For Matthew Ashton, the fourth time was the charm here at the 2013 World Series of Poker. At this, his fourth final table of the summer, he finally captured that elusive gold bracelet, and it comes in one of the most marquee tournaments of the year, the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship. Not only does Ashton earn the gold and nearly $1.8 million, but his name will now be etched on the trophy next to legends like Chip Reese, Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Michael Mizrachi, and Brian Rast.
The fifth and final day of this event started with an official final table of eight, and on the fourth hand, Jonathan Duhamel exited in a hand of pot-limit Omaha. The 2010 Main Event champ was all in and at risk with kings and an open-ended straight draw against his teammate George Danzer’s two pair, but was unable to improve.
Mike Wattel was the next to exit in a hand of no-limit hold’em, and Minh Ly followed him out the door in sixth place. Ly, who was making a return trip to the Players’ Championship final table, made two pair, but David Benyamine bested him with an ace-high flush.
After a quick turn of events, Danzer was eliminated in fifth place. He and Don Nguyen engaged in a ferocious raising war in pot-limit Omaha on an flop, and eventually the money went in. Both players held trips, Danzer was ahead holding an ace, but Nguyen paired one of his other cards on the river to make a winning full house. Not only did Nguyen record a knockout on this hand, he also surged into the chip lead.
Including the 60-minute dinner break, four-handed play lasted a little over three hours. During this time, John Hennigan climbed into the chip lead, and David Benyamine got shorter and shorter. Finally, during Level 24, Benyamine busted in a hand of stud. Nguyen made a full house against the Frenchman, and reassumed the chip lead.
When play reached three handed, Ashton started to pull away. By the 192nd hand he had more than half of the chips in play, and despite dipping a bit at the end of Level 25, the Brit never relinquished the lead. He eliminated Hennigan in Hand #257, flopping two pair in pot-limit Omaha, and heads-up play lasted only seven hands.
On the final hand, which you can read below, both Nguyen and Ashton made top pair, but Ashton out-kicked Nguyen and was crowned champion.
Congratulations to Ashton, the second British player to win a bracelet here at the 2013 WSOP. With that the coverage of this event comes to an end, but stay tuned for coverage of the remaining bracelet events, including the Main Event. For now we will leave you with Lynn Gilmartin's table-side chat with our champion, and until then, good night from Las Vegas.