Eight-handed No Limit Hold’em offers the players a little more leg room, a slower structure and a lot more play. It has just proved it deserves to stay here at the World Series of Poker by producing one of the best No Limit Hold’em final tables of the summer. The player’s at this final table had a combined 21 WSOP final tables and three bracelets coming into today's play. The two previous bracelet holders at the final table ended up squaring off heads-up for the gold. Josh Arieh had his sights set on his third bracelet, while Brian Yoon was looking for his second.
Yoon was able defeat Arieh in a quick heads-up battle that only lasted 19 hands to win his second bracelet and become the third 2013 bracelet winner to also win one in 2014, not to mention the 12th repeat bracelet winner of 2014. Last year Yoon won the Little One for One Drop event, defeating a 4,756 player field to take home more than $660,000. This time Yoon will take home $663,341 by defeating a pro heavy field of 550 players. This victory has pushed Yoon's WSOP earning over the $1 million mark and close to $1.5 million.
"Combined [it being a $5K and pro heavy] with it being 8-handed there was a lot more action and people played a lot more hands. It's a lot more fast paced," said Yoon about the event. "I like it a lot. Anytime I can play more hands I like it."
The 24-year-old professional poker player from Torrance, California proved last year's victory was no fluke and that one bracelet wasn't enough for him. What makes his two bracelet victories even more impressive is that Yoon was able to defeat two very different fields. It takes a completely different skill set to hang with the pros than it does to navigate through monster fields. Arguably, this victory can be considered more impressive than his One Drop victory due to the fact this field was stacked with pros.
"Winning one [bracelet] is so tough to do, especially these days with fields so big," said Yoon. "Winning a second one is unreal. I just can't describe it honestly."
The final table started out quickly, losing four players in the first two levels of play before slowing down when it became four-handed. Early into the final table, Mustapha Kanit (5th) was crippled down to a one and half big blind stack and it was looking as if he would be the eighth place finisher. Kanit used some good fortune to string together a few double ups and get himself right back in it and make a run at the bracelet. He eventually got knocked out by Yoon in fifth, but was able to pick up an extra $72,000 in the process. Amazingly, this is already Kanit’s third top ten finish of the summer. Kanit finished seventh in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max event, as well fifth in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event.
This event drew 550 entries creating a prize pool of $2,585,000. The top 56 players earned prize money which included former November Niner Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (44th), 2010 Main Event Champ Jonathan Duhamel (37th), bracelet winner Nick Schulman (26th), and 2012 Big One for One Drop runner- up Sam Trickett, who just missed the final table in 11th place.
Here are the final table results for the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em 8 Handed event:
1st: Brian Yoon - ($633,341)
2nd: Josh Arieh - ($391,575)
3rd: Josh Berman - ($246,169)
4th: Ardit Kurshumi - ($176,684)
5th: Mustapha Kanit - ($128,862)
6th: Dan Smith - ($95,515)
7th: Timo Pfutzenreuter - ($71,940)
8th: Tony Cousineau - ($55,034)