A quite sensational finish to Event #21 of the 2014 WSOP saw Dominic Nitsche avoid elimination four times during the heads-up to win his second WSOP bracelet.
As far as many people were concerned, Event #21 of the 2014 WSOP was “just another” $1,000 NLHE Donkament, but it turned out to provide one of the most exciting climaxes to a tournament so far in this year´s World Series of Poker.
2,043 players had entered the event, with 216 cashing once the money bubble burst late on the first day. 168 players returned for Day 2 of the tournament and, after a further ten levels of play, just 16 players returned for the conclusion of the event.
The nine-handed final table was set in less than two hours, with Thayer Rasmussen having the chip advantage after busting Lance Harris in tenth place A♠ J♦ > 10♣ 10♦, and with some notable players included in the final line-up:
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Aces Dominate Early Action
Practically all of the early action was dominated by the presence of Aces – David Burt being eliminated in the third hand of the final table when running his Q♠ J♠ into Jeff Goss´ A♦ A♣, and Billy Horan being bust in eighth place in the cruellest fashion when his A♥ A♦ were cracked by Dave D´Alesandro´s A♣ A♠ on the board of J♠ 7♠ 2♣ / 4♠ / 5♠.
Bob Bounahra took the early chip lead in an incredible hand against Thayer Rasmussen in which Rasmussen (A♣ Q♣) had caught the Q♦ on the Turn before Bounahra (A♦ K♠) spiked the K♦ on the River to stay alive in the tournament. Eric Milas then also suffered an unfortunate departure in seventh place – spiking the A♣ on the River to pair up his A♦ Q♥, but finding that it also completed Dave D´Alesandro´s club Flush.
Chip Lead Changes Hands Frequently
The flurry of early action failed to subside as the game went into its fourth level of the day. Dominik Nitsche eliminated Jeff Gross in sixth place Q♣ Q♦ > A♠ K♣ to take over at the top of the leaderboard before Dave D´Alesandro flopped a set of Kings against Nitsche´s pocket Nines to become the new chip leader. Bob Bounahra doubled-up against D´Alesandro A♣ K♠ > A♠ 6♠ to knock D´Alesandro down into third place before Dominik Nitsche took over once again when busting Thayer Rasmussen in fifth place 10♦ 10♠ > A♥ K♥.
Four-handed play was over quickly when Dominik Nitsche flopped a pair of Queens to send Zachary Gruneberg (A♥ J♠) to the rail in fourth place, but Bob Bounahra was not going to let Nitsche run away with the tournament, and he tripled up against both Nitsche and D´Alesandro when his Q♦ 2♠ paired on the flop of Q♠ 10♥ 7♠, and his Queens held to keep the 2011 November Niner in contention.
D´Alesandro Leads Nitsche as Classic Heads-Up Encounter Begins
Sadly for Bob Bounahra – and for his many supporters on the rail – his participation in Event #21 of the 2014 WSOP came to a dramatic end at the start of Level 29 (blinds 40,000/80,000 – ante 10,000). Bounahra moved all-in pre-flop with 7♦ 7♥ and he received calls from both Dominik Nitsche (10♦ 10♥) and Dave D´Alesandro (Q♥ Q♦). The board ran out K♥ 6♣ 5♥ / 9♠ / 4♠ to eliminate Bounahra and give D´Alesandro a 4,360,000 -v- 1,770,000 chip advantage going into the heads-up against Nitsche.
The tournament looked as if it was heading for a quick conclusion when Dominik Nitsche shoved all-in with 9♥ 10♥ against Dave D´Alesandro´s A♣ Q♥, but Nitsche spiked the 10♣ on the River to double-up into the chip lead. D´Alesandro then flopped a Full House and got three streets of value to cripple Nitsche, but the German bounced straight back and doubled-up into the chip lead once again A♥ 2♠ > 10♣ 9♥.
Nitsche Survives Potential Elimination Two More Times and Wins
Dave D´Alesandro battled back into the chip lead with a flopped pair of Eights and victory in six out of seven pre-flop pots; but incredibly Dominik Nitsche doubled-up once again A♠ 6♠ > Q♠ 10♦ to level the chip counts and avoid potential elimination for the third time. Dave D´Alesandro moved ahead once again when forcing Nitsche off of an 820,000 chip pot, but all the flips were going Nitsche´s way and, when the two players got their chips in the middle once again, Nitsche survived elimination for the fourth time when his A♣ 9♥ rivered a heart flush against D´Alesandro´s 4♠ 4♦ – which had been ahead until the River.
Dominik Nitsche´s fourth double-up in the heads-up had crippled Dave D´Alesandro, and it was not long until the last of his chips were in the middle of the table – the first time he had been at risk throughout the heads-up climax to Event #21 of the 2014 WSOP. Dominik Nitsche called and the cards were on their backs:
D´Alesandro: Q♣ 7♦
Nitsche: K♦ 6♥
The flop of K♠ 6♣ Q♥ hit both players – but Nitsche was still ahead in the hand with his two pairs. The A♣ on the Turn failed to improve either hand, and the tournament was over when the A♦ was dealt on the River – Dominik Nitsche adding victory in Event #21 of the 2014 WSOP to his victory in a similar $1,000 buy-in “Donkament” in 2012.
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