Sometimes taking the chip lead into a final table can be a bit of a curse for players. There are expectations that you will do well and not meeting them is always a little disappointing.
There was nothing cursed about Trevor Pope's chip lead today though. The Wisconsin-born poker pro took a massive chip lead into the final table of Event 2, a $5,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold'em tournament, and came out with his first gold bracelet and a $553,906 payday.
Pope punished his tablemates in a dominant wire-to-wire performance at a final table lacking any soft spots.  He came into the eight-handed final table with an unreal chip advantage, holding almost half of the chips in play and around six times as many chips as his next closest competitors. 

That chip stack only grew as the final table played down from eight to the last player standing.  Pope's position as the big stack was never at risk as other players jockeyed for the right to get heads-up against him.  In the end, EPT winner David Vamplew was the last player standing between Pope and the title, but even after doubling up once, Vamplew could simply not stop the Trevor Pope Express.

The chips weren't the only thing working in Pope's favor.  The pro, who now resides in Las Vegas, had several friends on the rail, including a four-legged one named Revis.  Revis, a dog many might remember from Joey Weissman's rail last year, proved to be a lucky charm once again.  At this rate, the dog-friendly Rio hallway might be seeing more canine companions since their presence seems to translate into big wins and six-figure paydays.

Eight-handed poker is a relatively new format for World Series of Poker. Previously, the Big One for One Drop and some of the WSOP High Roller events in Europe and Australia have offered eight-handed poker, but this is the first time the format is being offered at a price point less than $10,000.

The shorter-handed format appealed to pros, many of whom referred to it as the “extra leg room” tournament, and 481 players took part in the event, generating a prize pool of $2,260,700. The top 56 players finished in the money. Notables in the money included bracelet winner Bryan Piccioli (51st), Antonio Esfandiari (43rd), Brandon Cantu (38th), Jesse Sylvia (34th), Jeremy Ausmus (29th), David Sands (25th), Brian Rast (14th) and Tom Marchese (10th).

The final table line-up featured eight accomplished poker pros with extensive live and online results. Despite millions and millions in career tournament earnings, only one of the eight at the table had a bracelet on his resume, Dan Kelly, who finished in 6th place. Several others like Darryll Fish (3rd) and Jamie Armstrong (5th) had made final tables previously at the WSOP, but were unable to capture poker’s coveted piece of gold hardware this time around. There was simply no stopping Trevor Pope.

Here are the final table results for Event 2, the $5,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em Event:

1st: Trevor Pope - $553,906
2nd: David Vamplew - $342,450
3rd: Darryll Fish - $215,286
4th: Jared Hamby - $154,518
5th: Jamie Armstrong - $112,695
6th: Dan Kelly - $83,532
7th: Brandon Meyers - $62,915
8th: David Peters - $48,130

An in-depth profile and interview of our newest champion is available on