Lansing, Michigan pro Dudley earns first career bracelet by winning PLO championship

25 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Lansing, Michigan's Dash Dudley has logged a million-dollar payday by taking down Event #52 of the 2019 World Series of Poker, $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed.

Dudley, a 33-year-old pro, collected a career-best $1,086,967 while also winning his first career WSOP bracelet. The huge win came in his 38th lifetime WSOP cash, and it boosted his lifetime Series earnings to $1,451,076. Dudley triumphed over a 518-entry field to collect the largest share of a massive $4,869,200 prize pool.

Dudley entered heads-up play virtually even in chips with eventual runner-up James Park, but Dudley quickly pulled ahead and closed out the victory. Park, 31, from Birmingham, England, earned second-place money of $671,802.

Australia's Joel Feldman finished in third moments after losing a key pot to Dudley during three-handed play. Feldman, from Melbourne, more than doubled his previous lifetime WSOP earnings with his $463,814 cash in this event.

Colorado native and current Vegas-based pro Jeremy Ausmus, a prior bracelet winner, collected a fourth-place payday of $85,141. Fifth went to Florida-based pro Kyle Montgomery, who earned $232,680.

Dudley is a PLO cash-game specialist who splits his time between casinos in Michigan and trips to California and Las Vegas. He's been a pro virtually his entire adult life, though he also studied and wrestled collegiately at Michigan State before pursuing poker full time.

Dudley thanked his mother, specifically, for bringing him into poker. “This is my mother, Kimberly Dudley,” he said, as he introduced her to the media. “The reason I play cards is because of her, primarily. She used to have a game, way back, when I was 13 or 14 years old, and they'd play dealer's choice.

“I watched for quite a bit, and finally I decided to jump in and try it out. And they crushed me. They were playing no-limit seven-card stud – it was maybe the only no-limit seven-stud game in the country. They were puttng a lot of pressure on me when I had no money.

“But that's kind of how my mom got me into poker and she's been such an influence my whole life, helping me out. We've been through tough times, and she's always been there for me.”

All that experience and study led up today, when Dudley played for the life-changing payday. He spent some time before the final preparing for the short-stacked play he expected to unfold there, to which he arrived with a narrow lead. “I prepared for that,” he said. “I really feel strongly about my short-stack game. I've been short-stacked for years and people kind of make fun of me. I even said, 'It's no more Min-cash Dash.' I was playing for the win.

“I knew stuff might happen. People might get chips and I might get short. [But] I feel real confident in PLO, even short. … Everyone gets real impatient in PLO when they're short-stacked, and it causes them to make some crucial mistakes. People will justify it as coolers, but they're really getting the money in at twenty or thirty percent [to win]. There's a lot of spots you can avoid."

Dudley flirted with short-stack status only once during this final, but he soon snared a double-up, moved back near the lead, and eventually closed out the win.

The central Michigan native had no immediate splurging plans for any of his seven-digit win, planning to invest most of it. He's been engaged to his girlfriend Racquel for nine years, and he and “Rocky” will be tying the knot in 2010, likely with much more financial stability than they planned on just a few days ago.

An eight-player live-streamed table began Tuesday afternoon with the quick eliminations of the two shortest-stacked finalists, Bridgehampton, New York's Will Jaffe and Moscow, Russian Federation's Andrey Razov.

Jaffe, a prior WSOP bracelet winner, busted first to earn eighth-place money of $94,380. In his last hand, he and Joel Feldman traded re-raises before the flop with Jaffe ending up all in with     , while Feldman had     . The hand, though, was all but decided on an unlikely     flop that gave Feldman quad jacks and left Jaffe needing runner-runner-perfect kings. That dream ended on the   turn, and a meaningless   river completed the knockout.

Razov followed Jaffe to the rail a few hands later. He also got the last of his chips in before the flop, with Dash Dudley logging the bustout. Razov had      to Dudley's   10h] . Both players hit top pair on the     flop, but Dudley moved well ahead on the   turn. Razov had some outs to win or chop, but the   river sealed his seventh-place ($125,215) exit instead.

The remaining six players held deeper stacks and parried for two hours before Dublin, Ireland's Eoghan O'Day busted in sixth. O'Day, who's most famed in poker for making the 2011 WSOP final table, raised to 1.5 million, saw Jeremy Ausmus make it 3.6 million, then moved all in for just a little bit more, which Ausmus quickly called. O'Day had     , but Ausmus had     . The     flop left O'Day drawing thin, and the   turn and   river made the knockout official. O'Day also finished sixth in this event in 2017, and he collected $169,173 in this year's edition.

Tampa, Florida's Kyle Montgomery followed O'Day to the cashier's desk not long after. Montgomery was all in before the flop for his last 3.3 million, and like those before him, ran into a paired-aces holding that held up. This time Park held the aces –      – while Montgomery showed     . Montgomery largely whiffed on the     flop, but picked up a draw with the   turn. The river, though, was the  , sealing Montgomery's $232,680 payout.

Las Vegas pro Ausmus's run ended in fourth ($325,693) in another hand where Park had aces that held up. The hand began with Ausmus opening to one million from the cutoff, Dudley calling from the button, and Park making it 4.2 million from the big blind. Ausmus called for nearly all his remaining chips while Dudley folded. The last of Ausmus's chips went in after a     flop, with Ausmus showing      and Park opening     . Ausmus had a wrap, but the   turn and   river missed everything, sending the pot Park's way.

Third place and $463,814 went to the Aussie pro, Feldman, who got the last of his chips in ahead against Park, but busted to a cruel river. Feldman had      to Park's     , and Feldman through the turn with the board showing      . But the river was the  , giving Park the knockout.

Park and Dudley began heads-up play almost exactly tied in chips, but Dudley soon surged ahead. He built a 2:1 edge before the final hand played out. Park began the hand by raising to 600,000, and Dudley pot-bet in return, to 3.6 million. Park called and the two saw a     flop. Dudley again bet the pot, which covered Park's remaining stack, but after a lengthy tank, Park called it off but found himself in bad shape with      to Dudley's     . The   turn was no help for Park, nor was the   river, which instead gave Dudley the clinching Broadway straight and the victory.

Event #52, $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed, drew 518 entries and offered a $4,869,200 prize pool. 78 players made the money and a min-cash was worth $15,029.

Event #52 cashers also included Daniel Alaei (9th, $72,468), Kevin Eyster (13th, $45,229), Sylvain Loosli (14th, $45,229), Scott Bohlman (18th, $30,532), Luke Schwartz (21st, $30,532), Shaun Deeb (24th, $30,532), Vladimir Shchmelev (30th, $25,860), and Ryan D'Angelo (36th, $22,364).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #52.

Final-Table Payouts:

1st: Dash Dudley, $1,086,967
2nd: James Park, $671,802
3rd: Joel Feldman, $463,814
4th: Jeremy Ausmus, $325,693
5th: Kyle Montgomery, $232,680
6th: Eoghan O'Day, $169,173
7th: Andrey Razov, $125,215
8th: Will Jaffe, $94,380