Ryan Hughes has made World Series of Poker history, becoming the only player in 39 years to capture two bracelets in Seven Card Stud Eight-or-better.
Last year Hughes won a bracelet in the $2,000 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-better event and on Saturday claimed his second bracelet and $182,997 in Event #47 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-better).
Hughes, a 27-year-old poker pro from Phoenix, won the bracelet in convincing fashion, beginning the final table with the chip lead and going wire-to-wire to claim the title and the cash.
The final table featured several experienced players, including Botswana-born Thomas Hunt III at his third WSOP final table, Alessio Isaia at his second Seven Stud Eight-or-better final table of the 2008 WSOP, poker pro and author David Sklansky looking for third WSOP bracelet and Ron Long, who won a bracelet in Seven Stud Eight-or-Better in 1999.
Sklansky was knocked out early in 8th place and Isaia and Hunt III found the rail in 4th and 3rd, respectively, leaving Hughes and Long to play heads-up for the bracelet.
Long began the heads-up match severely out-chipped and despite winning several pots early was never able to counter Hughes' aggression.
"Heads-up play is actually my specialty so I was really confident coming in," said Hughes, who won the 75-minute match after making a full house with 7-7-3-K-4-3-7 to beat Long's pair of kings.
Remarkably, Hughes is not an experienced Seven Stud Eight-or-better player and said that he entered the tournament last year on a whim after a hot streak in the single table satellite room. He's only played once since winning the bracelet last year and said he wasn't even planning on playing Event #47 but changed his mind after being encouraged by a friend.
"I think the second bracelet means a little more because it's a lot tougher crowd to get into," Hughes said. "A lot of people get the first bracelet but the second one means it's not quite a fluke."
After winning the tournament Ryan found a package under his chair sent from his mother, who was at her home in Florida. Attached was a written congratulations and the package contained Hughes favorite childhood meal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
For full results from Event #47 see the WSOP results page.