Moschonas wins Event #42; Bansal, Ahuja make FT finishes
It was a spectacular performance by our Indian players in Las Vegas recently, as Event #42: $600 Mixed NLH/PLO Deepstack came to an end a few hours ago. The 2-day tournament had to go into an unofficial third day with the Final Table of 8 players still in contention to win the top prize and the elusive WSOP gold bracelet.
While two other Indians cashed on Day 2, it was Raghav Bansal and Ashish Ahuja who made deep runs, entering the FT with sizeable chip stacks. In fact, Bansal held the chip lead for quite some time before losing it during the last few hands of Day 2. The Indian rail was excited for Day 3 at Rio All Suites Hotel, as our chances of a third gold bracelet were high.
However, they had to negotiate some of the best pros in the world if either one had to go on to win the title. Overnight chip leader Adam Lamphere didn't have the best of results, becoming the second bust-out of the day, cashing in 7th place for $28k. The next to go was Stephen Ma who hit the rail in 6th place thanks to Germany's Rainer Kempe, who was building a massive chip lead by this point in time.
The next person to be eliminated was our very own Ashish Ahuja, and this happened in a PLO Round. Ahuja shoved all of his 9.8 million chips against Dan Matsuzuki and as the cards rolled out on the board, it was Matsuzuki's Aces against Ahuja who managed to pair Kings on the flop but nothing else after that.
Ahuja is the prime example of how hard work and dedication can take you places. Indians have been trying to do well for ages at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Ahuja seems to have cracked the formula on his debut trip to Las Vegas. After three small cashes, he made a 15th place finish in Event #34 and here, ended 5th for a new career-best of $48,914 (~INR 34.07 Lakh).
As for Bansal, the grind continued with just 4 players still in contention. In fact, he catapulted to the chip lead when he knocked out Rainer Kempe in 4th place. The German pro has $20+ million in live cashes but is yet to win a gold bracelet. Here, he was involved in a PFAI situation with Bansal, holding KhTs against Bansal's AhQh. The board didn't have anything for either player, and Kempe walked away in 4th place, with Bansal now having a monster stack of 32.7 million chips.
However, it was just a few minutes later that the players were involved in a 3-way all-in pot where Bansal took a major hit, losing 22 million chips. That would've been the turning point for Bansal as he was knocked out a while later by the eventual champion, Greece's Aristeidis Moschonas.
It was a stellar performance by both the Indian pros, and Bansal bagged a massive bankroll addition of $88,410 (~INR 61.5 Lakh) for finishing 3rd here. Not only was it the first podium finish for an Indian player in WSOP 2019 but it also became the highest cash of the series by an Indian. Bansal also became the second Indian to accumulate $1+ million in live poker cashes after PokerStars Team Pro Aditya Agarwal.
As for the winner, Moschonas recounted how he was down to less than 1 BB at one stage in the tournament, creating a comeback worthy of going down in the history books. He bagged $194,759 in prize money along with his maiden gold bracelet. “I was down to half a big blind after the first four levels. I doubled up four times, and that’s it,” he said.
Final Table Results:
- Aristeidis Moschonas - $194,759
- Dan Matsuzuki - $120,374
- Raghav Bansal - $88,410
- Rainer Kempe - $65,482
- Ashish Ahuja - $48,914
- Stephen Ma - $36,852
- Adam Lamphere - $28,006
- Daniel Moravec - $21,469
For more updates on Indian runs and overall tournament updates from the 2019 World Series in Las Vegas, stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com.
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