Anaheim’s Owais Ahmed lifted his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet, as well as $255,959, after defeating Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi in their heads-up clash in event #47, the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better tournament, in Las Vegas last night.
Ahmed, who entered the third day’s play fourth in chips, saw the field chopped down swiftly from the starting 21 during the early levels as players such as Britain’s Richard Ashby (20th for $7,452), and American duo Barry Greenstein (19th for $7,452) and Thomas Keller (17th for $7,452) crashed out.
All the while, Florida-based Mizrachi had accumulated a massive chip lead to at one point actually hold approximately one-third of the chips in play at over one million – even with 10 players still remaining.
Meanwhile, Ahmed – as one of the shorter stacks – just remained in contention, although he was scarcely more than a few big blinds away from being knocked out as the final table was established.
Frenchman Antony Lellouche was the final-table bubble boy, leaving with $17,731 in ninth place, but it looked like no player could halt 30-year-old Mizrachi’s charge to a second WSOP bracelet following his $50,000 The Poker Player’s Championship success last year for $1,559,046 in prize money.
However, Ahmed moved closer to the chip leader after eliminating Scott Bohlman, of Illinois, in fourth place for $72,491 to practically draw level with second-placed Abe Mosseri, of Florida – although he was, in fact, still some way off Mizrachi’s stack.
Mosseri, who then lost several vital pots, went out in third for $100,532 to Ahmed’s hearts flush to leave us heads-up, with Mizrachi on 2,410,000 in chips against his opponent’s 965,000.
Although more than 2 to 1 down in chips, Ahmed battled through a rollercoaster heads-up clash to eventually wear down ‘The Grinder’ during an Omaha 8 hand for the title as the clock ticked down on the last half-an-hour of the day’s 10th level.
The final hand saw Mizrachi raise pre-flop and Ahmed – now the chip leader – call to see an Ac-4h-Jd board. Ahmed check-raised Mizrachi’s opening bet and was called.
Mizrachi then check-called all-in on the 10h turn as dozens of spectators rushed over as news of the massive hand spread through the Amazon Room of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Mizrachi held Ad-Qs-10s-3d for a pair of aces against Ahmed’s Qh-10c-5h-3c for a flush draw and gut-shot straight. Mizrachi was all set to double-up – if he avoided a two, king or heart – while Ahmed would chop the pot with any six to eight for a low.
The 6h river gave Ahmed a flush and low to send his fans wild with delight, while Mizrachi left with $158,148 but no second bracelet…yet.
Top 10 placings and payouts from the WSOP 2011 $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better event:
1. Owais Ahmed (USA) – $255,959
2. Michael Mizrachi (USA) – $158,148
3. Abe Mosseri (USA) – $100,532
4. Scott Bohlman (USA) – $72,491
5. Scotty Nguyen (Vietnam) – $53,091
6. Gerard Rechnitzer (USA) – $39,475
7. Gregory Jamison (USA) – $29,791
8. Thomas Whitehair (USA) – $22,819
9. Antony Lellouche (France) – $17,731
10. Matthew Ashton (UK) – $17,731