John Hennigan joined the roll-call of Poker Players Champions when defeating Brandon Shack-Harris to win the third-most prestigious bracelet of the 2014 WSOP.
After the Main Event and “Big One for One Drop”, the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship is the bracelet that everybody wants to win, and this year it was contested by two players who have already made a significant impact at the 2014 WSOP – John Hennigan and Brandon Shack-Harris.
Hennigan, who already has two WSOP bracelets to his name, was runner-up to Ted Gillis two weeks ago in Event #19; while Shack-Harris won his first WSOP bracelet in Event #3, was runner-up to George Danzer in Event #18, and was the chip leader as the final day of the Poker Players Championship got underway.
|#||WSOP #46 – Players Championship||Chips|
|5||Chun Lei Zhou||1,389,000|
Five Players Bust Quickly as Day 5 Begins
The final day of the Poker Players Championship started with two quick eliminations. Allen Kessler missed his flush draw in a round of Stud 08 to be sent to the rail by Abe Mosseri in eighth place, and Melissa Burr – the first woman ever to cash in this event – rivered trip Tens in her final hand of Stud 08, but it was not good enough to prevent her being eliminated in seventh place by John Hennigan´s Quad Aces.
There had almost been a complete circuit of disciplines before the next two players were to leave the final table of the 2014 Poker Players Championship, and John Hennigan had a hand in both. Hennigan bust out Frank Kassela in sixth place during a round of 7 Card Stud with a lowly pair of Tens against Kassela´s even lower pair of Fours, and then scooped the Low pot in a three-way hand of Omaha 08 that saw Chun Lei Zhou eliminated in fifth place by Abe Mosseri.
Abe Mosseri was immediately put under pressure in the next hand of Omaha 08 when Brandon Shack-Harris rivered a Full House and the nut low hand, and he was dispatched to the rail in fourth place during a round of 2-7 Triple Draw when the best hand he could make after three draws was Qx 9x 8x 7x 6x, while Brandon Shack-Harris rolled over 8x 6x 5x 4x 2x for an Eight-Six low.
Hennigan Leads into Heads-Up after Protracted Three-Handed Play
After a series of quick eliminations, it was a further five hours before we knew which two of the three remaining players in the Poker Players Championship would compete in the heads-up climax, and each had a clear advantage over his opponents during a tense and exciting section of the event.
Coming out of the dinner break, Brandon Shack-Harris was the chip leader, and he extended his advantage with a Jack-low hand of Razz to be the first player over 7 million chips. Jesse Martin put John Hennigan into the danger zone and climbed to the top of the chip counts with a flopped pair of Kings during a round of Limit Hold´em, but Hennigan recovered to himself take the chip lead with victory in a big pot of Razz against Martin, and then a double-up in a round of Omaha 08 against Brandon Shack-Harris.
John Hennigan took another 700,000 chips from Martin in a round of Stud 08, and Brandon Shack-Harris finished Jesse Martin off in third place, when Martin´s Q♠ 9♣ failed to improve against Shack-Harris´ A♦ K♣ in a round of NL Hold´em. However, despite Brandon Shack-Harris relieving Jesse Martin of over one million chips, it was John Hennigan who took an 11,530,000 -v- 3,770,000 chip advantage into the climax of the Poker Players Championship.
Ace-High Wins Hennigan Players Championship
Brandon Shack-Harris made an immediate impact on John Hennigan´s chip stack – winning back-to-back hands of Omaha 08 – but a failed bluff in a hand of PL Omaha brought the relative chip stacks back to where they were at the start of the heads-up. Brandon Shack-Harris took another substantial hit to his chip stack when missing an open-ended straight draw in a round of Stud, and then made a gutshot straight draw in a round of 2-7 Triple Draw to be reduced to less than 1 million chips.
The final hand came in a round of NL Hold´em when Shack-Harris moved all-in from the button with K♥ 7♠ and John Hennigan made the call with A♥ 10♦. The board completed J♥ J♣ 9♥ / 4♦ / 4♠ to give John Hennigan the hand courtesy of his Ace kicker – and victory in the Poker Players Championship; while Brandon Shack-Harris´ second-place finish puts him ahead in the race to be 2014 WSOP Player of the Year.
|#||WSOP #46 – Players Championship||Prize|
|5||Chun Lei Zhou||$286,122|