Ohio poker pro shows well-rounded poker skills by taking down second in Dealers Choice Championship
Las Vegas, NV (June 10, 2018) - On Sunday afternoon, Adam Friedman showed that winning a bracelet in 2012 was no fluke. The poker pro originally from Ohio took down the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship after defeating Stuart Rutter and Alexey Makarov on an unscheduled fourth day of play.
The 36-year-old defeated 111 entries and earned $292,375 for his second World Series of Poker title. He started off the 2018 WSOP on a high note, just a year after one of the worst summers of his career.
“Honestly, I am happy at the moment, but I’m not nearly as elated as I thought I’d be,” said Friedman. “Last year, I had the worst summer. Everybody was making for me for going 0-for-a million last summer. It was very frustrating, but fortunately I was in a spot where if I struck out there and got murdered [in cash games], I was going to be alright. Armageddon happened and I’m alright. Armageddon is definitely not this year.”
After debuting the dealers choice format in 2014, the WSOP added a $10,000 buy-in Championship event in 2015. It’s quickly become one of the most coveted formats for the pros to win and prove their all-around poker talent.
“In terms of the $10K’s, this one is right up there,” said Friedman about the prestige of the tournament. “You need to know how to play 20 games. How many people are at least competent in at least 20 games? Not many. I think this takes as much skill as any other event.”
Along with having advance knowledge of a vast array of games, Friedman also thinks that picking the correct games is an undervalued skill. One that many haven’t mastered.
“To be honest, I don’t want to give too much away because I think a good amount of people don’t pick the games right and it’s as much of a key as anything else,” said Friedman. “I will say this. You need to pick games not strictly based on, not your ability, and not even necessarily your opponents’ ability and what they are good or bad at. You need to think about chip sizes and certain ICM considerations.”
This aspect of the game is one of the areas he felt he had an edge on the field.
“I’ve probably put more thought into game choice than anybody else in this field. I really have,” said Friedman. “From early stages to middle stages, all the way to the end. Even last night, my roommates and I discussed three-handed and heads-up for about 30-45 minutes last night.”
From the beginning of the final table all the way down to the end, Friedman was at or near the top of the chip counts. Despite being flush with chips for most of the time, he tempered his expectations and was ready for any outcome.
“I excepted my fate in this tournament,” he said. “I knew I could go out 10th or 11th or if I just got hot in the right hand or two I could win it.”
That’s exactly what happened.
“It seemed like every key bluff in this tournament panned out, and it started on Day 1 with a hand against Chris Vitch,” said Friedman. “Every key bluff just got through when it needed to, every value hand got there and every thin bet I made seemed to pan out.”
Friedman’s win gives him more than $1.4 million in WSOP earnings. He’s also a regular in the high-stakes cash games in the area. Outside of his famed tears of disappointment in the 2005 Main Event, many casual poker fans wouldn’t know his track record.
Fame isn’t the reason Friedman grinds out a living. He’s a pro’s pro and is only at the table to pad his bank account.
“The whole point of doing this for a living is to be able to put yourself in a better standing,” he said. “To be able to provide for yourself and the people around you. And eventually accumulate wealth. Most poker players won’t do that. Most won’t invest their money properly. You can’t just leave all your money for the poker table. This money, I’m going to spend the next few days to think about where I’m going to invest some of this money.”
Being smart with money away from the table is what Friedman feels will allow him to stay out of the 9-to-5 grind.
“I’m just trying to let my money grow so I don’t have to work,” said Friedman. “That’s what most poker players don’t understand. There’s going to be enough for me later on down the road.”
The final day kicked off on Saturday at 2 p.m. with 13 players remaining and Anthony Zinno leading the way. Zinno busted in eighth place just shy of the final table, and the final seven players redrew for seats at the unofficial final table just after 8 p.m.
Just 15 minutes after the redraw, Nikolai Yakovenko busted in seventh place and the final six players all were credited with making the final table of the Dealers Choice Championship event.
Marco Johnson didn’t last much longer and was headed towards the payout desk in sixth place, falling at the hands of Friedman. In Big O, they got all in on the flop of with Friedman showing against Johnson’s .
The turn was the and the river was the . Friedman ended up with nut-nut and eliminated the two-time bracelet winner.
Chris Klodnicki had the chip lead at the outset of five-handed play, but five-handed play lasted for several hours with just as many lead changes. Eventually, Friedman pulled away with the chip lead and the other four players didn’t have many big bets remaining.
David ‘ODB’ Baker was the next to fall. He was eliminated in fifth place by Friedman, but the damage was done by Stuart Rutter. In seven-card stud hi-lo, they got all in on fifth street with Baker tabling eights and deuces against Rutter’s trip nines. Neither player improved and Rutter doubled up. Baker was left with an ante chip and eliminated on the next hand.
Klodnicki busted next, also at the hands of Friedman. They got all in after the second draw in 2-7 triple draw. Friedman drew one, drawing to an 8-7 and Klodnicki stood pat with a queen-eight-six low. The final three players finished the level before hitting the hard stop and bagging up for the night.
Friedman finished Saturday’s action with the chip lead and play resumed on Sunday at 2 p.m. Rutter and Alexey Makarov were the two short stacks, but Rutter took over the chip lead after doubling through, and then eliminating Makarov in a no-limit 2-7 single draw and a pot-limit 2-7 triple draw hand.
Rutter made a 7-6 low and eliminated Makarov, who was drawing to an eight-low. That gave Rutter the chip lead in a heads-up battle against Friedman, but Friedman scooped a badacey pot to move him back into the chip lead.
The badacey pot moved him back into the chip lead for good, but Friedman didn’t think the bracelet was his until the final card was dealt, and all the chips were pushed his way.
“If I lose a couple limit pots, I think I started the day with 3.1 [million], I could be down to a million in a couple minutes,” said Friedman. “The hands can play themselves.”
Friedman extended his chip lead over the next few hands after the badacey scoop and put away Rutter in stud hi-lo. They got all in on sixth street with Rutter tabling a pair of deuces and a low draw against Friedman’s queens and tens. Rutter made a worse two pair and Friedman shipped his second piece of WSOP gold.
Final Table Results:
1st: Adam Friedman - $292,375
2nd: Stuart Rutter - $181,258
3rd: Alexey Makarov - $127,487
4th: Chris Klodnicki - $90,713
5th: David 'ODB' Baker - $65,308
6th: Marco Johnson - $47,579
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