Kevin Eyster, a poker pro originally from Louisiana now residing in Denver, has enjoyed considerable success during his seven years of playing tournament poker. He's posted 37 overall cashes and won major events before, including on the World Poker Tour. However, nothing came close to the grueling four-day marathon and associated prestige of his latest triumph, which took place in the $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em tournament.
Eyster booked the most satisfying victory of his poker life, topping a highly-competitive field of 541 players in one of the toughest events on the schedule. Eyster mastered the art of survival for two and a half days, and then enjoyed a rush that propelled him to the official final table as the chip leader. He lost the chip lead late in the tournament on the third day of play when Pierre Neuville picked up momentum. But once play got to heads-up, Eyster seized the top spot again and gradually whittled down his final adversary. However, it took another day -- and unscheduled fourth day of action -- to finally hammer down the victory.
"This is what I've been dreaming about for my whole life," Eyster said afterward. "This is what I've been wanting to win my whole life. I've been watching this on ESPN, I mean words can't even explain it. I'm speechless."
Eyster comes off a big year in 2013, when he won a major tourney at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida. Eyster also won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring, at the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma. However, the $622,998 prize represents the largest cash prize of his career, to date. Eyster now has $2 million in live tournament winnings to go along with $3 million in online earnings -- quite a feat for the young man who's already done what most would call a lifetime resume of accomplishments in the game.
Eyster enjoyed the support of a loud and boisterous rail, made up of many supporters from his native Louisiana. The Lafayette-born champion thought that gave him an extra push in energy and focus. "I really appreciate all of them came out to cheer me on. After yesterday, they were as tired as I was, but they showed up today to support me and I appreciate their help."
Pierre Neuville of Belgium, finished as the runner-up. He collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $385,041. Neuville came close to becoming the second Belgian to win a gold bracelet this week, following fellow countryman Davidi Kitai's victory a few days ago.
Andrew Lichtenberger finished third. That marked his fourth cash already this year and his fifth career WSOP final table appearance.The final table also featured two players who were making their third career WSOP final table -- Bryn Kenney and Jeremy Kottler. The final six players also featured two WSOP Circuit gold ring winners in Lichtenberger and Eyster.This year’s $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event drew 541 players, generating a prize pool of $2,542,700. The top 60 finishers in the event each earned a payout Notable players who made the money included Bertrand Grospellier (51st), Freddy Deeb (33rd), Mattt Salsberg (31st), Greg Merson (13th), Amanda Musumeci (12th), and Matt Jarvis (9th).Here are the final table results from the $5,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event:
1st: Kevin Eyster - $622,9982nd: Pierre Neuville - $385,0413rd: Andrew Lichtenberger - $242,8274th: Bryn Kenney - $160,9275th: Jeremy Kottler - $109,844
6th: David Borrat - $77,145