Washington State's “BigRissky” ends 12-year bracelet drought with Event #10 win

5 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Scott Clements has earned his third career World Series of Poker gold bracelet by winning Event #10 at the 2019 WSOP, $1,500 Dealers Choice. Clements collected a $144,957 payday in addition to the bracelet.

Clement's win came in the challenging dealer's-choice format, in which each player in rotation chooses the game to be played from a list of 20 different poker variants. Clements won bracelets in 2006 and 2007, but endured a 12-year drought before returning to title form in this event.

Clements, a 37-year-old poker pro from Mount Vernon, Washington, led through most of the final table, finally separating himself from his remaining foes during four-handed play. Clements' final opponent was Santa Rosa, California's Tim McDermott, who fell just shy of his own first bracelet win. McDermott's second-place effort earned him $89,567.

“East Coast Mike” Ross, a Chicago native now living in Las Vegas, clawed back from a short stack to battle for the lead before being ousted in third by Clements. Ross's deep run was worth $58,718.

Japan's Naoya Kihara, a prior bracelet winner, finished in fourth place to earn $39,377. David “Wes” Self took fifth for $55,869, while three-time bracelet winner Benny Glaser rounded out the final table, earning $18,996 for sixth.

Clements has always been one of the more interesting stories in professional poker. Early in his career, he was an online pro, but he was forced to switch to live-tourney play after his home state of Washington passed a law in 2006 making the playing of online poker illegal.

Clements made that transition look like a world-beating move when he claimed WSOP gold in both 2006 and 2007, and though he's always remained a solid pro, the bracelets stopped there... until his victory in this event.

“I think in all my other pictures I didn't smile, but this one I'm definitely smiling, because I got back,” he said. “If I'd have got second in this, it would have been pretty rough, because I've gotten a lot of seconds and I did not want to get another second.”

When asked how this bracelet win compared to his first two, he said, “It's probably number one, because it's been 12 years. I was pretty cocky back then, when I won the first two right off. Plus, I've got three kids, so I can give them all a bracelet.”

In dealers choice, some players' strategy is to focus on their own strongest games, while others attack their opponents' weakest spots. For Clements, it was definitely the latter. “I usually just tried to pick like whatever people looked like they didn't want to be picked. I felt pretty comfortable in most of the games.

Then he qualified that. “I'm not always right, and sometimes I'm just lazy and I take whatever the last person picked if I can't think of anything better. I didn't have any specific scenario but I kept picking what I thought people were not as good at.”

Twenty-one players returned to play for the title as Event #3 resumed on Wednesday, led by Benny Glaser, and it took the entire afternoon to play to an unofficial final table of seven players. Mike Watson's bustout in seventh then set the official final, with Clements well ahead of the other players at that point.

Clements' gains came partly at Glaser's expense, and the Brit was the next to bust. Glaser's exit came against Clements in a hand of deuce-to-seven single draw, when Clements opened for 50,000, Glaser moved all in, and Clements called. Clements had a stayed pat, and Glaser then drew one. Clements opened his 10-8-5-4-3, while Glaser started with 8-7-5-2, and needed a nine, six, four, or three. Instead, he pulled a jack, sending the pot Clements' way.

Fifth-place was decided minutes later, when Wes Self busted in another hand of deuce-to-seven single draw. Self was down to just 230,000 when he moved all in, and Clements called from the small blind. Both players drew one, and Self had the lead at that point with 7-5-4-2 to Clements' 9-7-5-2. Again, Clements drew better, catching an eight to Self's ace, completing back-to-back knockouts.

Four-handed play lasted a much longer stretch before Kihara busted. Kihara's stack had been whittled down to 245,000 and he made his last stand in a pot-limit deuce-to-seven triple draw hand against Ross. With all the chips in before the first draw, Kihara drew one and Ross two. On the second draw, Kihara drew one and Ross stayed pat. Both players patted on the third draw; Ross showed an eight-six, which was good against Kihara's eight-seven.

Ross himself busted in third a short while later in a hand of deuce-to-seven singledraw against Clements. The hand began with Clements opening to 100,000, and Ross then moved all in for 650,000, which Clements called. Ross drew one, while Clements stayed ten. “What am I trying to beat?” Ross asked, and Clements showed his pat nine. Ross had drawn to a ten, and was already beaten at that point, ending his run with a third-place payout.

That left Clements with a commanding lead entering heads-up action against McDermott, and though the two parried for well over an hour, Clements' edge was never seriously threatened. Clements' whittled down McDermott's stack, and the end came in a hand of no-limit hold'em. McDermott was down to 490,000, and he moved all in from the big blind; Clements called and the two showed their cards:

McDermott –   
Clements -   

Any real suspense ended on the     flop, which left McDermott only a single out, the case king, just to chop the hand. McDermott was already out of his seat to congratulate Clements before the   turn and   river closed out the play in the event.

Event #10, $1,500 Dealers Choice, drew 470 entries and built a $634,500 prize pool. The top 71 players cashed, with each earning at least $2,250.

Other Notables:
Among those who made Event #10's final day but fell short of the official final were Watson (7th, $13,681), Michael Chow (9th, $10,101), Josh Arieh (10th, $10,101), Robert Mizrachi (11th, $7,652), Jim Collopy (13th, $5,950), “Miami” John Cernuto (14th, $5,950), Andrey Zhigalov (15th, $5,950), John Monnette (16th, $5,950), Frankie O'Dell (19th, $4,754), and Jesse Martin (20th, $4,754).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #10.

Final Table Payouts:

1st: Scott Clements, $144,957
2nd: Tim McDermott, $89,567
3rd: Mike Ross, $58,718
4th: Naoya Kihara, $39,377
5th: Wes Self, $27,027
6th: Benny Glaser, $18,996