Friday, June 24, 2016 9:47 PM Local Time
If there’s a music soundtrack to the latest WSOP gold bracelet victory, it’s most certainly Queen’s epic anthem, “We are the Champions.”
“I listened to that on the way to the final day, when I was driving in,” Xu said moments after achieving his first WSOP victory. “I was pumped up and determined to win.”
The amateur poker player from Columbia, MD in the northern Washington, DC suburbs won the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha, which was played over three days and nights and just concluded at the Rio in Las Vegas. Xu collected $212,128 in prize money, making this the biggest win of his career.
The latest champion has previous cashed eight times at the series, dating all the way back to 2009. However, other than a 12th-place finish in his first event, Xu hadn’t really demonstrated anything that revealed the expectation he’d emerge from a big and tough field as the latest WSOP champion.
Indeed, perhaps it was the music.
“The cards fell my way at the right time,” Xu said. “I knew that if I could get deep I would have a chance and things went right for me.”
Xu won his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included an international consortium of touch opponents from five different nations – including Great Britain, Australia, Norway, France, and the United States. The moment of triumph came when Xu scooped the final pot of the tournament against Brit, Jeffrey Duvall who finished as the runner up. His consolation prize amounted to $131,073.
This tourney attracted 776 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $1,047,600. The top 117 finishers collected prize money.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:
Second Place: Jeffrey Duvall, from Royal Herbert, UK finished as the runner up. He’s only had two cashes at the series, including this deep run and a showing in the money back in 2010. Duvall collected $131,073.
Third Place: Pallas Aidinian made the most of her WSOP final table debut by coming in third place, which paid $91,369. She had not cashed before, so this was quite a feat. Other than a second-place finish in Event #1, no female, other than Lisa Meredith (Event #14) who also finished third, has finished as high at this year’s series.
Fourth Place: Joshua Pham, from Sydney, Australia came in fourth. He had not previously cashed in a WSOP event, until this tournament. Pham pocketed $64,654.
Fifth Place: Tommy Le, from Tustin, CA posted his highest WSOP finish in nine WSOP cashes, including three final table appearances with this fifth-place showing. He collected $46,452.
Sixth Place: Richard Austin, from Jeffersonville, IN came in sixth. He won a gold bracelet back in 2009. He won the $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event that year. Austin received $33,895.
Seventh Place: Jon Ho Christensen, from Oslo, Norway cashed for the fourth time at the WSOP with this nice showing, which paid $25,123.
Eighth Place: Thibaut Klinghammer, from Lamperthiem, France took second place in this event back in 2010. He made another deep run coming in eighth, which paid $18,922. This marked his fourth time to cash at the series.
Ninth Place: Bryce Eckhart, from Auburn, WA cashed for the first time in a series event and also made a final table. He pocketed $14,484.
This was the 37th official event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 32 gold bracelet events still to be played at the 2016 WSOP.
Friday, June 24, 2016 8:05 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu Wins $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Event #37 ($212,128)
Jeff Duvall limps in and Jiaqi Xu raises to 150,000, Duvall calls.
The flop comes and Xu bets 175,000. Duvall calls.
After the turn, Xu bets 365,000 and Duvall asks for the amount of the pot, then raises to 1,500,000. Xu moves all in and Duvall calls.
"Three queens? Well done," Duvall says with a smile on the face and stands up from his chair. He is drawing dead already and shakes hands with Xu while the insignificant river completes the board. Xu wins his first bracelet and Duvall finishes runner-up.
Jiaqi Xu - 5,820,000, the bracelet, and $212,128
Jeff Duvall - Eliminated in 2nd place ($131,073)
Jeff Duvall Eliminated in 2nd Place ($131,073)
Friday, June 24, 2016 8:03 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu limps from the button for 50,000, and Jeff Duvall check his option.
The flop comes , and both players check.
They both check again on the turn, but on the river, Xu bets 50,000. Duvall folds.
Jeffrey Duvall - 2,400,000 (48 bb)
Jiaqi Xu - 3,400,000 (68 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 7:52 PM Local Time
Pallas Aidinian Eliminated in 3rd Place ($131,073)
In the first hand back from dinner, Jeff Duvall raises to 100,000 from the button and Pallas Aidinian calls in the small blind.
