LAS VEGAS (9 July 2017) – Harrison Gimbel has earned his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and $645,922 after winning Event #68 of the 2017 WSOP, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em.
Gimbel claimed the win in the early hours of Sunday morning by surging from behind during heads-up play against eventual runner-up Chance Kornuth.
Gimbel, 26, from Jupiter, Florida, doubled up against Kornuth early in their final duel to roughly square the match when his all-in with A-Q held up against Kornuth's A-J. Moments later, both players' chips went in again, and this time Gimbel had pocket queens, which held up for the win against Kornuth's pocket tens.
The win swelled Gimbel's career WSOP earnings to more than 850,000. In addition, Kimbel has been a star on several circuits in his brief career, and has now topped $5 million in recorded live-tourney winnings.
Kimbel's comeback victory denied runner-up Kornuth his own second career WSOP bracelet. The $399,132 second-place cash for Kornuth, a native of Denver, Colorado, pushed his WSOP career earnings over the million-dollar mark.
Finishing in third for $285,148 was Las Vegas pro Ryan van Sanford. Sanford, 23, also originally from Colorado, earned his largest-to-date WSOP cash in this event.
Twenty-seven players began Day 3 action, and that number wasn't trimmed to a final table of nine until more than halfway through the offical ten hours of scheduled play. Gimbel himself was next to last among those 27 at the start of play, but he climbed all the way to the lead, just ahead of Kornuth, as the official final table of nine was set.
Kornuth led through a section of the early final-table play as well, until the elimination of Christopher Farmer in fifth. From then on... chaos, with Gimbel, Kornuth, and third- and fourth-place finishers van Sanford and John Griffin taking turns at both the bottom and top of the pack, amid a flurry of big-hand collisions. Kornuth was down to fumes at one point, but maneuvered himself to the top in a series of big pots that culminated in Griffin's fourth-place exit.
At that point it appeared Kornuth's second career bracelet was just a short stretch of play away, but that never came to be, thanks to Gimbel's back-to-back doubles.
"It was a swingy day," said Gimbel, about Day 3's roller-coaster ride. I was anywhere from chip leader to down to four big [blinds] maybe 12 times, it felt like, in this tournament. It's nice to get a win; it's my first win at the World Series. I'm happy.
"I got a couple of big hands versus Chance [Kornuth]. I started heads-up like a three-to-one dog. I doubled in one of the first hands, then I doubled again, and it basically knocked him out.
“Chance is a hell of a player,” Gimbel added. “He'll be back. It was a really fast heads-up; I wasn't expecting that."
Gimbel's bracelet win completed, for him, poker's unofficial “Triple Crown” of victories in the poker world's three largest series or tours, making his first WSOP bracelet even more special. “I'm ecstatic!” he proclaimed. It was my brother Danny's birthday yesterday. He's my biggest fan and the bracelet's going to him."
The first player to bust from Event #68's official final table was James Gilbert, who was part of a double-elimination hand that also included 10th-place finisher Florentino Coalla. With the chips in before the flop, Coalla's A-4 and Gilbert's J-J both fell to Griffin's K-K on a board that ran out nine-high. The hand began a run of all-in, pre-flop collisions that defined this final table.
Just two hands later, Kristofer Homerding suffered the same fate when his A-J went up against Christopher Farmer's A-K. The flop brought one king and the turn brought another, and nothing else higher than an eight appeared.
That left seven in the bracelet hunt, including two Brazilian players, Vinicius Teizeira Alves and Enio Bozzano. The Brazilian duo saw their runs end in back-to-back manner. First, Teixeira Alves was bounced when his A-9 was no good against another pair of pocket kings for Griffin. About an hour later, Bozzano got his chips in good with 8-8 against Gimbel's 3-3, but the board brought . Gimbel's spiked set stayed good as Bozzano missed his own eights and flush-redraw outs.
Fifth place went to Farmer just five hands after Bozzano's ouster. Gimbel again claimed this KO, getting the better of it with his against Farmer's . This time Gimbel found his king on the turn as the completed board read .
Farmer's exit marked the site of the wild and lengthy stretch of four-way play, which finally ended when Griffin was bounced 66 hands later. In the first knockout hand featuring primarily post-flop action, Griffin check-raised Kornuth all-in while holding on the river of a board. Kornuth, though, had for the full house, leaving Griffin on the rail. Griffin's first-ever WSOP cash was worth $206,119 a healthy first entry in the results ledger.
Van Sanford's turn came next, with Kornuth delivering the final blow. Van Sanford had the better of it with to Kornuth's , but the A-Q proved unlucky this time as the board ran out to give Kornuth the knockout.
The addition of van Sanford's chips to Kornuth's stack gave him the 3:1 margin over Gimbel as their duel got underway, but then it was Gimbel's turn to get the back-to-back doubles that clinched this win.
This event featured a sizable $3,642,300 prize pool, accumulated from 1,349 paid entrants.The top 203 finishers cashed in this event.
Among those earning a payday in Event #68 were Matt Salsberg (13th), Eric Froelich (16th), Kein Saul (28th), Daniel Negreanu (29th), Ryan Laplante (32nd), Tony Dunst (41st), and Ryan D'Angelo (43rd).
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Final-Table Payouts (earned POY points in parentheses):
1st: Harrison Gimbel, $645,922 (227.5)
2nd: Chance Kornuth, $399,132 (193.7)
3rd: Ryan van Sanford, $285,148 (173.2)