It is a good week to be a part of the 2009 WSOP Main Event final table. Less than 24 hours after the 2009 Main Event Champ Joe Cada won his second bracelet, that year's fourth place finisher Eric Buchman followed suit, earning his second bracelet and a $118,785 payday in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Event.
Last night, Buchman was at the Rio when Cada earned his prize, but he actually didn't know his final tablemate had won until well after the fact.
"Late last night when I got home and I looked online, I saw [Joe] won the bracelet. I didn't think it really had anything to do with me, but I did think it would be sweet if I won one also. Even though he's won a lot more money than me, we're still two bracelets to two bracelets," Buchman said with a wry smile.
For Buchman, it is difficult to compare the second bracelet to the his first, which came in a $2,000 Limit Hold'em event in 2010. "The Limit Hold'em one was my first bracelet, so that was sweeter, but this one was really, really sweet. It's definitely a close second, but you're first bracelet is always gonna be the best," he explained.
While the first bracelet was the best win for Buchman, he actually believed his edge was bigger in Stud, a game he plays year-round in games on the East Coast.
"It's not even that [Stud] is my best game. It might be my best game. I play a lot of stud all the time. I feel like most of the people who play don't have the experience that I do in this game. That's why I think I have the edge that I do in this game. For instance, I am a really good Limit Hold'em player, but there's a ton of really good Limit Hold'em players. There's not a ton of really good Stud High players, you know?"
Some might be surprised to hear that this was the fourth time the 34-year-old from Valley Stream, NY has been heads-up for a bracelet at what was his seventh career WSOP final table. Buchman even had prior experience in this event, taking third in the 2011 event that was won by Eugene Katchalov. His opponent was no slouch either. Alex Kravchenko of Russia was appearing at his eighth WSOP final table and was also vying for his second bracelet. Buchman had kind words for his opponent, even if he did feel like he was in a good position to beat him heads-up for the bracelet.
"He played really well today, it just didn't go his way. I have so much heads-up experience in this game, that I really felt good. I didn't want to go heads-up against him...cause I felt like Kravchenko was the better player [at the table], but it worked out."
It is easy to draw a number of parallels between these two competitors. Both final tabled the WSOP Main Event, each finishing in fourth place. Both failed to win the World Championship, but found bracelet victories in other events. Then there is the fact that both players tend to be very stoic in their demeanor--they are ruthless at the table, not there to make friends, but to rake pots.
It was only fitting then that, in a week where past Main Event final tablists seemed to be finding success left and right, that this event came down to a battle of US vs. Russia to see which one would get their second bracelet.
In the end, it was Buchman, who becomes the tenth repeat bracelet winner of the 2014 WSOP. With this win, Buchman now has over $3.5 million in career WSOP earnings. He also has a victory in a game Buchman refers to as "classic" and hopes remains a part of the WSOP schedule for the foreseeable future.
The Stud final table saw many players take turns atop the chip counts with no one player ever really running away with the event. Even when play got to heads-up action, Buchman had a 2-1 advantage in chips, but Kravchenko quickly battled back to In addition to the two bracelet winners, Bryn Kenney was also in the line-up, making his fourth career WSOP final table and his second this summer. Just a few days ago, he took fourth place in the $5,000 Six-Handed event.This year’s $1,500 Seven Card Stud tournament drew 345 players and generated a prize pool of $465,750. The top 40 finishers each collected a payday. Some of the notables who cashed include Cyndy Violette (34th), bracelet winner Brian Hastings (32nd), John D’Agostino (28th), Steve Albini (24th), Phil Laak (19th), Bryan Campanello (18th), and Daniel Negreanu (10th). Steve Sung was the final table bubble boy, finishing in ninth place.Here are the final table results for the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event:1st: Eric Buchman - $118,7852nd: Alex Kravchenko- $73,3603rd: Aleksandr Denisov - $47,3154th: William Thompson - $34,2835th: Bryn Kenney - $25,2066th: Nabih Helmi - $18,8027th: Mallory Smith - $14,2288th: David Prager - $10,921