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2019 50th Annual World Series of Poker The Official WSOP Live Updates

Thursday, June 20, 2019 to Sunday, June 23, 2019

$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Event #48)

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  • Buy-in: $2,500
  • Prizepool: $2,241,000
  • Entries: 996
  • Remaining: 0


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Sunday, June 23, 2019 1:25 AM Local Time
Ari Engel Wins First WSOP Bracelet and $427,399 in Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Ari Engel

Ari Engel has emerged victorious from a field of 996 to take down Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em and claim his first WSOP bracelet. With nine WSOP Circuit rings to his name and 15 years of WSOP experience, Engel had never bagged a bracelet at the World Series of Poker until today.

"Never give up," was his advice. "With us huge field no limit players, you play these expecting to win one in a lifetime. It's a relief to not mess it up, because usually, I mess it up." The self-deprecating champion acknowledged his able heads up opponent Pablo Joaquin Melogno, saying that when they reached the final table, he thought, "I'm going to try to get heads up with him and then he's going to win it."

That turned out not to be the case, as two huge hands in a row at the bitter end turned the tables on his experienced Uruguayan rival to hand Engel the $427,399 top prize and winner's jewellery. On how it felt to win such an event in a field dotted with prior champions, Engel said, "The competition in this was way tougher [than the Circuit]. It means more from the poker accomplishment perspective."

Final table results:

1stAri EngelCanada$427,399
2ndPablo MelognoUruguay$264,104
3rdWilbern HoffmanUnited States$186,392
4thBen KeelineUnited States$133,306
5thDavid "Bakes" BakerUnited States$96,632
6thJames HughesUnited States$71,010
7thTruyen NguyenUnited States$52,909
8thRyan OlisarUnited States$39,980
9thJosh AriehUnited States$30,643

Day 3 began with 24 players still in the running for the title, but there was a flurry of early eliminations including those of double bracelet winners Mark Radoja and Kristen Bicknell to condense the players, redrawn, onto two tables.

It was at this point that Baitai Li, chip leader since the end of Day 1, began to lose ground, with Engel (who busted Barny Boatman in 18th with kings vs. eights) and Ryan Olisar edging in front of him while every large pot that Li contested being shipped to someone else. Josh Arieh was also building stacks, taking two scalps in a row in level 22, cracking Gal Yifrach's queens with some quads-spiking pocket sixes to bust him in 17th, and then watching his overpair (jacks vs. tens) hold to send Jose Brito to the rail in 15th place ($15,058). Li himself ran ace-queen into the pocket kings of eventual finalist Truyen Nguyen to bust in 14th place.

Next to be eliminated was Michael Finstein (12th for $23,828) and as the final two tables' action slowed down approaching the final table bubble, Engel increased his chip lead, busting Pedro Marques with a fortunate    spiking a seven against his opponent's   . Just missing out on a place at the final table was Harald Sammer, sent packing in a huge three-way preflop all in in which Engel was involved but not victorious. The winner of that monster pot was Wilbern Hoffman, his aces seemingly cracked when Sammer flopped two pair with    only for a counterfeiting river pair to grant him a triple up. Hoffman sailed on to his first WSOP final, having only started playing poker last year.

Wilbern Hoffman
Wilbern Hoffman

A third of the final table's competitors had already claimed a bracelet – in the case of Ben Keeline and David "Bakes" Baker, two apiece. Arieh's hopes of scoring the double were soon ended, however, when Ben Keeline (who had navigated his short-to-medium stack from the start of Day 3 all the way to the final) picked up kings when Arieh shoved with    and busted him in 9th. At this stage it was Melogno who increased his stack most steadily, recovering from the few losses with unflappable equanimity.

After Olisar lost his final flip with Engel to exit in 8th place ($39,980), his eliminator went on to claim four more scalps at the final, starting with Nguyen, again a huge flip pitting jacks against ace-king. Engel's jacks held; Nguyen picked up $52,909 for 7th. James Hughes, who had hung on with determination to a very short stack since the two-table period, finally got it in with   , given a spin by Keeline with   . A nine on the board sealed his fate and he exited in 6th ($71,010).

Engel returned to race-winning form, busting Baker in fifth when his pocket sevens held against Baker's overs as the latter announced his all in as if he was in a TV commentary booth. Bracelet-holder Keeline was eliminated in 4th soon after, collecting $133,306.

Action hardly slowed for a moment after this, with big pots traded between the final three players, none of them desperately short or willing to sit on their chips for long. It was Hoffman who finished in 3rd ($186,392), after a huge pot saw him all in on the turn with a flopped two pair against Melogno's straight and flush draws. The latter came in for Melogno, giving him a 3:1 chip lead going into heads up play.

