LAS VEGAS (29 June 2017) – London-born Max Silver has claimed his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet on Thursday evening by winning Event #53 of the 2017 WSOP, $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed.
Silver, who now lives in Dublin, Ireland, earned $172,645 in winning this three-day limit hold'em event. The payday swelled his lifetime WSOP earnings to $1,300,585.
Before this bracelet win, Silver was best known in WSOP circles for his deep runs in three other prominent events. Silver placed eighth in the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, then earned his largest-ever WSOP cash in 2014's $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship. Last year, Silver made a deep run in the WSOP's Main Event, finishing 33rd for $216,211.
Silver held the chip lead throughout Thursday's six-player final table. His final foe, Bay Area-player Guowei “Tommy” Zhang, collected second-place money of $106,694.
Third place in this event went to North Carolina's Mickey Craft, who pocketed $69,789 for the deep run. Both Zhang and Craft posted career-best WSOP cashes in this event.
Silver's final-table rout reached its conclusion when Zhang pushed the last of his chips into the middle, having caught a piece of a , then check-raising Silver on a turn. A priced-in Silver called with , then spiked the on the river to close out Zhang.
Silver, who's been playing poker professionally for about eight years and who also owns and operates an online training site, was fortunate to close out this final with such speed. The early finish allowed him to make a midnight flight back to his current home in Dublin, Ireland, though he'll be returning for big events in a few days. "Ill be back to play the $25K PLO... and, of course, the Main Event.
"Amazing," said Silver, regarding the feeling of taking downhis first bracelet after his deep runs in several prominent WSOP events. "I've had several nice scores, but this, this is just amazing."
Silver also told the WSOP that he truly enjoyed being able to take part in a limit hold'em event, a format he seldom gets to play live overseas. All of his previous 24 cashes have come in no-limit hold'em or pot-limit Omaha events. "I had a great time. Every one of my [final table] opponents was tough."
Silver, though, caught the better cards this day. Only for a few minutes during three-handed play, when Craft closed to within a couple of hundred chips, was there a race at the top of the chip counts.
"I was a bit worried there," he acknowledged," but I was able to get control [of the table] again."
This six-max limit tourney began its third and final day already down to an unofficial final table of seven, and that quickly became six when short-stacked David Olson exited in the first half hour of play. Olson was bounced by Silver, who arrived at the final table with chip lead and expanded on it in the early going.
Next to fall was Greece's Georgios Kapalas. Kapalas's elimination occurred in a three-way pot including Mickey Craft and Lena Wang. Kapalas raised both before and after the flop, with Craft coming along both times. Both players checked the turn, and Craft bet out on the river. Kapalas called for his last few chips with queen-high, but Craft showed for two pair.
Bay Area limt player Lena Wang exited in fourth during the day's second hour of play. In her final hand, Wang raised from under the gun and Silver re-raised, forcing her to call for her remaining chips. Wang's was live against Silver's , but she found no help as the board ran out .
The final four narrowed three when Ayman Qutami got the last of his chips in against Craft in a hand where the board showed on the turn. Qutami had , but Craft had already made a second pair with his . Qutami needed an ace to survive, but the river brought the instead.
The knockout was part of an extended surge by Craft that brought him close to Silver's lead, but Silver soon reasserted control. That left Zhang and Craft jockeying to reach heads-up play, and it was Zhang who officially sent Craft to the rail in third. Craft was all in for his last 120,000 with , and both Zhang and Silver came along, with Zhang having and Silver . Those two checked down a board; the trip eights made Zhang's king and queen both play for the pot.
Despite that pot, Zhang still trailed Silver by more than a 3:1 margin as heads-up play began, setting up the stage for Silver to close out his first bracelet win.
Two hundred and fifty-six players took part in this three-day limit hold'em event, generating a total prize pool of $691,200. Thirty-nine players cashed.
Among those cashing in Event #53 were David Bach (11th), John Racener (13th), Jesse Martin (15th), Frank Kassela (16th), Juha Helppi (20th), Diego Cordovez (23rd), James Obst (25th), Joe McKeehen (27th), and Jameson Painter (29th).
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Click here for live updates from Event #53.
Final-Table Payouts (earned POY points in parentheses):
1st: Max Silver, $172,645 (146.5)
2nd: Guowei Zhang, $106,694 (124.8)
3rd: Mickey Craft, $69,789 (108.3)
4th: Lena Wang, $46,871 (94.9)