Greg Hobson Wins WSOP Antes Only Event
The $1,500 Antes Only NL Hold’em event saw World Series of Poker organisers experimenting with a different format. Instead of blinds, each player put up an ante before each hand was dealt, and starting with the player after the dealer button , there was then the option to bring-in with the smallest denomination chip left in play – even if that was much smaller than the current level of the ante.
The format was popular with players, of whom it attracted 939, with many taking to Twitter and other social media to express their approval of the format. There was some talk that the format might need to be tweaked for future years, as all three days of play in the tournament were quite short (although for those suffering red eyes and exhaustion after days of finishes in the small hours, this was perhaps no bad thing). As it turned out the bubble burst on the first day, and the final table was reached on the second with nearly two levels of antes still in hand.
Quite a number of big name players decided to try the format, and those achieving a cash but falling short of the final table included Max Pescatori, Mickey Petersen, McLean Karr, John Racener, Martin Jacobson, Martins Adeniya, Melanie Weisner, Men Nguyen, Barny Boatman and Erick Lindgren. But several big names did reach the final nine, including Mike “Timex” McDonald and Eugene Du Plessis.
That players were still adjusting to the format can be shown by the fact that final table play at one point featured, in consecutive hands, three pre-flop all-ins (all uncalled) followed by an eight-way limped pot (and a little later a nine-way). The heads-up came down to a battle between Mike Sowers and Greg Hobson, both more renowned for their online prowess; Hobson, at least, believed he had encountered the format once before in an online event, although he admitted he could remember little about it. Whether some remnant of knowledge did stick, and prove useful, it is impossible to say, but Hobson did duly emerge triumphant to pick up his first WSOP bracelet.
The payouts from the final table were as follows:
- Greg Hobson – $256,691
- Mike Sowers – $158,887
- John Hayes – $99,409
- Harrison Gimbel – $72,155
- Eugene Du Plessis – $53,267
- Mike McDonald – $39,931
- Seth Davies – $30,373
- Sameer Aljanedi – $23,413
- Justin Schwartz – $18,292
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