Michigan’s Mark ‘pimpindonks’ Schmid picked up $488,283 and his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet after defeating Australian Justin Cohen when heads-up in the $1,000 no-limit hold’em event in Las Vegas last night.
Schmid emerged as the last man standing in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from a field of 3,144 players, while Sydney’s Cohen left with $302,031 from a prize pool of $2,829,600.
Event No.34 proved thrilling on the final day as chips moved back and forth among the players, although it was the skill and patience displayed by Schmid that won out as the gathered railbirds witnessed all the drama of suck-outs, coolers and bad beats.
Schmid, who started the day with a better-than 2 to 1 chip lead on the second biggest stack, clearly had a line of attack when the final table began – and that was to play small-ball poker, which he employed with great style.
The Grand Rapids player put intense pressure on opponents by staying involved in hands and by having the possibility of holding any two cards at any time, while it appeared early in the day that no-one was going to bust out – even though every other hand was a thriller with all-ins commonplace.
Even Schmid was heavily involved in these crazy hands and, despite losing some important pots as well as suffering unexpected splits, he somehow just kept increasing his chip stack.
For example, when three-handed, Schmid got his Ah-Qc in against Andrew Rudnik’s As-Jh for more than half the chips in play. Schmid flopped a queen, but the turn and river gave both a wheel for a split pot.
However, Schmid remained fully focused to eventually enter heads-up play against Cohen, who had played tight-aggressive throughout the day. Incredibly, Cohen was at one point just a card from taking the title, only for Schmid to snatch the glory from him.
Cohen, who held Jh-8s, came so close when both players were all-in on a Ks-8h-6c-Js board. He just had to avoid a king, nine or six to beat Schmid’s Kc-9s, but the 9c came on the river.
Some time later, Cohen managed to make Schmid short again, although yet another all-in – with the former drawing near dead – gave the latter a lead he never relinquished.
Schmid held Qh-Qd against Cohen’s Js-7s on a Qs-Jh-8h board to lose out once more – and it would be these cards that would eventually give Schmid the bracelet.
The final hand saw Schmid limp his button and Cohen check. The flop showed Ks-10s-7h and both checked. The turn was the 7s and Cohen check-called Schmid’s 250,000 bet.
The As on the river completed a four-flush and Cohen checked again. But Schmid bet 450,000 and Cohen quickly moved all-in.
Schmid said: “I don’t see how I can fold” as he made the call – and Cohen pretty well knew he was beaten when saying: “It’s yours”, even though he had 7h-7c for trips. He was spot on, of course, as Schmid tabled Qs-Qc for a flush and the bracelet.
Top 10 placings and payouts at the WSOP 2011 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event:
1. Mark Schmid (USA) – $488,283
2. Justin Cohen (Australia) – $302,031
3. Andrew Rudnik (USA) – $213,747
4. Jonathan Clancy (USA) – $154,722
5. Trevor Vanderveen (USA) – $113,297
6. Benjamin Volpe (USA) – $83,925
7. Robbie Verspui (Netherlands) – $62,873
8. Michael Souza (USA) – $47,622
9. Jeremy Kottler (USA) – $36,473
10. Steven Davisson (USA) – $28,239