Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu may be the big names with bracelet bets on the line, but they aren't the only folks in Vegas who have more than first place money as an incentive to prevail at the Rio. One such player rumored to be in that boat? Doug Polk, the cash game pro better known as WCGrider, traded in the nosebleed cash games for several bracelet events this summer. In return, he won the $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold'em event for $251,969.
A quarter million dollars isn't anything to sniff at though. Not only is it his largest career WSOP cash, it is also his first gold bracelet at his first WSOP final table.
"[The bracelet] means a lot," Polk said after his win. "It means whatever first place is plus all their money. I don't think it is a direct, 'Now I have a bracelet--things are different.' I just think it gives me a more solid foundation to build on my position within the industry.
In fact, it is this desire to strengthen his position in the industry that prompted him to play a high volume of events at this year's WSOP.
"I'm tired of being WCGrider. I want to be Doug Polk," he explained. "I want to get out there and I want to try to establish myself in poker. My goals long term are to get a sponsor and to work with other people in the industry and I need to not be, 'hiding behind a computer screen,' to do that.
Establish himself he did, coming in with the chip lead and leaving with the victory, which resulted in his biggest career WSOP payday, his first gold bracelet, and some hard-earned side bet money from players like Jason Mo.
You might say Polk is living the good life. He sure would. The poker pro decided to take a chance in college at playing full time. While it was rash at the time, it thankfully worked out for him.
"Poker wasn't as much an option as it was a lifestyle. I was in college, I was really not having a good go of things there, and I was unhappy. I decided it was time to pursue my dream and I moved to Las Vegas five years ago.Since then, things have gotten a little better for me. I think, in hindsight, it was slightly foolish to try and live the dream in that way, but it worked out for me and I was good enough to make it work."
He was good enough to make his seemingly rash bracelet bets work for him today too. He is no longer just WCGRider. He is Doug Polk, gold bracelet winner.
The runner-up was Andy Philachack of Garland, Texas, who was looking to add a bracelet to his WSOP jewelry collection. He is already a ring winner and this marked his third top three finish in a bracelet event.
This is the second year a two-day long Turbo No Limit Hold’em tournament has been on the WSOP schedule. The structure veers from the traditional one-hour levels, instead offering 30-minute levels on Day 1 and 40-minute levels on Day 2. It took just 39 hands to play down from nine to four, then over 50 more hands to get down to a winner.After 22 levels of Day 1 action, only nine players remaining, while the rest of the 1,473 players busted at a pace of a little over two per minute. The $1,325,700 prize pool was divvied among the top 171 finishers. Some notables who made the money include Jeff Sluzinski (155th), who was notching his fifth cash of the summer, last year’s runner-up in this event Benjamin Reason (146th), Ryan Riess (136th), Nam Le (63rd), Jesse Martin (38th), Joe Kuether (17th), and Mandy Baker, who bubbled the final table in 10th place.Here are the final table results from the $1,000 Turbo Event:1st: Doug Polk - $251,9692nd: Andy Philachack - $155,7563rd: Jonathan Hanner - $102,5034th: Chad Cox - $73,8945th: Liam Alcock - $54,0886th: Tony Gregg - $40,1687th: Gianluca Cedolia - $30,2528th: Dash Dudley - $23,0939th: Andrew Mackenzi e - $17,857