The flop comes and Aidinian checks. Duvall bets 250,000 and Aidinian check-raises all in. Duvall calls and before Aidinian even sees the cards of her opponent, she says "no clubs, please," aware she is up against a flush draw even before the hands are tabled.
The turn changes nothing, but the on the river improves Duvall to a flush, Aidinian is eliminated.
Jeff Duvall - 2,540,000 (50 bb)
Pallas Aidinian - Eliminated in 3rd place ($131,073)
Friday, June 24, 2016 7:45 PM Local Time
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:47 PM Local Time
The players are on a one-hour dinner break and will return at approximately 7.45 p.m. local time, with the chip counts as follows.
Seat 1: Pallas Aidinian - 820,000 (16 bb)
Seat 2: Jiaqi Xu - 3,335,000 (66 bb)
Seat 3: Jeffrey Duvall - 1,670,000 (33 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:46 PM Local Time
Jeffrey Duvall raises to 125,000 from the button and Pallas Aidinian reraises for the pot to 415,000 out of the small blind. Duvall folds and Aidinian wins the pot.
Jiaqi Xu limps the small blind and Duvall checks in the big blind. The flop goes check, check.
On the turn, Xu bets 45,000 and Duvall calls. The river is checked through and Xu announces two pairs. Duvall rolls over for a set of jacks and wins the pot.
Xu raises to 85,000 from the button and Duvall calls in the small blind. The flop of goes check, check. Duvall also checks the turn and Xu bets 80,000, Duvall folds.
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:41 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu has the button, and he opens to 85,000. From the small blind, Jeffrey Duvall calls, and big blind Pallas Aidinian calls as well.
The flop comes , and, after checks from Duvall and Aidinian, Xu bets 90,000.
Only Duvall sticks around for the turn , and both players check.
They do the same on river , and Duvall turns over for top pair, top kicker. Xu mucks.
Jiaqi Xu - 3,175,000 (79 bb)
Jeffrey Duvall - 1,925,000 (48 bb)
Pallas Aidinian - 700,000 (17 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:36 PM Local Time
Pallas Aidinian limps from the small blind and Jiaqi Xu checks his option in the big blind.
On the flop, Aidinian checks, Xu bets 65,000, and Aidinian calls.
The appears on the turn and Aidinian checks again. Xu bets 160,000 and Aidinian calls.
After the river, Aidinian checks and Xu checks behind, showing some frustration. Aidinian announces a flush and turns over and Xu mucks with the words "straight also."
Pallas Aidinian - 1,005,000 (25 bb)
Jiaqi Xu - 3,050,000 (76 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:32 PM Local Time
From the button, Jiaqi Xu opens to 85,000. Jeffrey Duvall calls from the small blind, and in the big blind Pallas Aidinian calls as well.
The three of them see a flop of and Aidinian pots it for 255,000. Both other players fold, awarding the pot to Aidinian.
Pallas Aidinian - 775,000 (19 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:26 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu limps in from the small blind and Jeffrey Duvall checks his option in the big blind
On the flop, Xu bets 65,000 and Duvall calls.
After the turn, Xu bets 160,000 and Duvall calls again.
Xu checks the river and Duvall bets 400,000 with around 800,000 behind. Xu gives it some thought and folds, Duvall shows him for a missed wrap and ten-high.
Jeffrey Duvall - 1,765,000 (44 bb)
Jiaqi Xu - 3,255,000 (81 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:22 PM Local Time
On the button, Jeffrey Duvall raises to 100,000. Pallas Aidinian raises the pot to 320,000 and Duvall mucks face-up.
Jiaqi Xu limps in the small blind and Duvall checks the big blind. Both players check down the board and Duvall wins the pot with for two pair.
Xu raises to 85,000 from the button and Duvall calls in the small blind. The flop comes and Duvall checks. Xu bets 90,000 and Duvall folds.
Duvall raises to 100,000 from the button, Xu calls in the big blind. On the flop, Xu checks and Duvall bets 100,000. Xu folds and Duvall takes the pot.
Jeffrey Duvall - 1,500,000 (36 bb)
Jiaqi Xu - 3,500,000 (87 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:15 PM Local Time
From the button, Jeffrey Duvall raises to 125,000. Pallas Aidinian calls from the small blind, and Jiaqi Xu folds in the big blind.