Pablo Melogno
Pablo Melogno

Engel won the first three pots in a row after the restart, the last one an enormous full double through which left Melogno playing just seven big blinds. Most of the chips in play went in the middle on a     flop, Engel making the final, largest bet with    and being called by Melogno with top pair –   . Engel turned a flush draw with the   turn but it was the card of the tournament for him on the river, the straight-completing  .

The very next hand Engel shoved his button with   , was called by Melogno with a dominating    but today belonged to Engel; he flopped a seven and it was all over. Melogno picked up $264,104 for second place, while Engel gained a bracelet, $427,399, and "confidence", if not for too long.

"I lose my confidence very easily so I should be good tomorrow, for at least one day," Engel said. His plans for the Series remain the same after his win, which many of his fellow players stated has been on the cards for a while now. "I sucked out so many times in this tournament, it's ridiculous," he noted, but luck is part of the game and today it was on the experienced Canadian's side.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:51 PM Local Time
Ari Engel Wins Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em and $427,399

Ari Engel

After that whirlwind heads up, Ari Engel has won his first WSOP bracelet and $427,399. A recap will follow; visit the Payouts tab for all finishing positions and prizes from this event.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:40 PM Local Time
Pablo Melogno Eliminated in 2nd Place ($264,104)

Pablo Melogno

Hand #68: Immediately following the huge stack reversal of the last hand, Ari Engel set Pablo Melogno all in from his button for 700,000 total. Melogno made the call with a dominating    to Engel's   , but the board had other ideas, pairing Engel's seven right off the bat:      . In a shock about-turn lasting just two hands, Melogno finds himself pipped to the post for the bracelet while Engel takes down his first WSOP gold.

Ari Engel15,500,0001,330,000
Pablo Melogno0-770,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:39 PM Local Time
Hands #64-67: Engel Doubles Up in Massive Pot

Ari Engel

Hand #64: Ari Engel raised to 275,000 on the button and Pablo Melogno tank-folded his big blind.

Hand #65: Melogno opened to 225,000 and Engel three-bet to 825,000. Melogno called and the flop came    . Engel led out for 900,000 and Melogno called to see the   on the turn. Engel announced all in for 3,845,000 and Melogno was left shaking his head as he finally folded.

Hand #66: Engel made it 275,000 on the button and Melogno defended. The flop came     and the two players checked through to the   on the turn and the   on the river. Melogno turned over    for a straight and Engel mucked.

Hand #67: Melogno raised to 200,000 on the button and Engel re-raised to 800,000. Melogno called and the flop came    . Engel led out for 900,000 and Melogno slid out a raise to 2,085,000. Engel shipped all in for 6,220,000 and Melogno quickly called.

Ari Engel:   
Pablo Melogno:   

Melogno held the best hand but Engel had a straight draw. He also turned a flush draw on the   turn card and the   on the river gave Engel a straight. It was a massive pot for nearly all of the chips in play, leaving Melogno with just seven big blinds.

Ari Engel14,170,0008,670,000
Pablo Melogno770,000-8,630,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:18 PM Local Time
Hands #62-63: Engel Wins First Two Heads Up Pots

Hand #62: Ari Engel made up the small blind and Melogno checked his option. Melogno check-called a bet of 200,000 on the     flop. The turn brought the   and Melogno switched it up, leading for 315,000. Engel pushed forward a raise to 1,450,000, and Melogno folded.

Hand #63: Melogno raised his button to 225,000, called by Engel. The flop saw Engel check, Melogno bet 205,000 and Engel check-raise to 660,000. Melogno made the call, but when Engel led out for 925,000, he gave up his hand.

Pablo Melogno9,400,000-1,795,000
Ari Engel5,500,0001,755,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:03 PM Local Time
Level 29 started
Level: 29
Blinds: 50,000/100,000
Ante: 100,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:58 PM Local Time
Break Time

Ari Engel and Pablo Melogno are heading on a regularly scheduled 15-minute break. They will return with the blinds at 50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 big blind ante.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:57 PM Local Time
Wilbern Hoffman Eliminated in 3rd Place ($186,392)

Wilbern Hoffman

Hand #61: Pablo Melogno raised to 170,000 preflop; Wilbern Hoffman defended his big blind.

The flop:    . Hoffman checked, Melogno bet 185,000 and Hoffman quickly check-raised him to 500,000. After taking a look at his opponent's stack (over three million behind), Melogno made the call.

The turn:  . Hoffman led out for 1,250,000 and Melogno raised him all-in - he called in half the time it took for Melogno to raise and saw that his hand was ahead, but vulnerable:

Hoffman:    for a flopped two pair.
Melogno:    for the double draw of diamonds and straight.

"Black ace!" called Hoffman, but the deck denied his entreaty, giving Melogno the   instead, completing the flush.

