Florida high-roller collects $185,317 top prize in Event #19

Latest winner starts final table short-stacked, wins early pots, and rolls to victory

Final table devoid of gold bracelet winners, guaranteeing a first-time champion

Kirby Lowery finishes as runner up


Name:  Sam Soverel
Birthplace:  West Palm Beach, FL (USA)
Age:  25
Current Residence:   West Palm Beach, FL (USA)
Profession:  Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes:  3
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament):  1
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  14th (2016)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $297,983
Personal Facts:  High-stakes cash game player


Winner Quote:

“I’ll try to make as much money as possible.”

Sam Soverel (when asked about his future goals in poker)


Sam Soverel is the newest member of poker’s gold bracelet club.

The professional poker player from West Palm Beach, FL won the $1,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, which was played over three days and nights and just concluded at the Rio in Las Vegas.  Soverel collected $185,317 in prize money, making this the biggest tournament win of his career.  This was only the third time he’s cashed in a WSOP event.

However, Soverel is certainly not new to high-stakes poker action.  He routinely plays in big cash games, engages in prop betting, and has entered a fair number of high-roller events which cost as much as $25,000 to enter.  Only because he’s been running bad lately did Soverel decide to step down in class, at least buy-in wise, and play in a $1K buy-in event.  As fate would have it, the jinx wasn’t just broken.  It was obliterated with a gold bracelet victory.

“Coming into this year’s series, a $1,000 event isn’t something I would normally play,” Soverel said later.  “But I had a really bad week in cash games, so I decided to take a few days off.  Then, I late registered right before the dinner break and came in with only ten big blinds when I started, and then ran good.”

Soverel survived the first two days, then won his victory at a final table with mostly newcomers to Day Three action.  None of the nine finalists had previously won a gold bracelet, guaranteeing a first-time winner.  Garrett Garvin, from Encinitas, CA began Day Three with the chip lead.  However, he ended up finishing in third place.

“I changed my strategy up somewhat,” Soverel said afterward.  “I started limping in (calling) a lot.  That’s something I almost never do.  But there were some weak spots at the final table, so I was able to play more.”

The final moment of triumph came when Soverel scooped the final pot of the tournament against Kirby Lowery, who finished as the runner up.  For his fine effort, Lowery collected $114,486 as a consolation prize.

Soveral noted that he started Day Three low on chips, then managed to win a few big pots early at the final table.  That helped him to muscle his way into the chip lead and become the dominant player at a table that lasted about six hours.

This tourney attracted 1,106 entries which created a prize pool totaling $995,400.  The top 166 finishers collected prize money. 

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  Kirby Lowery, from Houston, TX finished as the runner up.  This was his third time to cash at this year’s series, which paid $114,486.

Third Place:  Garrett Garvin, from Encinitas, CA came in third place.  This was his fifth time to cash at the WSOP.  This first career final table appearance paid $81,080.

Fourth Place:  Zachary Hench, from Louisville, KY finished in fourth place.  He collected $58,164 in what was his seventh time to cash in a series event.  This was also his best WSOP showing, to date.

Fifth Place:  Bruno Borges, from Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil, finished in fifth place.  This was his second final table appearance of this year’s series after coming in sixth in a $1,500 buy-in NLHE event.  This payout amounted to $42,270.

Sixth Place:  Jeffrey Landherr, from Wentzville, MO enjoyed his fourth WSOP cash.  He’s made some deep runs in the past, bubbling the final table of last year’s $10K Pot-Limit Omaha championship (10th).  He also finished as the runner up in the WSOP Circuit championship last year held at Choctaw, which was good for nearly a quarter million in prize money.  This time, he picked up $31,126 for the three-day tournament.

Seventh Place:  Jared Koppel, from Minneapolis, MN made his deepest run ever and first final table appearance at the WSOP with this seventh-place showing, which paid $23,228.

Eighth Place:  Henri Ojala, from Helsinki, Finland now has two WSOP cashes, both this year, after coming in eighth-place.  He added $17,570 to his poker bankroll.

Ninth Place:  Juuso Leppanen, from Nokia, Finland was one of two Finns in the finale.  He cashed for the first time at the WSOP with this final table debut.  Leppanen earned $13,474.

This was the 19th event on this year’s schedule.  This leaves 50 gold bracelet tournaments still to go at the 2016 WSOP.



Dan Shak, with more than $7 million in overall career tournament winnings, finished in 11th place.

Ralph Perry, a gold bracelet winner (2006), finished in 15th place.

Steve Sung, a two-time gold bracelet winner (2009, 2013), finished in 19th place.

Andrew Barber, a gold bracelet winner (2015), finished in 25th place.

Ted Lawson, a gold bracelet winner (2004), finished in 31st place.

Mohsin Charania, a top tournament pro with multiple major wins, cashed for the sixth time at this year’s series, finishing in 51st place.

Other notable players who finished in the money beyond the top 50 included – Ryan D’Angelo, Alex Bolotin, Jesse Sylvia, Phil Laak, J.C. Tran, Yarom Limor, Ben Yu, Bob Ciaffone, George Danzer, Tim West, Bill Chen, Christian Harder, and Roland Israelashvili. 


The ages of participants ranged from 21 to 81.  The eldest player in the field was Howard “Tahoe” Andrew.

The breakdown of player nationalities for this event was 851 Americans and 245 players from elsewhere.  The top five nations represented was the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Russia, and Germany.

The breakdown of participants by gender was 96.9 percent males and 3.1 percent females.



For this event’s official final results (listing all players who finished in-the-money), please visit:

For Sam Soverel’s official player profile page, please visit:

For the live reporting logs for this event, please visit:

To access licensed images from this all other 2016 WSOP gold bracelet events, please visit: