The latest World Series of Poker Online event was won in fine style by Daniel Lazrus in the early hours of Wednesday morning as he saw off a late challenge from Daniel Buzgon to book a win worth $205,347 in Event #28 ($3,200 NLHE High Roller Championship). In doing so, Lazrus claimed his first WSOP bracelet in stunning fashion after the briefest but biggest of heads-up clashes.
Michael Marone went into the eight-handed final table with the chip lead, holding 1.5 million chips to his nearest challenger’s 1.1 million. That player, Felix Vandeput, had already enjoyed some deep runs in this year’s WSOP Online, so the stage was set for a fast-paced table from the off.
The first player to lose their seat was Jim Collopy, who came into the action fourth in chips but saw his stack disappear in the opening exchanges. Opening the betting by putting almost all of his stack into the middle, Collopy was set all-in by the raise from David Peters and called off his spare chips. Collopy held but was dominated by Peters’ . The board of gave Peters a vital pot after he had come into the final table short-stacked and sent Collopy home with a result worth $18,126.
Jeremiah Williams, who has already won a WSOP Online bracelet this year, busted next in seventh place for $24,248. Williams, who took down the fifth event of WSOP Online earlier this month for $139,600 lost a classic coinflip to exit to Brett Apter. Williams three-bet all-in pre-flop for seven big blinds with and was called by the initial bettor Apter with .
The flop of kept Williams ahead and even gave him the potential to lock up the hand with gutshot straight draw. But while the turn was a safe one, the river gave Apter the valuable pot and skittled Williams’ chances of winning two WSOP bracelets within a calendar month, something very few players in poker history have ever achieved.
As seven players were whittled to six, one player, in particular, leaped up the leaderboard, as Lazrus made strides towards the business end of the event. Lazrus won pot after pot to not only take control of the table but threaten to run over it. During this period of play, Lazrus rose to over 3.5 million chips, with the other five players totaling around three million between them.
At the conclusion of this run, Vandeput was eliminated in sixth place for $32,385 in unlucky fashion by the runaway leader Lazrus. Vandeput moved all-in pre-flop for under four big blinds with and was called by Lazrus with . The flop of kept the Belgian in the lead, but the turn card was a disaster and only a nine on the river could save him. When that 5th street card was revealed as the , Vandeput was sent to the rail.
Within two minutes, the rail welcomed another superstar of the game as Peters, who won his third WSOP bracelet on Monday, lost all of his chips and fell short of two bracelets in a week by just four places. Peters lost in spectacular fashion, too, after an all-in move from Peters with before the flop was called by Daniel Buzgon with .
The flop of gave Buzgon a pair of queens, but the player who is currently ranked 95th in the Pocket Fives rankings still needed more help. He got exactly that on the , leaving Peters needing a miracle on the river. When the fell, Peters was out in fifth for $43,744, falling short of another WSOP bracelet in the most unfortunate of circumstances.
A big chip leader as the final table began, Marone will be disappointed to have seen his journey end in fourth place for a $61,145 result soon afterward. Marone moved all-in from the small blind with and was called by Lazrus in the big blind with . The flop of almost gave Lazrus a lock on the hand, and although the offered Marone the merest glimmer of hope, that was extinguished on the river.
With Buzgon and Lazrus pressing for the win, it wasn’t a complete surprise when Apter busted in third place for $87,246. Apter’s tournament ended when he moved all-in pre-flop for 1.1 million with and was called by Buzgon with . The flop of was no help to Apter, who also failed to improve across the turn and river to leave the party, earning $87,246 in the process.
Heads up began with the chips almost level as less than a big blind separated the two players, with each man having 55 big blinds with which to battle for the bracelet. It was a shock when the duel was over almost immediately as a pot worth over 100 big blinds ended the event in sensational style.
At blinds of 30,000/60,000, Lazrus made it 150,000 to go pre-flop with a stack of 3.3 million chips sitting in front of each man. Buzgon made the call and the flop of saw a c-bet from Lazrus worth 90,000, again called by Buzgon. On the turn, Lazrus bet 612,000 chips into a pot that was just shy of 500,000. Buzgon called to a river of and that really got the action going. Buzgon again checked to the aggressor in the hand, leading to a shove from Lazrus worth 2.4 million chips into the pot of 1.7 million.
Buzgon took some time but eventually made the call, showing . Sadly for him, however, it was not good enough, as Lazrus’ for top two-pair won him the pot for all the chips and his maiden WSOP gold bracelet, earning him $205,347 and condemning Buzgon to a runner-up finish worth $126,882.
With 202 players taking part in the $3,200-entry High Roller Championship, there were 63 rebuys, meaning a massive prize pool of $805,600 was up for grabs. Players who made the 36 money places but failed to reach the final table included Brett Shaffer (33rd for $5,639), Michael Dyer (27th for $6,444), Ben Yu (16th for $7,572), Barry Hutter (14th for $9,103) and Thomas Boivin in 12th place for $11,197, after the Britain-based Belgian had earlier cracked aces with queens to put himself in contention.
WSOP Event #28 $3,200 High Roller Final Table Results:
- Daniel ‘RiverRats’ Lazrus $205,347
- Daniel ‘juice’ Buzgon $126,882
- Brett ‘Metanemesis’ Apter $87,246
- Michael ‘DirtyMike973’ Marone $61,145
- David ‘dpeters17’ Peters $43,744
- Felix ‘madenspauwke’ Vandeput $32,385
- Jeremiah ‘freestylerr’ Williams $24,248
- James ‘BOCARATONE’ Collopy $18,126