In cash games you may be able to run it twice, but when it comes to tournament poker, do overs are few and far between. That is exactly what Will Givens got today though, final tabling the same $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event he took fourth place in just one week ago. The second chance at a bracelet proved to be a fruitful one, as the Denver, Colorado poker pro won his first gold bracelet and $306,634.
Givens bested 29-year-old Miami-based pastry chef Angela Prada-Moed for the title just one week after appearing at the final table of the event of the tournament won by Dutch Boyd. He now has over $400,000 in earnings from five cashes so far this summer.
You could say it was a do-over, but hearing Givens talk about the two experiences, a better term might just be deja vu.
"You know what's really crazy? Day 2, I was at the same table I was at for restart," Givens said shortly after the victory. "Then I get a dealer from Denver and we were just kidding it off. I start with 36,000 and next thing I know, I'm at 130,000, 140,000. Then, I just stayed composed. We broke down, [then on Day 3]I was in the exact same seat that I was in when we were down to two tables--450, seat 3. That's when I was like, 'this is destiny.' I couldn't believe I was here and it was a repeat. Except this time I won."
What a difference a week can make. There may have been many similarities in Givens' two runs, but he did admit that he reassessed some of his play following his first final table. A different set of competitors made a big difference too.
"The line-up was a lot different. After [last time], I just went over my game plan and what I did wrong, then tweaked some things. Then I felt like this was my time now. I'm not gonna let this one slip."
Givens didn't let it slip, despite being in a few precarious situations late in the tournament. During three-handed play, the chips were swinging across the table with each player taking a turn atop the counts. Even though the action was exciting for the audience, Givens kept a level head and stuck to his game plan.
"I felt like I had the edge and I didn't want to be too high variance with them," Givens explained. I just kept chainsawing along and chainsawing along until...timber." It took a few tries for Givens to knock down Prada-Moed heads-up, as she doubled up on three separate occassions. In the end though, Givens would not be denied a second time and he claimed the title.
The payday is a substantial one for the former online poker who had massive success online before Black Friday, but never quite matched those results. Save for an HPT win in Colorado in 2009, Givens had never booked a six-figure score before today.
The wait seems to be worth it though, as Givens acknowledges that his initial bout of poker success online might have been too much, too soon.
"I wasn't ready to have a lot of money. I was spending too much," said Givens. "This isn't going to change my lifestyle. I was crushing already, and I haven't bought one thing. I don't need to. I got a great woman, I take care of it."
As for what to do with the nearly half a million dollars he has earned this summer, Givens offered a three word answer that indicates he isn't stopping the summer grind any time soon: "run it up."
After all, he has bigger plans than just two final tables.
"I wanna be a millionaire, not a thousand-naire, you feel me?"
This final table featured no bracelet winners, but did include two players who had already final tabled events this summer, Will Givens and Loren Klein (9th). The line-up also included three other players with previous final table experience, Prada-Moed, Duy Ho (6th), and Paul Sokoloff (3rd). Sokoloff began the day last in chips, but managed to move up the payouts ladder, even holding the chip lead during three-handed play before being eliminated.The latest $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event drew 1,841 players, producing a prize pool of $1,656,900. The top 198 finishers each earned a payday. Some of the notables who cashed include recent bracelet winner Alex Bilokur (183rd), Taylor Paur (145th), Tony Ma (74th), Allyn Jaffrey Shulman (33rd), and Ari Engel (28th).Here are the final table results for the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Event 45:1st: Will Givens - $306,6342nd: Angela Prada-Moed - $189,6323rd: Paul Sokoloff - $131,1104th: David Hass - $94,5595th: Patrick Curzio - $69,1256th: Duy Ho - $51,1987th: Dmitrii Shchepkin - $38,4238th: Ivan Saul - $29,2119th: Loren Klein - $22,484