Duvall and Aidinian see a flop of , and when Aidinian checks, Duvall bets 280,000, with 330,000 behind.
Aidinian raises pot, and Duvall quickly calls all-in, creating a showdown.
Aidinian: , for three of a kind fours.
Duvall: , for the overpair.
The turn is safe for Aidinian, but the river gives Duvall a full house, doubling him to a healthy 1,500,000 stack again.
Pallas Aidinian - 750,000 (18 bb)
Jeffrey Duvall - 1,500,000 (36 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:11 PM Local Time
Pallas Aidinian opens to 90,000 from the button, and big blind Jeffrey Duvall pots, making it 270,000, leaving himself with 85,000 behind. Aidinian goes all in, and Duvall calls.
Duvall makes a flush on a board of , and he doubles up.
Jeffrey Duvall - 730,000 (18 bb)
Pallas Aidinian - 1,475,000 (36 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:07 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu raises to 85,000 from the button and Jeffrey Duvall calls in the small blind, Pallas Aidinian calls in the big blind.
The flop of is checked to Xu and he bets 85,000. Duvall folds and Aidinian calls.
After the turn, Aidinian checks, Xu bets 140,000 and Aidinian then check-raises to 440,000. Xu folds.
Pallas Aidinian - 1,570,000 (39 bb)
Jiaqi Xu - 3,715,000 (92 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 6:00 PM Local Time
Jiaqi Xu raises to 85,000 from the button and Jeffrey Duvall calls in the small blind. The flop comes and Duvall checks. Xu bets 125,000 and Duvall folds.
Pallas Aidinian limps from the small blind, Xu raises to 90,000 in the big blind, and Aidinian calls.
Aidinian checks the flop and Xu bets 65,000. Aidinian folds and Xu shows a five.
Xu limps in the small blind, Duvall raises to 120,000 in the big blind and Xu folds.
Xu raises to 85,000 from the button, Aidinian calls in the big blind. The flop comes and Aidinian checks, Xu bets and Aidinian folds.
Duvall limps from the button, Aidinian fills up in the small blind and Xu checks the option in the big blind.
On the flop, action checks to Duvall and he bets 75,000. Aidinian folds and Xu calls.
Both then check the turn and river. Xu announces an ace and Duvall replies,"Ace is good," and mucks. Xu wins the pot with .
Jiaqi Xu - 3,940,000 (98 bb)
Pallas Aidinian - 1,260,000 (31 bb)
Jeffrey Duvall - 420,000 (10 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 5:55 PM Local Time
Pallas Aidinian opens to 70,000 and, from the big blind, Jeffrey Duvall calls.
The flop is , and both players check.
The turn is also checked around, and the same goes for the river .
Duvall says he has second pair, and Aidinian then shows the winning hand, .
Jeffrey Duvall - 600,000 (20 bb)
Friday, June 24, 2016 5:46 PM Local Time
Friday, June 24, 2016 5:43 PM Local Time
Joshua Pham Eliminated in 4th Place ($64,654)
Joshua Pham raises to 60,000 first to act and Jeffrey Duvall calls on the button, Jiaqi Xu defends his big blind.
The flop comes and Xu bets 90,000. Pham calls, Duvall folds.
On the turn, Xu bets the size of the pot for 390,000 and Pham moves all in for slightly more, Xu calls.
Pham: - a straight and straight flush draw
Xu: for a wrap and higher flush draw
The river improves Xu to a nine-high straight and Pham is eliminated.
Jiaqi Xu - 3,200,000 (106 bb)
Joshua Pham - Eliminated in 4th Place ($64,654)
Friday, June 24, 2016 5:37 PM Local Time
From the button, Jeffrey Duvall limps for 30,000. From the small blind, Pallas Aidinian pots, making it 120,000. Jiaqi Xu hesitantly gives up his big blind, but Duvall quickly calls.
The flop comes , and Aidinian pots again, now for 270,000. Duvall calls immediately.
The turn is the , and again, Aidinian pots. The pot is 810,000, and when Aidinian's stack is counted out, she has slighty less than that, 780,000.
Duvall thinks about it for a while, and then gives up, awarding the 1.5-million pot to Aidinian.
Jeffrey Duvall - 1,000,000 (33 bb)
Pallas Aidinian - 1,590,000 (53 bb)