WSOP Event 47 Recap: Anthony Gregg Wins One Drop High Roller Event at WSOP
by Jennifer Newell
The 2013 World Series of Poker was in its second half when the excitement of One Drop hit the tables for the second year in a row. Instead of last year's $1 million buy-in, however, the tournament required an $111,111 charge this year and was called the One Drop High Rollers NLHE tournament. A portion of each buy-in went to the One Drop charity, while high stakes poker players competed for millions of dollars. It was destined to bring out the top names in the game.
Action began on June 26, and among poker's greatest were also several businessmen and a businesswoman who chose to compete. There were only two women in the tournament - Vanessa Selbst and Kathy Lehne, the latter President and CEO of SunCoast Resources. Of the poker pros in attendance, names like Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton, and Daniel Negreanu stood out. And the one who didn't attend stood out as well, as Phil Hellmuth said he wasn't feeling it and chose not to play.
When registration ended, the number for the tournament showed 166 players and a $17,891,148 prize pool. That was going to be enough to pay the top 24 players and set aside more than $4.8 million for the winner.
Day 1 came to a close with those numbers in mind and only 108 players still in action. Brandon Steven held the chip lead with 1,398,000 chips, and Tobias Reinkemeier was in second with 1,225,000 chips. Dan Shak, Jason Mo, and Chris Lee rounded out the top five.
Day 2 began with eliminations of Jim McCrink, Steve O'Dwyer, Cole South, Keven Stammen, and Anton Morgenstern. By the last level of the night, players like Vivek Rajkumar, Chris Lee, and Hyoung Chae busted, ultimately leaving 26 players and the money bubble still intact. Martin Jacobson was the chip leader with 3,255,000, followed by Connor Drinan with 3.25 million chips. Brandon Steven, Matt Glantz, and Antonio Esfandiari completed the top five.
Day 3 saw quite a few players moving all-in at the beginning of the day, but few were willing to call. But Mike Sexton doubled through Haralabos Voulgaris, and the latter then exited in 26th place. Hand-for-hand play then ensued, and Yevgeniy Timoshenko doubled through Bill Perkins. But Timoshenko tried it again, moving all-in with pocket aces against the Q-4 of clubs of Matt Glantz on a 10-3-5 flop with two clubs. The six of clubs came on the turn to eliminate Timoshenko in 25th place on the bubble. The remainder of the players were guaranteed at least $173,723 for their play.
Steve Gross was the first player to cash in 24th place, and he was followed in order by Dan Shak, Farshad Fardad, Jason Koon, Shaun Deeb, and Phil Laak. Andrew Lichtenberger exited in 18th place from the final two tables, and Daniel Alaei took 17th, Mike Sexton 16th, Blake Bohn 15th, Martin Finger 14th, Matt Glantz 13th, and Jeremy Ausmus 12th. After Connor Drinan took 11th place and Lawrence Greenberg tenth, the unofficial final table was set with last year's champion Antonio Esfandiari in the chip lead. Olivier Busquet was the short stack and quickly exited in ninth place for $384,122.
The final table was set and launched into motion with Esfandiari still leading. Next in the counts were Martin Jacobson, Chris Klodnicki, Richard Fullerton, Nick Schulman, Anthony Gregg, and Bill Perkins, with Brandon Steven on the short stack.
The first hand saw Klodnicki take a massive pot from Jacobson to jump into the lead, and Perkins soon doubled through Schulman. The latter then pushed with T-9 suited against the A-Q of Fullerton and lost to take eighth place. Steven was out soon after when his pocket sixes lost to the A-J of Perkins. Gregg was coming off short-stack status with some shoves and eventually a double through Perkins, and when Jacobson moved all-in with A-J, Gregg called with pocket queens to send Jacobson out in sixth place. Fullerton's sixes then lost to the tens of Esfandiari for a fifth place finish, but Perkins doubled through Esfandiari. Play then ended for the night with four players remaining, Perkins leading with 14.7 million, Gregg in second with 13.9 million, Klodnicki in third with 12 million, and Esfandiari as the short stack with 9.2 million.
The unexpected Day 4 began with quick action. It took only five hands for Esfandiari to move all-in with pocket eights, but the A-9 of Klodnicki found an ace on the river to send Esfandiari out in fourth place. Gregg then doubled through Perkins into the lead, and Perkins was the short stack. The latter then moved all-in two hands later with A-5, but Gregg had A-Q and knocked Perkins out in third place.
Heads-up play then began with Gregg holding 31.2 million chips to the 18.6 of Klodnicki, and a few rounds of play ensued. Finally, the two started a hand with a 4d-3c-9h flop, at which time Klodnicki bet and Gregg check-raised. Klodnicki then moved all-in with 7s-5d for the draw, and Gregg called with 9d-2h for top pair. The 5h and 3s finished it, with Klodnicki accepting second place and Gregg winning the title.
1st place: Tony Gregg ($4,830,619)
2nd place: Chris Klodnicki ($2,985,495)
3rd place: William Perkins ($1,965,163)
4th place: Antonio Esfandiari ($1,433,438)
5th place: Richard Fullerton ($1,066,491)
6th place: Martin Jacobson ($807,427)
7th place: Brandon Steven ($621,180)
8th place: Nick Schulman ($485,029)
Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer, originally from St. Louis but now living in Los Angeles. She fell in love with poker while working at WPT and began writing about it in 2005.