The 25th bracelet of the 2014 WSOP went to John Kabbaj, who defeated Thomas "Thunder" Keller in a brief heads battle to earn his second bracelet and the $267,327 top prize. This marks his 16th WSOP cash and extends his career earnings to more than $1.5 million. Kabbaj won his first bracelet in 2009 in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em World Championship.
"I have had probably the worst two years of my life," said Kabbaj. "I lost everything I had and had to rebuild. I have started a new life in the last six months and now this is looking good for the future"
Kabbaj had fallen on tough times, but is optimistic that this victory will spark a new and prosperous beginning for him. He has recently moved to Austria and enjoys living in the mountains. The decision to move to Austria was for a change of lifestyle and to get away from the city. Kabbaj said he lost 25 pounds in the last three months just from walking his dog daily. Kabbaj's lifestyle change has been positive for him and he has improved his life, health and poker game.
The final table was full of talent but that did not intimidate Kabbaj. "When you make a World Series final [table], there is always going to be good players." said Kabbaj. He knew the best players were going to be there at the end and that he was going to have to beat them. He was happy with his play, got lucky when he needed to and had the confidence he could hang with some of game's best players.
The final table featured five bracelet winners and only one player, Terrence Hastoo, who hadn’t previously made a final table. Thanks to the presence of eight-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel (6th) and four-time bracelet winner Tom Schneider (8th), there were 15 bracelets accounted for in the bunch, not to mention dozens of WSOP final tables.This event drew 470 players and generated a $1,069,250 prize pool. The top 48 finishers made the money, including George Danzer (39th), John D’Agostino (35th), Mike Matusow (19th), Matt Glantz (18th), Owais Ahmed (15th), and Allyn Jaffrey Shulman (14th).Here are the final table results from the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 event:1st: John Kabbaj - $267,3272nd: Thomas Keller - $165,1773rd: Christopher McHugh - $75,7134th: Terrence Hastoo - $55,4515th: Joe Tehan - $41,2306th: Erik Seidel - $31,1157th: Mike Leah - $23,8338th: Tom Schneider - $18,519