After ten hours of play on Day 3, including a more than four-hour heads-up battle, Anderson Ireland has won Event #67: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Ireland topped a field of 833 runners en route to claiming his first WSOP gold bracelet and a top prize of $141,161.
If you were to google the New Orleans native, or search for any poker results relating to Ireland for that matter, one would come up empty-handed. This is in fact, Ireland's first WSOP cash and first live-recorded tournament score, ever.
"I've been working on it for a little while. Been playing PLO for eight months now. I have some really excellent teachers who teach me the hard way, by taking my money. They'll know who they are. I felt very confident the whole way through. Seemed very natural. It is such a better game than Texas Hold'em."
Anderson has been playing poker regularly for about two and a half years. This is just his 34th tournament ever according to his records."This is my first trip to the World Series. I played the Main. Busted on Day 2."
When asked about the grueling heads-up match against Matt O'Donnell, Ireland said, "That was very, very difficult. That was probably one of the more difficult poker sessions I've had. He was excellent. He was very, very good. I would argue that he is a better PLO player than I am. But the great thing about PLO is anything can happen. I think I played the best PLO I have ever played and I got a few good breaks. I even got a few bad breaks and came back from those."
"I got him all in three times and I was not all in against him a single time."
Final Table Results:
Day 2 kicked off with the unofficial final table of ten. Eventual runner-up Matt O'Donnell returned as the chipleader with the lion's share of a $1,124,550 prize pool up for grabs. Ireland came into Day 3 with the second-best stack. The official final table would be set midway through the first level when James Morgan flopped top pair and got it in only to see O'Donnell with a wrap. O'Donnell made his flush on the turn and Morgan departed in 10th.
A collision of two of the big stacks saw Jameson Painter exit in ninth. With two clubs on the flop, Painter check-raised a Hai Chu bet and the two got it in. Unfortunately for Painter, Chu had a better flush draw which was completed on the turn and Chu took over the chip lead.
Moments later, Harry Pozefsky put himself at risk against Anderson Ireland. Both had flopped top pair but Ireland also flopped a second pair and it held through the run out to bust Pozefsky in eighth. Ireland would claim his second casualty at the table not long afterward, sending Jonathan Thomas to the rail in seventh place. Thomas was short and moved all-in on a six-high flop but Ireland had flopped the nuts and Thomas' day would come to an end.
Almost two whole levels went by before the field was reduced to five. Each of the short stacks scored a double and Andrew Holland attempted to score another, getting aces in preflop against Chu's kings but Chu turned trip fives and Holland was out.
Chu's elimination came after two hands against Ireland. After the two battled and Ireland came out on top for a huge pot, Chu was left with just two big blinds and Ireland scooped those up a couple hands later.
Less than 20 minutes later, the field was heads up. Michal Maryška, who had been grinding a short stack for most of the day and had rarely been seen in a pot, finally found a hand to get his chips in the middle but with pocket aces in his holding, June Park flopped a straight and Maryška was unable to improve.
Before Park even had the chance to stack his chips, he tangled with Ireland, finding aces of his own. After Ireland check-raised pot on a queen-high board, the two got it in and Ireland turned a straight to narrow the field to the final two. Ireland carried a two-to-one chip lead into the battle but O'Donnell was able to double twice to take the lead.
Ireland closed the gap and would eventually reclaim the lead. The two would exchange pots back and forth with the chip lead coming along with them. Finally, Anderson began to take control and built a greater than five-to-one lead. It took more than four hours of heads-up play for the final hand to be dealt.
Ireland would get O'Donnell down to less than ten big blinds and got his opponent to put his chips in the middle behind and Ireland's queens would hold to eliminate O'Donnell in second place and capture the WSOP gold bracelet.
There is still plenty more to come from the 2018 World Series of Poker including the conclusion of the Main Event and the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Stay tuned to the blog as PokerNews will be on the floor providing live coverage of each event until the last card of the summer is dealt.