After 14 hours of poker on Wednesday, Ryan Hefter became the latest World Series of Poker bracelet winner. He won the €1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack event at WSOP Europe at the Spielbank Berlin Casino, earning €176,205 and the first bracelet of his poker career.
Hefter is an amateur poker player, and this is only his second WSOP cash. He works in finance, and recently moved to Poland for two years for work. He came to Berlin to play a few tournaments, and it was a decision that clearly paid off.
A few minutes after securing his victory, Hefter was still processing his accomplishment. “I can’t even put into words how I feel right now,” he said. The win is perhaps even sweeter for Hefter since he may have fewer opportunities to play events like this. “I work, so I don’t have time to tour the circuits.”
The final table got started a little later than initially planned. The original schedule called for the event to play down to the final table of 9 players Tuesday night, then resume with the final table at noon on Wednesday. But thanks to a large field, play concluded Tuesday night with 22 players still remaining. They returned to the felt the next day, and the final started just after 6:30 p.m.
The first player eliminated from the final table was David Peters. He started the final table as one of the shorter stacks, and ended up losing a flip against Carlos Chang. Peters was arguably the most experienced live tournament player out of the final nine. He has 34 previous WSOP cashes, including 6 final tables, and this is now his third final table at a WSOP Europe event. He earns €16,455 for his ninth place finish.
Just about 15 minutes after Peters was eliminated, Richard Sheils busted out in eighth place (€20,675). His ran into Henrik Hecklen’s . Sheils flopped a king, but Hecklen made a straight to send Sheils to the exit.
Justin Frolian was the next one out. He exited in dramatic fashion in a series of unfortunate hands. In the first, he got into a blind-vs-blind confrontation against Hecklen. Frolian held Jack-Ten and flopped a jack-high straight. He was in good shape against Hecklen’s pocket aces. However, the turn paired the board, and the river brought another ace, giving Hecklen a full house. Just a couple hands later, Frolian had all his chips in the middle with pocket fives in a coin-flip against Carlos Chang. The flop was safe for Frolian’s pair. But the river brought a third heart and gave Chang a flush draw. The river completed Chang’s flush, and Frolian had once again lost to runner-runner. He earned €26,415 for his seventh-place finish.
At that point, play slowed down considerably, and it was about an hour until the next elimination. Armin Eckl finished in sixth place for €34,180, and the slow pace of play continued. It was almost another 90 minutes before Diego Ventura was eliminated in fifth place (€44,725). His Queen-Ten ran into Carlos Chang’s pocket sixes. Ventura flopped a pair, but Chang turned a set to win. Ventura is a Peruvian player, currently living in Hungary to be with his wife. He’s an online specialist with over $2,000,000 in earnings.
At this point, the blinds were starting to get high, and after the start of a new level, it was only a few hands until the next bustout. Henrik Hecklen, the final table’s only Danish player, was eliminated in fourth place for €59,495. Despite the large blinds, three-handed play lasted about 90 minutes. Eventually, Carlos Chang was eliminated in third place when he lost a flip with against Ryan Hefter’s .
Chang’s departure left Hefter and Diaz heads-up for the bracelet. By then, there were only about 43 big blinds total on the table, so the action picked up quite a bit. After several all-in hands in which the at-risk player won (or the players split the pot), they got into one final all-in confrontation. Hefter won, eliminating Diaz in second place (€109,625), and securing the bracelet for himself. Afterwards, Hefter reflected on the end of the tournament. “We have 20 big blinds each. He’s a good player. What am I gonna do? I’m not going to outplay him with 20 big blinds. Pick a hand I like and go for it.” His timing was right when he picked his hands, and he ended up walking away with over €176,000.
The Monster Stack event attracted a field of 580 players, generating a prize pool of €843,900. The top 63 players made the money. Players finishing in the money before the final table include Barny Boatman (61st place - €2,785), Noah Bronstein (46th - €3,040), Sam Chartier (45th - €3,290), Andy Black (36th - €3,630), Simon Deadman (16th - €8,945), and Casey Kastle (13th - €10,800).
Here are the final table payouts for Event #4: €1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack. Click here for full results.
1 – Ryan Hefter – €176,205
2 – Gilbert Diaz – €109,625
3 – Carlos Chang – €80,170
4 – Henrik Hecklen – €59,495
5 – Diego Ventura – €44,725
6 – Armin Eckl – €34,180
7 – Justin Frolian – €26,415
8 – Richard Sheils – €20,675
9 – David Peters – €16,455