The bracelet for the $25,000 No Limit Hold ’em Poker Player’s Championship is currently sealed in a DHL bag heading to the home of Christian Rudolph. The German star overcame a 407-entrant field to win the $1.8m first prize.
Coming into the event, Jason Koon had all of the skills, experience and chip lead. Still, it would be a final table to forget for the Triton Ambassador, who doubled up Chris Hunichen, on his way to a disappointing seventh-place finish.
Hunichen would make fair use of those chips, finishing in second place for $1.3m. It’s the second time that Hunichen has earned a million bucks after pocketing $1m for coming third in the 2019 partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas. It’s also his second bridesmaid finish in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, finishing second to Nadar Kakhmazov in a 2017 $5,000 No Limit Hold ’em 6-Handed event.
Rudolph also knows what it feels like to come a mosquito’s thong width from a bracelet win. The German star lost out to Michael Addamo in the live version of this event during the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE). He made two more final tables before this one. In 2017, he finished fifth in a $1,500 and sixth in a $5,000 No Limit Hold ’em event.
Here is the nutshell action.
The Nutshell Action
Alaiksei Boika became the first player to hit the rail after jamming over a Shankar Pillai open with Ad5d. Pillai showed AhJh and flopped a much-needed second jack after Boika also hit a pair on the turn. Two fives didn’t cut the mustard and Boika left in ninth.
Then a big moment when Chris Hunichen doubled through Jason Koon for the chip lead. Big Huni opened for 500,000 from the hijack and then called after Koon had moved all-in with AdJs from the button. Hunichen called and held with pocket queens.
Paulius Plausinaitis exited in the eight place after shoving from the small blind, holding Kc9c, and finding a caller in the shape of Aram Zobian in the big blind. Zobian showed Td8c and flopped a second ten to move into third in chips.
The overnight chip leader, and favourite, fell in seventh.
Rudolph opened in midfield with AhQs, and then called and won when Koon shoved holding pocket tens.
Brunno Botteon fell in the sixth place when his pocket queens failed to get past the Ac8c of Rudolph when all-in during a blind turf war. Rudolph turned a straight to end Botteon’s involvement in the tournament.
Rudolph kept hacking away, and this time it was the head of Zobian that flew over the rail after winning a flip with pocket nines versus ace-queen. Aleksejs Pnakov left in fourth place when his KsQs couldn’t beat the Qc8c of Rudolph, and we reached heads-up when Hunichen eliminated Pillai AK>A9.
Heads-up began even in chips, but it was all Rudolph, who ended things in a 20-minute sweep. The final hand saw QT beating KQ when all-in pre-flop after Rudolph flopped a second ten.
Here are the final table results.
- Christian Rudolph – $1,800,290
- Chris Hunichen – $1,332,097
- Shankar Pillai – $979,138
- Aleksejs Ponakovs – $719,700
- Aram Zobian – $529,005
- Brunno Botteon – $388,837
- Jason Koon – $285,808
- Paulis Plausinaitis – $210,079
- Aliaksei Boika – $154,416