.  He is a 49-year-old optometrist who also goes by the poker nickname, “Johnny Run Good.”  He ran pretty good in this event, at least until play reached six handed.  Gallaher owns two WSOP Circuit gold rings after winning at stops in Southern Indiana and Cherokee, NC.
Seventh Place:   John Zimmerman, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 7th place, which paid $68,098.  He is a 73-year-old retiree originally from North Carolina.  This was Zimmerman’s first time to ever cash at the WSOP.
Eighth Place:   Matt Matros, from Brooklyn, NY finished in 8th place, which paid $52,033.  The writer-teacher and serious part-time semi-pro won gold bracelets in three consecutive years (2010-2012), but came up short in this tourney.  This was his deepest run since that last victory, three years ago.  Each of Matros’ WSOP wins were in Limit Hold’em, which is his specialty.
Ninth Place:   Massimo Mosele, from Torino, Italy rounded out the final table with a 9th-place finish, which paid $40,085.  He is a 49-year-old poker pro who has been playing mostly online for the past eight years.
Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – Kevin MacPhee, Brett Shaffer, Dominik Nitsche, Ken “Teach” Aldridge, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Eric “Air” Holum, Eric Baldwin, and Ben Yu.
For this event’s results, visit:
For Connor Berkowitz’s official player profile page, visit: 
For the Live Reporting Log for this event, please visit:
For photos from this event, please visit:
(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)
07/06/15 06:09:24 PM PDT

Connor Berkowitz moves all-in on the button, and John Armbrust calls for his tournament life.

Connor Berkowitz   
John Armbrust   

Armbrust hits a pair on the     flop, but Berkowitz makes a better pair on the   turn. No help for Armbrust on the   river. John Armbrust gets $301,615 for his second place.

Connor Berkowitz wins the WSOP gold bracelet and the first prize of $487,784 for his first WSOP cash.

07/06/15 06:05:33 PM PDT
John Armbrust moves all-in on the button, Connor Berkowitz folds.
07/06/15 06:05:04 PM PDT

Connor Berkowitz moves all-in from the button, John Armbrust calls for his tournament life.

Connor Berkowitz   
John Armbrust   

Nobody hits on the     flop, the   gives some split outs, and the   river is one of them.

07/06/15 06:03:38 PM PDT
Connor Berkowitz gets a walk.
07/06/15 06:03:02 PM PDT
Connor Berkowitz moves all-in on the button, John Armbrust folds.
07/06/15 06:03:01 PM PDT

John Armbrust opens to 500,000 from the button and Connor Berkowitz defends his big blind to see the flop.

He then check-calls a 675,000 chip bet from Armbrust on the     flop.

The   falls on the turn and Berkowitz check-calls again, this time after Armbrust pushes out 1,000,000.

The   completes the board and Berkowitz checks for a third time. Armbrust continues his aggression, cutting out 1,400,000 to fire a third barrel at this pot.

Berkowitz rechecks his cards and then almost immediately announces himself "all-in".

Armbrust sits back in his chair, taking his hat off momentarily to run his hand through his hair, before saying, "Well?" with a confused and worried look on his face.

He takes nearly five minutes to work himself through the hand, time and time again mumbling something about "ace-king" and "you would have raised".

In the end, he eventually folds, leaving himself just over 1,200,000 behind in his stack.

He'll now have to work a six big blind stack, while Connor Berkowitz controls nearly 95% of the total chips in play.

07/06/15 05:57:02 PM PDT
Connor Berkowitz makes it 600,000 to go from the button. John Armbrust folds to award the big stacked Berkowitz the pot. 
07/06/15 05:50:19 PM PDT

David Yu completes his small blind, and Connor Berkowitz checks the big blind. Yu checks on the     flop, Berkowitz bets 400,000 and Yu quickly announces all-in. The all-in is for a total of 3,730,000. Berkowitz takes his time, and calls after two minutes or so.

David Yu   
Connor Berkowitz   

Yu is behind but has a lot of outs, and gets even more outs on the   turn. No help for Yu on the   river and he is eliminated in third place for $217,173.

Connor Berkowitz - 17,000,000
John Armbrust - 5,000,000
David Yu - Eliminated

07/06/15 05:46:51 PM PDT
Connor Berkowitz raises 400,000 from the button, and wins the blinds and antes.
07/06/15 05:46:16 PM PDT
John Armbrust receives a walk in the big blind.
07/06/15 05:45:41 PM PDT
David Yu limps in from the small blind, Connor Berkowitz raises to 600,000 and wins the pot.
07/06/15 05:38:45 PM PDT

Action folds to John Armbrust in the small blind, who puts in a raise to 500,000. David Yu quickly announces himself "all-in" from the big blind and Armbrust pushes his hand towards the muck. 

Yu is now playing just over 5,200,000. 

07/06/15 05:37:52 PM PDT

David Yu opens the button to 425,000 and after Connor Berkowitz folds his small blind, John Armbrust moves all-in from the big. 

Yu never asks for a count, but Armbrust's all-in amount is just under 4,500,000 and Yu, whether he knows it or not, has him slightly covered. 

He eventually folds and Armbrust takes in the pot to move over the 5,000,000 mark. 

07/06/15 05:36:32 PM PDT

David Yu completes his small blind and Connor Berkowitz checks his option in the big to send two players to the flop. 

Both players check the     flop.

Yu then leads the   turn card for 230,000. Berkowitz folds and awards Yu the pot. 

07/06/15 05:35:30 PM PDT
David Yu gets a walk in the big blind. 
07/06/15 05:35:15 PM PDT
John Armbrust gets a walk in the big blind. 
07/06/15 05:32:11 PM PDT
David Yu completes the small blind, Connor Berkowitz moves all-in, and Yu folds.
07/06/15 05:31:34 PM PDT

Connor Berkowitz raises to 400,000 from the button, and gets a call from John Armbrust in the small blind. David Yu shoves all-in from the big blind, and both opponents fold.

David Yu - 4,400,000
Connor Berkowitz - 12,900,000
John Armbrust - 5,100,000

07/06/15 05:29:32 PM PDT

Connor Berkowitz limps in from the small blind, and John Armbrust checks his option. Berkowitz checks on the     flop. Armbrust bets 225,000, Berkowitz check-raises to 500,000. The action is back on Armbrust and he three-bets to 1,025,000 before Berkowitz shoves all-in, Armbrust folds.

Connor Berkowitz - 13,310,000
John Armbrust - 5,525,000