The final tournament scheduled prior to the start of the 2014 WSOP Main Event Championship ended with some real drama of its own, as Pat Walsh won the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha title. The 38-year-old poker pro from St. Charles, Missouri topped a highly-competitive all the way to collecting a whopping $923,379 payday. He also collected his first gold bracelet.
“I don’t play many tournaments, so when you get here you have to make the most of it,” Walsh said. “I’m mostly a cash game player, but I really enjoy tournaments, too. This [tournament] and the Main Event are the only two I intended to play this year.”
What this all means is, Walsh is guaranteed to come out a huge winner, no matter what. The poker pro who mostly plays in cash games in the St. Louis area noted that Pot-Limit Omaha is his favorite form of poker, and a game he spends a lot of time playing. Hence, the victory wasn't entirely a surprise.
Walsh dominated the final day of play. Save for a brief period when playing heads up, he held the chip lead at the final table from start to finish. Even with the volatility of Pot-Limit Omaha, the Missourian never appeared to be in serious danger of losing his confidence. In short, this was a tournament Walsh seemed destined to win.
“You are going to have some swings in this game. When that happens, you just have to regroup yourself,” Walsh said when asked about losing the chip lead at one point. “You have to just stick with it and make solid plays. I was able to do that for the most part and got it back.”
While Walsh’s success here at the WSOP had been somewhat limited up to this point, with just two previous cashes, there were hints he was on the verge of a breakout win. Both of Walsh’s in-the-money finishes were deep, and both were in $10,000 buy-in level events. Moreover, Walsh had enjoyed two six-figure paydays in other major tournaments, having accumulated nearly $800,000 in earnings up until this event. That said, he more than doubled his career mark in one tournament here at the WSOP. Javed Abrahams, from London, hoped to become the second British winner of the 2014 series, after John Kabbaj’s earlier victory. However, the 29-year-old poker pro couldn’t quite overcome Walsh’s tremendous advantage in chips and momentum, even though he seized the lead and held a 3 to 2 lead late in the duel. Abraham’s disappointment was softened a bit by a nice payday amounting to $570,284. The $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha championship attracted a record 418 entrants, the most players to ever enter a poker tournament with a buy-in of $10,000 for a game other than No-Limit Hold’em. It was the largest PLO tournament the WSOP has ever held at the $10,000 buy-in level, and the largest field size for a WSOP $10,000 buy-in event outside of the Main Event. The prize pool amounted to a record $3,929,200.The final table featured no gold bracelet winners, but did include several players with previous final table experience, including Isaac Baron (4th), Matt Marafioti (6th), Michal Maryska (8th), and Jonas Entin (9th).The top 45 finishers each collected a payday. Some of the notables who cashed include Daniel Idema (40th), Chance Kornuth (34th), Jared Bleznick (32nd), J.C. Tran (21st), David Williams (19th), Sam Trickett (18th), Leif Force (13th), and Alex Kravchenko, who bubbled the final table in 10th place.Here are the final table results for the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event:1st: Pat Walsh - $923,3792nd: Javed Abrahams - $570,2843rd: Miltiadis Kyriakides - $412,4084th: Isaac Baron - $301,3695th: Marko Neumann - $222,5496th: Matt Marafioti - $166,0877th: Michael Shklover - $125,2238th: Michal Maryska - $95,3619th: Jonas Entin - $73,358