Sunday, July 3, 2016 6:22 PM Local Time
Andrew Lichtenberger Wins the $3K No-Limit Hold'em Event
Before today, if were to log into WSOP.com and check out the player profile page for Andrew Lichtenberger, you would have undoubtedly hit the “refresh” button a few times.
It couldn’t be true that Lichtenberger, one of poker’s most-talented tournament grinders who has been playing at the WSOP since 2009, didn’t yet have a World Series of Poker gold bracelet. That simply couldn’t have been true.
Well, it was true – until this day.
Lichtenberger finally won the WSOP victory that probably should have been his much earlier, by virtue of five previous final table appearances at the series, plus a runner-up finish back in 2009.
The 28-year-old professional poker player won the $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which was played over four days and three nights and just concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Lichtenberger collected $569,158 in prize money, making this one of the biggest wins of his career. While the player popularly known as “Lucky Chewy” had previously won a World Poker Tour title, this marked a personal milestone. Lichtenberger also won a WSOP Circuit championship at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, back in 2010.
“It feels amazing to win this,” Lichtenberger said. “I’ve been playing the World Series since 2009 and I’ve been watching it since I was a kid when I saw Chris Moneymaker win is – so it feels amazing.”
The long-overdue poker pro won his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included several tough foes – no one more determined than Craig Blight, who took the heads-up fight into an unscheduled fourth day of play. The final moment of triumph came when Lichtenberger scooped the final pot of the tournament against the Sydney, Australia-based poker player, who finished as the runner up. Blight collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $351,721.
“It was a really interesting mix of players, including a lot of cash game players,” Lichtenberger said when asked about this final table and how it compared with previous experiences playing under considerably more pressure than normal. “So, it was fascinating to see the dynamics of how the cash game pros mixed with the tournament pros that are used to this kind of experience. But the cash game players did really well.”
Lichtenberger is originally from New York City. He lived on Long Island for a time, before settling down in Las Vegas. However, Lichtenberger’s real home is on the road most of the year, playing in tournaments around the country, and sometimes abroad. Aside from lots of playing experience and a mastery of tournament strategy, Lichtenberger also credits his healthy lifestyle and adherence to nutrition to providing an edge, particularly in a game where outcomes are decided by thin margins.
“Nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and a positive attitude were all integral factors in my victory today,” Lichtenberger said. “Without adopting these choices, I wouldn’t be here. The human body is simple, but also very deep in its workings. To sit (playing) for so many hours and not nourish it, you’re going give yourself more difficulty when the crucial moments come. So, just by doing what I do, I was able to make good decisions that really mattered today.”
This tourney attracted 1,125 entrants which created a prize pool totaling more than $3 million. The top 169 finishers collected prize money.
This was the 52nd official event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 17 gold bracelet events still to go in what promises to be the biggest and most exciting WSOP ever.
Aside from the winner, here’s the list of top finishers who made the final table:
Second Place: Craig Blight (Sydney, Australia) -- $351,721
Third Place: Chris Johnson (Las Vegas, NV) -- $249,336
Fourth Place: Mac Sohrabi (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) -- $179,015
Fifth Place: Linglin Zeng (Lincoln, NE) -- $130,191
Sixth Place: Erhan Iscan (San Diego, CA) -- $95,925
Seventh Place: Thomas Miller (E. Hampton, NY) -- $71,617
Eighth Place: Roger Teska (New Carlisle, IN) -- $54,190
Ninth Place: Daniel Wagner (West Hollywood, CA) -- $41,563