The 2018 World Series of Poker has crowned yet another champion and it was a familiar face that lifted the coveted gold bracelet when the final river card was dealt in Event #49: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. It was Loren Klein who defeated three-time WSOP bracelet winner Rep Porter in heads-up to win his third bracelet in as many years and clinch the top prize of $1,018,336.
Klein's first victory came two years ago in Event #45: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha and he followed that up with his second WSOP bracelet in 2017, taking down Event #41: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha. Klein also finished runner-up to Brandon Shack-Harris in this very event back in 2016 when both were in the exact same seats, two and four. Shack-Harris came into the extra day as the chip leader and eventually had to settle for third place, good enough for a payday of $433,259.
While playing, Klein was sporting the "Make America Great Again" hat and also kept it on for the winner shots.
“I can't take it off now, the hat got me here. And there are a lot of haters out there that need this picture, just check out my Twitter feed today," Klein added just before holding up the gold bracelet.
"There are a lot of haters, I can't wait. Watch my twitter feed, it was non-stop today!"
One railbird said: "They don't realize you're being ironic."
"Am I?" Klein replied, "This might get me a Whitehouse invitation."
During the winner interview, Klein didn't deny the fact that this spurred further motivation to win it.
"All the haters really helped me to bring this one home. It felt amazing, and I can't wait to talk to all of them when I see them in the Rio hallways, I might even wear the bracelet for a bit. People have been talking shit about the MAGA hat for days and wishing me bad things all day today, it is fantastic."
When asked about what the accomplishment of winning a bracelet for consecutive years means to him, Klein had the following to say.
"Not a ton, the variance in getting a bracelet is pretty wild. I was the same player I was three years ago before I had any bracelet, so it doesn't mean a whole lot. But it is certainly a good time."
All three of Klein's bracelets came in Pot-Limit Omaha, cementing his foothold in this game type. Whether or not that makes him the best PLO player in the world remains to be seen, though.
"Perhaps, but you never know the way tournaments go. There are a lot of guys that make good runs all the time, so I am probably right there with them."
Among those is eventual third-place finisher Brandon Shack-Harris, who Klein considered a very tough opponent. Early on Klein won a big pot off Shack-Harris to take over the lead, where he remained for most of the remaining final table.
"That took him [Shak-Harris] out of a pretty commanding position and it was an important pot for sure, and I was pretty selective about which one I was gonna do because I knew the first pot I was gonna play with him would be a big deal and change the dynamics. Got lucky and flopped it."
Klein's other two bracelets came in $1,500 events, and the Championship event only changed one particular thing: "Seven figures!" Klein doesn't have any immediate plans with the big payday for now, and another PLO bracelet is on the agenda for the upcoming year to make it four in a row.
With a total of 476 entries, the event created a prize pool of $4,474,400 and the top 72 spots were paid. Five out of the six hopefuls on the final day were former bracelet winners and Jerry Wong, who eventually finished in 4th place for $303,491, is a former WSOP Main Event finalist.
|1||Loren Klein||United States||$1,018,336|
|2||Rep Porter||United States||$629,378|
|3||Brandon Shack-Harris||United States||$433,259|
|4||Jerry Wong||United States||$303,491|
|5||Ryan Hughes||United States||$216,391|
|6||Scott Bohlman||United States||$157,097|
Action of the final day
Brandon Shack-Harris was leading the final six on the Twitch live stream table in the Brasilia room and quickly pulled further ahead before Loren Klein took over the control at the top of the counts. While several players got short and even ended up all-in and at risk, it took more than two full hours before the field of hopefuls was reduced further.
Scott Bohlman had almost all of his chips in before the flop and called Klein's shove on an eight-trey-trey flop. Bohlman had an eight, while Klein needed a live king or running outs and hit the latter to make a straight, leaving Bohlman to depart in sixth place.
Next to fall was Ryan Hughes, and once again it was Klein responsible for the bustout. The chips went in preflop and Hughes showed aces, Klein only had jacks but spiked the two-outer on the flop.
Jerry Wong, the sole remaining finalist of the last six without a bracelet, almost took over the lead four-handed before becoming short. Eventually, Wong had half of his stack in before the flop and jammed a six-high flop only to see Shack-Harris snap-call with the flopped straight.
Three-handed play started with Rep Porter and Klein in a commanding lead, while Shack-Harris fell back further. The two-time bracelet winner fought back and got it in with an ace-queen high. Porter snap-called with aces and ended up making the better two pair on a paired board to eliminate Shack-Harris in third place.
Klein started heads-up with a comfortable lead, though Porter got within four big blinds. Facing a 1-2 chip disadvantage only a few hands later, Porter got all of his chips in preflop with kings and Klein looked him up with aces. Klein covered Porter's only live suit and the latter couldn't pull off the upset.
That brings an end to the PokerNews live reporting for this event, but make sure to check back regularly for the continued updates of the 2018 World Series of Poker.