This turned out to be quite a birthday for Isaac Hagerling, who turned 26 today.The young poker pro now living in Los Angeles won the $3,000 buy-in Mixed Max No-Limit Hold'em event, which took place at the Rio in Las Vegas. He collected $372,387 in prize money, plus his first gold bracelet.Hagerling was born in Cleveland, OH. He attended college for a year at a small liberal arts school in Chicago before deciding to go off in a new direction and give poker a try. He played in casinos in the Chicago area for a few years before recently moving to Los Angeles. Hagerling now plays mostly cash games, specializing in high-limit Pot Limit Omaha.That said, the cash game pro has dabbled in tournaments. He's played at the WSOP the last few years, posting disappointing results he admits – at least up to this point. Now, Hagerling can say his work paid off and the wait was worth it.Hagerling survived a grueling three-day poker marathon of matches consisting of full table, six-handed, and heads-up play. He ultimately defeated Max Steinberg for the gold bracelet, who has now made three final tables in gold bracelet events this year.
MEET GOLD BRACELET WINNER – ISSAC HAGERLING
Name: Isaac Hagerling
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA (USA)
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH (USA)
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Previous Occupation: College Student
WSOP Cashes (including this event): 4
First WSOP Cash (year): 2012
WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
WSOP Wins (with this victory): 1
WSOP Career Earnings: $386,780INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAMPION
WSOP: How does it feel to win your first WSOP gold bracelet?
Isaac Hagerling: I'm excited to win. I've played a lot of grueling matches, so I'm really tried. I'm just happy to have gotten here unscathed.
WSOP: Of the three varieties played in Mixed Max, which one did you enjoy the most?
Hagerling: I love the heads-up. I don't know if it's my strength, but it was the most fun.
WSOP: How did things go leading up to this event and during the first few days of the tournament?
Hagerling: I've been running pretty bad recently, so I didn't have much confidence. Then, the last level of the first day, I started winning every hand. That pretty much continued for the rest of the tournament. This is the best I've run for my entire life. I had a lot of grueling matches which fortunately went my way,
WSOP: How are you going to celebrate winning $372,000?
Hagerling: Not hookers and blow. That's not my style. Seriously, I'm probably just going to put it in the bank.
ODDS AND ENDSDaniel Negreanu cashed in this event, the 64th for his career. This currently ranks sixth on the all-time WSOP rankings.Tony “Top Cat” Cousineau cashed in this event, the 56th for his career. He holds the record for most career cashes without a gold bracelet.