One of the more riveting final tables took place at the Rio in Las Vegas on Friday when Joshua Pollock outplayed and ultimately outlasted a marvelously talented and intriguing lineup of would-be champions competing in the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event.

The 29-year-old poker pro now residing in San Diego topped a big field of 1,022 players.  He collected $279,431 in prize money.  He also collected his first WSOP gold bracelet.

The finale of the three-day competition included several chip lead changes and a surprising finish, especially considering the way eventual runner-up Noah Schwartz dominated much of the final two days of the tournament.  The victory seemed to be Schwartz' numerous times. However, Pollock enjoyed a late rush and overcame a 3 to 1 chip disadvantage when playing heads-up, and eventually came to enjoy his most satisfying poker accomplishment to date.

Pollock has been playing poker full time professionally since 2006.  He is originally from the Washington, DC suburb of Silver Spring, MD.  Pollock attended the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.  He moved to Las Vegas in 2009 -- playing poker professionally both live and online at the time -- and has since relocated to San Diego where he lives with a group of fellow poker players.


Name:  Joshua Pollock
Current Residence:  Silver Spring, MD (USA)
Birthplace:  San Diego, CA (USA)
Age:  29
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  None
Occupation:  Professional Poker Player
Previous Occupation:  College Student
WSOP Cashes (including this event):  8
First WSOP Cash (year):  2007
WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
WSOP Wins (with this victory):  1

WSOP:  How does it feel to win your first WSOP gold bracelet?
Pollock:  It's surreal right now.  It's awesome.  I never thought I'd win a gold bracelet because I don't play many tournaments.  But it's awesome to win one in PLO, because that's my favorite game.

WSOP:  Does winning nearly $280K in prize money change your perspective of things?
Pollock:  It doesn't change too much except that I will now play in more more tournaments.  I had only planned to play in three or four.  Now, I may play five or six.

 WSOP:  The chip lead shifted from Noah Schwartz to your favor.  Can you discuss the final heads-up duel?  
Pollock:  It was a really tough battle.  I started down about 3 to 1 and then even got lower than that, where I was all in.  I won that hand and then seemed to win all the big hands after that.

WSOP:  This seemed like a fun final table.  Can you tell us why?
Pollock:  PLO is a more fun game in general than No-Limit.  There is more table talk and just more fun at the table.  It's my favorite game.  It's a fun game to play and a fun game to watch because there are so many more possibilities.

WSOP:  You were there for some of your poker playing friends in the past.  Now, they are here for you.
Pollock:  I railed three of four of my friends when they won their bracelets or were playing heads-up, but I do not play as many tournaments as them.  So, I never thought I would get to this point.  I never really thought I would make it to a final table to get a chance to play for a bracelet.

Berry Johnston cashed in this event, the 63rd for his career.  This ranks in a sixth-place tie all-time.