Pablo Melogno11,195,0005,055,000
Ari Engel3,745,000-205,000
Wilbern Hoffman0-4,850,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:49 PM Local Time
Hands #56-60: Big Pots in All Directions

Hand #56: Wilbern Hoffman limped in from the small blind and Pablo Melogno raised to 185,000 in the big blind. The flop came     and Hoffman check-called a bet of 95,000 from Melogno. The   landed on the turn and both players checked to the   on the river. Two more checks and Hoffman showed    for two pair to win the hand.

Hand #57: Melogno just called in the small blind and Ari Engel checked his big blind. The flop fell     and Melogno led out for 90,000. Engel called and the   landed on the turn.

Melogno fired another 305,000 and Engel still called. The river was the   and Melogno dropped in a bet of 380,000. Engel thought for a minute and called. Melogno rolled over    and Engel mucked his cards.

Hand #58: Melogno raised to 165,000 on the button and Hoffman defended. The flop came     and Hoffman check-called a bet of 185,000 from Melogno. The turn brought the   and Hoffman checked again. Melogno tossed in another bet of 580,000 and Hoffman check-raised to 1,580,000. Melogno looked back at his cards and flipped them to muck.

Hand #59: Engel made it 200,000 on the button and was called by both Hoffman and Melogno. The flop fell     and the action checked around to the   on the turn. Hoffman led out for 450,000 and both Melogno and and Engel folded.

Hand #60 Hoffman made it 200,000 to go and Engel called in the big blind. Hoffman bet 300,000 on the     flop when Engel checked to him, and that was good enough for the pot.

Pablo Melogno6,140,00040,000
Wilbern Hoffman4,850,0001,815,000
Ari Engel3,950,000-1,150,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:31 PM Local Time
Ben Keeline Eliminated in 4th Place ($133,306)

Ben Keeline Moves All In

Hand #55: Pablo Melogno, first to speak, raised to 140,000. Over to Ben Keeline in the small blind, who jammed for 2,215,000. After having this count performed, Melogno threw in a handful of chips signifying a call.


Keeline's rail shouted for an ace on the flop, and they received one, but they forgot to mention it shouldn't come with a set for Melogno:       was Keeline's final board.

Pablo Melogno6,100,0001,920,000
Ben Keeline0-2,600,000
Jostens Fan Collection
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:24 PM Local Time
Hands #50-53: Melogno Takes a Big Chunk from Hoffman

Pablo Melogno

Hand #50: Wilbern Hoffman raised to 180,000 in the cutoff and Ari Engel stuck in a three-bet to 560,000 from the small blind. Hoffman mulled it over but decided to fold.

Hand #51: Pablo Melogno limped in from the cutoff and Engel did the same on the button. Hoffman checked his option and they went three ways to a flop of    . The action checked around to the   on the turn and Hoffman checked again. Melogno put in a large bet of 435,000 and both Engel and Hoffman folded.

Hand #52: Hoffman made it 190,000 from the small blind and Melogno called in the big blind. The flop came     and Hoffman led out for 275,000. Melogno raised to 685,000 and Hoffman called.

The turn brought the   and Hoffman check-called another bet of 445,000 from Melogno. The river was the   and Hoffman checked again. Melogno moved in for around 1,500,000 and Hoffman quickly discarded his hand.

Hand #53: Ben Keeline raised to 160,000 in the cutoff and Engel called from the big blind. The flop came     and both players checked to the   on the turn. Engel led out for 250,000 and Keeline quickly folded.

Hand #54 Melogno and Engel limped into the pot, Keeline checking his option. When it was checked to Melogno on the     flop, he won the chips with a bet of 80,000.

Pablo Melogno4,180,000780,000
Wilbern Hoffman3,035,000-1,065,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:14 PM Local Time
Hands #46-49: Hoffman Dents Keeline's Stack

Hand #46: Ari Engel completed the small blind, then folded to a raise to 200,000 from Ben Keeline.

Hand #47: Engel raised to 200,000 and again folded to a raise from Keeline, this time out of the small blind for 800,000.

Hand #48: Small blind Wilbern Hoffman made up the small blind and Pablo Melogno checked. Hoffman led the     flop for 150,000, Melogno called, and they checked their way through the    turn and river. Hoffman showed down    for two pair and took the pot.

Hand #49: Keeline raised under the gun to 160,000, called by button Hoffman and big blind Engel. Keeline bet 300,000 on the     flop, called by Hoffman only. Hoffman called again on the   turn, this time for 550,000. The river brought the  ; Keeline checked and Hoffman announced, "One million," sliding in nearly half of his remaining chips. Keeline folded.

