Neil Willerson Grabs WSOP Event #53 Bracelet

Texas lawyer Neil Willerson has won $737,248 for taking down the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #53 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas.

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Neil WillersonTexas lawyer Neil Willerson has won $737,248 for taking down the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #53 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas.

The 36-year-old from San Antonio – who was the Texas State men’s singles tennis champ back in 1994 – returned for an unscheduled fourth day to complete his heads-up clash against Russian Vladimir Mefodichev after tournament officials enforced the hard stop rule following 10 levels of play on Day 3.

Willerson started Day 4 on 8,920,000 chips while Moscow’s Mefodichev held 5,335,000 in the Amazon Room of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and it was the former who collected the gold bracelet from the biggest open field – 3,166 starters – after about an hour and 45 minutes of play.

Champion’s First Gold Bracelet

It was during level 33 – with the blinds at 100,000/200,000 and a 30,000 ante – that Willerson finally secured his first piece of WSOP jewellery after he and Mefodichev traded chips for nearly two levels.

Short stack Mefodichev managed to double-up once after his J♣ 9 out-flopped the A 9 of Willerson when it came down J♠ 2♣ 2. This gave the Russian four million chips while Willerson was cut back down to 10.2 million. However, apart from picking up a few small pots, Mefodichev soon found himself all-in again – and this time he would not be so fortunate.

On the button, Willerson completed and Mefodichev checked to see a 4 3♠ 8♠ flop. Mefodichev checked again, Willerson bet 300,000 and the European then raised it to 800,000.

Pair of Sixes Good Enough For Win

Willerson responded by shoving all-in with J♠ 6♠ and Mefodichev called for his event life while holding K♠ 5♠. The latter was ahead as both players obviously looked to complete a flush draw, although that would be no good to Willerson now as Mefodichev had the king-high.

However, the 6♣ arrived on the turn to give Willerson a pair and the lead, leaving Mefodichev needing a spade or king on the river to secure a double-up. Unfortunately, for the Russian, the 10 came down, ensuring that Willerson was champion.

Mefodichev had been aiming to become the first Russian to win a bracelet at this year’s WSOP, but had to settle for a runners-up spot and $456,217.

WSOP 2012 Event #53 Top 10 Payouts

  1. Neil Willerson (USA) – $737,248
  2. Vladimir Mefodichev (Russia) – $456,217
  3. Hugh Henderson (USA) – $322,866
  4. Zachary Humphrey (USA) – $233,708
  5. Matthew Graham (USA) – $171,135
  6. Hai Chu (Australia) – $126,770
  7. Bryan Piccioli (USA) – $94,971
  8. Randy Ashe (Canada) – $71,933
  9. Ryan Hughes (USA) – $55,093
  10. Sylvain Gonon (France) – $42,656

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