Four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets were handed out over Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas – with Andy Frankenberger seeing off fellow American Joshua Evans to lift the $1,500 no-limit hold’em crown and $599,153.
It took three days and 2,499 eliminations before New York’s Frankenberger and Evans, of Texas, got to heads-up play. But it was the former who emerged victorious in the Pavilion Room at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.
Day one saw the exits of players such as Phil Laak, Joe Sebok, Liv Boeree and Freddy Deeb to leave just 349 entrants for day two, which then witnessed some fast and furious play as big-name pros like Rick Romine – who had been the first day’s chip leader – Michael Katz, Sumanth Reddy, Vanessa Selbst and Matt Affleck were sent to the rail.
That left just 28 competitors for the third day in the quest for a gold bracelet – and the final day again began swiftly with several players eliminated within the first quarter-of-an-hour.
In fact, following only two hours’ play, we had our final nine contenders. Las Vegas-based Steven Merrifield was chip leader, but Frankenberger and Evans were close behind as eliminations continued to arrive quickly.
Eventually it came down to Frankenberger and Evans, with the former beginning heads-up play with a large chip disadvantage. However, Frankenberger – last year’s World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year – caught a massive double-up when his Ad-Kc beat Evans’ Ac-10h.
Thereafter, Frankenberger continued to play small pots until he could get all his chips in with top two pair against Evan’s top pair.
The final hand saw Evans, on the button, raise to 125,000, while Frankenberger called to see a flop of 5d-7h-Jh. Frankenberger then checked, Evans threw in 180,000, and Frankenberger raised to 600,000. Evans, with Jd-10d, moved all-in for almost 2.5 million, and Frankenberger called to show Js-7d.
Evans required a 10 or running diamonds to survive, but his flush hopes were dashed when the 3h came on the turn. Only a 10 would suffice now, but it wasn’t to be as the 2c fell on the river.
Frankenberger was champion and Evans the runner-up for $372,498.
Top 10 final placings and payouts in the WSOP 2011 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event:
1. Andy Frankenberger (USA) – $599,153
2. Joshua Evans (USA) – $372,498
3. Robert Shortway (USA) – $263,655
4. Owen Crowe (Canada) – $190,147
5. Tyler Kenney (USA) – $138,847
6. Steven Merrifield (USA) – $102,600
7. Thao Nguyen (USA) – $76,747
8. Sidney Hasson (UK) – $58,083
9. Bret Hruby (USA) – $44,482
10. Karl Johnsson (Sweden) – $34,458