Wilbern Hoffman4,100,000-80,000
Ben Keeline2,600,000-860,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10:08 PM Local Time
David "Bakes" Baker Eliminated in 5th Place ($96,632)

David Baker

Hand #45 David Baker moved all in second to act preflop, saying, "I got a million and a little bit." That count was as accurate as big blind Ari Engel needed to make the call with pocket sevens (  ) and race Baker's   .

Baker announced the action like a pro commentator, "Queen-ten versus sevens, the sevens at risk.." while the board ran down      . "David Baker busts in fifth!" he said, summing up the result.

Ari Engel5,100,000600,000
David "Bakes" Baker0-800,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:59 PM Local Time
Level 28 started
Level: 28
Blinds: 40,000/80,000
Ante: 80,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:59 PM Local Time
Hand #44: Melogno Takes a Small Pot

Hand #44: Ben Keeline raised to 120,000 from the hijack and Pablo Meogno defended from the big blind. The flop fell     and Melogno check-called a bet of 60,000 from Keeline. Both players checked the   on the turn and the   on the river. Melogno tabled    and Keeline mucked.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:57 PM Local Time
James Hughes Eliminated in 6th Place ($71,010)

James Hughes

Hand #43: Ben Keeline raised to 135,000 in the cutoff and James Hughes shoved all in for 525,000 from the big blind. Keeline asked for a count and thought for a minute before calling. Keeline tabled his cards and walked away, not wanting to watch the hand any further.

Ben Keeline:   
James Hughes:   

The flop came     to give Keeline a pair of nines and the best hand. The turn was   and the river brought the   to eliminate Hughes in sixth place.

Ben Keeline3,460,000500,000
James Hughes0-585,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:55 PM Local Time
Hands #40-42: Engel Calls Down Hoffman

Hand #40: James Hughes moved all in for 435,000 in the cutoff and picked up the blinds and ante.

Hand #41: Pablo Melogno raised to 125,000 in the cutoff and David Baker shipped all in for 850,000. Melogno instantly asked for the table chatter to stop as he needed to think. He eventually laid his hand down and Baker collected the pot.

Hand #42: Ari Engel raised to 135,000 in the cutoff and Wilbern Hoffman defended from the big blind. The flop fell     and Hoffman check-called a bet of 150,000 from Engel.

The turn was the   and both players checked to the   on the river. Hoffman led out for 400,000 and Engel tanked for a couple of minutes before calling. Hoffman showed    while Engel was awarded the pot with   .

Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:48 PM Local Time
Hands #36-39: Big Pot for Melogno; No Showdown Required

Hand #36: Ben Keeline took a pot from Ari Engel, three-betting him on the button after his open to 135,000 on the cutoff.

Hand #37: Keeline took the next one with a single raise preflop - to 120,000 - in the cutoff.

Hand #38: Hughes gave Melogno his first walk.

Hand #39: Blind vs. blind, Melogno made up the big blind and Ari Engel raised to 210,000 total; call. On the     flop, Melogno check-called another bet from Engel, this time 125,000. The   on the turn was as far as the board got: Melogno led out for 175,000, Engel raised to 475,000 and Melogno pushed forward most of his stack, 1,515,000 chips in one of those Crocodile Dundee moments. Though these important decisions all took thinking time, Engel's fold was fairly rapid.

Pablo Melogno3,400,0001,325,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:41 PM Local Time
Truyen Nguyen Eliminated in 7th Place ($52,909)

Truyen Nguyen

Hand #35 Truyen Nguyen raised to 130,000 in the cutoff and found Ari Engel on the button three-betting to 280,000. Back to Nguyen, who four-bet shoved for 1,500,000. Engel called and they were in a three million chip flip:


The jacks found a fellow on the     flop, and it was "good game" all round after the turned   left him drawing dead to the   river.

Ari Engel4,500,0001,575,000
Truyen Nguyen0-1,450,000
Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:27 PM Local Time
Hands #31-34: Keeline Gets Value from Melogno

Hand #31: David Baker shipped all in from the hijack and everyone folded.

Hand #32: Ari Engel raised to 135,000 from under the gun and Truyen Nguyen called from the big blind. The flop fell     and Nguyen check-called a bet of 110,000 from Engel. The turn was the   and both players checked to the   on the river. Two more checks and Nguyen tabled    for a flush to take down the pot.

Hand #33: Pablo Melogno limped in on the button and Engel checked his big blind. The flop came     and both players checked to the   on the turn. Engel checked and Melogno bet 60,000 which got Engel to fold.

Hand #34: Melogno limped in again and Keeline was his opponent in the big blind this time. Both players checked the     flop and the   landed on the turn. Keeline bet 85,000 and Melogno called to see the   on the river.

Keeline slid out a bet of 350,000 and Melogno tanked for a couple of minutes before calling. Keeline tabled    for a straight and Melogno sent his cards to the muck.

Ben Keeline2,960,000520,000
Pablo Melogno2,075,000-525,000