After three days of play, Ali Eslami claimed victory in the 2022 World Series of Poker Event #36: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $135,260 and his first ever WSOP gold bracelet.
The event drew 471 entries and generated a prize pool of $628,785. Just 71 of those players made the money, and when all was said and done, Eslami took the biggest slice.
He overcame Chris Papastratis in heads-up play to secure the win inside Bally's Event Centre. Papastratis, who just had $11,399 in recorded tournament earnings, took home his largest ever payday - cashing for $83,598.
Event #36: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Results
|1||Ali Eslami||United States||$135,260|
|2||Chris Papastratis||United States||$83,598|
|3||Jeff Madsen||United States||$58,537|
|4||Scott Lake||United States||$41,693|
|6||Kenny Hsiung||United States||$22,287|
|7||John Holley||United States||$16,737|
|8||David Arganian||United States||$12,801|
Eslami, who had just booked his first tournament win in over ten years, was buoyed by the experience.
"I'm feeling great actually, especially as I haven't been playing poker for six years or something, so to come back and get the win is great," he told PokerNews.
However, there was no time to waste for Eslami, who was already planning his next bracelet hunt.
"I don't know how late they're playing in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud 8 or better, but that started today. So I feel like I should go play, right? I mean, that's the championship event. Isn't this kind of like a qualifier today?" he said.
Eslami did indeed run off to play in that event after the interview. Before he left, Eslami gave a tribute to a friend who had recently departed and dedicated the win to him.
"I want to dedicate this to Chad Brown, who passed away from cancer. Many poker players knew him. He was a legend, and it [Stud] was one of his favorite games, too. We were very good friends, and we talked a lot about the game too. So this one goes out to Chad."
Final Day Recap
The day started with 15 players but that number was quickly slashed down to nine. Early exits in the day included Kirill Tsyngalev, Pearce Arnold, Brian Scholl, Chad Campbell, Teemu Kangasvieri and Jon Kyte.
John Bunch fell next and his elimination marked the start of the official final table. Kenny Hsiung ousted Bunch with two pair after the former failed to hit his full house and flush outs.
Short stack David Arganian was the first final table casualty. He could not make a low for half the pot with Jeff Madsen's sevens up remaining best.
One of the most talkative players at the table, John Holley, had entertained many throughout the last few days with his table chat, but he lost his voice after being despatched by Eslami and Thomas Taylor.
Hsiung, who had consistently been one of the bigger stacks, suffered the baddest beat of the day. He had trip aces on fifth street and ended up with an ace-high flush by seventh street. Eslami had other ideas and ended up catching running fives to make a full house to send the one-time WSOP bracelet winner out in sixth place.
Taylor quickly followed him out of the door to set up four-handed play. Then following the elimination of Scott Lake, the final three players took their positions.
The three finalists, Eslami, Papastratis and Jeff Madsen exchanged the chip lead several times before Madsen hit the rail. He could not beat Papastratis' two pair or Eslami's low to survive.
Heads-up play lasted for just under an hour, and in that time it was all Eslami. Papastratis failed to find any momentum against his nemesis. The last hand of the day saw Papastratis make aces up, but Eslami had already made a wheel on fifth street and held to see out the tournament.
This concludes PokerNews' coverage of the event, but there is still plenty more to come from the 2022 WSOP, so be sure to keep it locked in.