Tel Aviv, Israel's Moshe runs over final table to post third WSOP victory

21 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Israeli poker pro Asi Moshe has earned his third career World Series of Poker gold bracelet by winning Event #44 of the 2019 WSOP, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty.

Moshe's $253,933 winner's payday is the third largest cash of his WSOP career, and it pushes his lifetime WSOP earnings over the $2 million plateau, collected in the span of 29 career WSOP cashes. Moshe's previous two bracelet wins came in the 2014 WSOP and at 2018 WSOP Europe.

Moshe, who has also worked as a computer programmer, learned the game by both playing online and in private home games in Israel. This latest triumph for the 35-year-old Moshe came in this event's bounty-style format, in which each player also received a $500 bounty for knocking out an opponent.

The Israeli pro's final opponent in this 1,807-entry event was prior Circuit ring winner Damjan Radanov. Radanov, a native of Serbia who now calls Memphis, Tennessee home, earned $156,875 as the runner-up in this event.

Third place and a $113,360 cash went to Ruesselheim, Germany's Tonio Roder. Pflugerville, Texas's Patrick Truong finished in fourth to earn $82,764.

Moshe was elated and somewhat at a loss for words following his up-and-down-and-up-again ride to the win. However, it turned out that making the trip to this year's World Series was tougher than it had been in years past, leaving wife Erga and young daughter Mika back in Israel for a two-month span.

“This summer has been very difficult for me. My daughter is now two and a half years old, and my wife... I love them both very much,” he said. “Coming here for the whole summer is not easy for me and not easy for them. So [the win] really makes it worth it. It's really special to me.”

“This is really for them,” he reiterated minutes later. “This summer I'm not here for myself. I like the fame, I like the money, I like being here, it's all true. But this time I'm here for my family, not just myself.”

Moshe tried to maintain his composure while battling through one of the summer's wilder final tables. “I'm really trying to disconnect myself from the positives and the negatives of poker, which happen all the time,” he said. “At one point I was the shortest by a little bit while we were three-handed and tried to take it one spot at a time. Even though I'm not feeling the best in the world at the moment because I was in a better position 30 minutes [earlier].” But momentum soon turned his way again.

Moshe moves into elite company among Israel's poker players with this third bracelet victory, and he'll have the rest of the series, including playing in tomorrow's opening flight of the ongoing “Monster Stack” event, to try for another win. After that, it's back home for a long stretch before venturing to Rozvadov, Czech Republic to defend a bracelet title he won there in 2018.

Moshe's latest big payday moves his career WSOP winnings to $2,079,482, with all of that coming since 2013. That doesn't include the 24 bounties – each worth $500, for a total of $12,000 – that he collected on the way to victory in this event.

Day 3 of this bounty event began with 23 players still in the running, and it reached an official final table with the exit of Dutch pro Martijn Gerrits in tenth place ($15,659). Ninth and $26,125 went to Germany's Bastian Fischer soon after, when he lost a virtual race for the last of his chips with    against Moshe's   . Moshe's jacks held up for the knockout on a         board.

Eighth place ($26,125) went to prior bracelet winner Harrison Gimbel. Florida's Gimbel exited when he moved the last of his chips all in with    but ran into another pair of pocket jacks, this time held by Vitalijs Zavorotnijs. Zavorotnijs'    stayed ahead through a         runout to leave seven players in the chase.

Greensboro, Georgia's Timothy Stephens crashed out in seventh place ($34,300) after a major collision with Zavorotnijs. After Zavorotnijs opened for 350,000 and Roder called, Stephens moved all in for nearly four million. Zavorotnijs then moved all in as well while Roder folded, and it was bad news for Stephens, as his    was in rough shape against Zavorotnijs's   . A     flop gave Stephens a flush draw, but it never filled, as a   turn and   river ended his night.

The United Kingdom's Andy Hills busted next. Hills was down to two million in chips when he shoved all in from the small blind with    but Radanov had    in the big blind and called. The board brought        , no help at all to Hills, and he was off to the cashier to collect a $45,521 sixth-place payout.

Latvia's Zavorotnijs hit the rail in fifth ($61,058) after re-raising all in with   . Moshe, though, had    and wasn't going anywhere, and the queens held up through a         runout.

Texas' Truong saw his run for a first bracelet end when he also lost an all-in preflop race against Moshe. Truong had shoved over a Moshe open with   , and Moshe called with   , which won out as the board brought        . Truong's effort was worth $82,764.

Moshe held a massive lead at this point, holding roughly 90% of the chips in play, but both Radanov and Roder soon doubled up to make three-handed play a true battle, even more so when Radanov doubled a second time to forge into a virtual tie, then watched as his own stack dwindled to where he was briefly down to third.

Soon, though, Moshe's very aggressive style had him back in front, and this time he didn't relinquish the lead. Roder was the first of the three to bust, in a hand where he raised preflop to 1.4 million and Moshe called to see a     flop. Roder bet another 1.1 million and Moshe called again. The turn was the  , Roder bet 3.7 million and Moshe called once more. The river was the  , and after a brief pause, Roder moved all in, and Moshe called for the fourth time. Roder was on a bluff with   , while Moshe had been riding    all along, to pick up the knockout.

That left only Radanov in Moshe's path, and the end came 13 hands later. Radanov was himself on a short stack, and he called all in to a Moshe open-shove. Radanov had just   , but that was well ahead of Moshe's   . The board offered plenty of outs to a chop as it offered       through the turn, but Moshe spiked the   on the river for an improved two pair and his third WSOP title.

Event #44, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty, drew 1,807 entrants to build a $2,439,450 prize pool. 272 players cashed, with a min-cash worth $1,414.

Others who cashed in Event #44 included Benjamin Moon (25th, $7,900), Stanislav Angelov (30th, $6,434), Loni Harwood (39th, $5,301), Sohale Khalili (43rd, $5,301), Michael Gathy (58th, $3,729), Justin Liberto (63rd, $3,729), and Phil Ivey (76th, $2,752).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #44.

Final-Table Payouts:

1st: Asi Moshe, $253,933
2nd: Damjan Radanov, $156,875
3rd: Tonio Roder, $113,360
4th: Patrick Truong, $82,764
5th: Vitalijs Zavorotnijs, $61,058
6th: Andrew Hills, $45,521
7th: Timothy Stephens, $34,300
8th: Harrison Gimbel, $26,125
9th: Bastian Fischer, $20,115