WSOP: Ajay Chabra Claims $1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship Title

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Ajay Chabra secures his first WSOP gold bracelet with a win in Event #72 (Photo courtesy: WORLD POKER TOUR)

Ajay Chabra entered the World Series of Poker Online $1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship on Tuesday with 11 cashes already in the Series with four of those coming via top-ten finishes. Chabra cracked the top ten again on Tuesday night, and this time he converted his deep run into a tournament win and his first career WSOP gold bracelet.

Event #72 drew 337 players for a total prize pool of $480,225. Chabra, who entered the final table sixth in chips, spun his stack up to take down the tournament’s top prize of $77,475.

After 15 minutes of nine-handed play at the final table, the action folded around to Shannon Shorr in the small blind who had less than three big blinds left in his stack. He made the raise and was called by Apti Dzhabrailov in the big blind. The flop came down Js7s5h  which prompted a continuation bet from Shorr and a raise from Dzhabrailov. Shorr called off his remaining 31,334 chips with the AdTh and found himself up against Dzhabrailov’s 7c4c. The Ks on the turn and Jh on the river brought no help for Shorr who was eliminated in ninth place.

Another 15 minutes later, Rich Dixon raised from under the gun with JhTs to leave himself with less than one big blind behind. Dzhabrailov called from the cutoff with Ad9d and Dzmitry Yasiukevich made the call from the big blind with 5d3d. Yasiukevich checked it over to Dixon who moved all in for his final 64,124. Both of his opponents called the flop and checked through on the 4d turn and 7s river. Dzhabrailov’s ace-high was good and Dixon was out in eighth place.

Seven-handed action continued for 20 minutes before Kevin Liu raised his short stack from the cutoff with 3h3d. Mike Watson raised from the button with JhJd and quickly called when the action folded back around to Liu, who went all-in with his last 349,970. Liu was eliminated in seventh place when the board ran out 8h8s5h8dTc to keep Watson’s pocket jacks in the lead.

The final table remained six-handed for nearly 30 minutes before three eliminations came less than 10 minutes apart. The first came when the action folded around to Yasiukevich in the small blind who moved his 227,290 stack all-in with the 9h8h. He was quickly called by Chabra in the big blind who rolled over AdAc. The board ran out 9d7d3d3cTh to eliminate Yasiukevich in sixth place.

Moments later, Watson raised for virtually the rest of his stack when the action folded to him on the button. Carter Swidler raised from the big blind to put Watson’s last 34,086 in the pot. Watson’s Qd9s was ahead of Swidler’s Jh7h and stayed ahead on a KsTd5s flop. But the 7c put Swidler in the lead and the Th ended Watson’s night in fifth place.

Swidler’s good fortune continued a few hands later when he made a raise with the Ah5h in the small blind and was faced with a three-bet from Natural8 ambassador Kosei Ichinose in the big blind with AdJh. Swidler put in the fourth bet and Ichinose moved all-in to 518,877, prompting a call from the small blind. The 7c6h2h flop gave Swidler a draw to the nut flush that he completed on the turn when the Th fell. The meaningless 2s on the river knocked Ichinose out in fourth place.

Three-handed action lasted for about 20 minutes before Swidler raised from the button with AsKc and was three-bet by Dzhabrailov in the small blind with 5s5c. Swidler elected to smooth call instead of putting in a fourth bet and saw a favorable flop of Ad8c[ts’. Dzhabrailov bet and Swidler continued his slow play with a call. When the 9c fell on the turn, Dzhabrailov bet again and Swidler finally sprung the trap to raise and put Dzhabrailov all-in for his last 107,382. The 8h on the river brought no help to Dzhabrailov and sent the final table into heads up play.

Chabra opened heads up with a 2-to-1 chip lead over Swidler. Swidler won a big pot early to take over the chip lead with a 5,331,994 to 3,093,006 advantage. But after some back and forth action with roughly even stacks, Chabra took a nearly 3-to-1 chip lead after winning a big pot with a full house over Swidler’s top pair.

Shortly after Chabra took back his lead, Swidler raised from the button with 2h2s and was three-bet by Chabra who was holding KsQh. Swidler four-bet and Chabra called, sending the two players to a Th8c5s  flop. Chabra check-raised Swidler’s bet and Swidler moved in for his last 531,994 which Chabra called. Swidler’s pocket deuces were ahead, but a Qd on the turn gave Chabra the lead and the 5c on the river sealed his $1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship victory.

Final Table Payouts

1. Ajay Chabra – $77,475
2. Carter Swidler – $65,737
3. Apti Dzhabrailov – $48,296
4. Kosei Ichinose – $35,483
5. Mike Watson – $26,069
6. Dzmitry Yasiukevich – $19,153
7. Kevin Liu – $14,071
8. Rich Dixon – $10,338
9. Shannon Shorr – $7,595