Josh Arieh has claimed victory in Event #66: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship after overcoming a field of 208 entries. Arieh grabbed hold of his fourth World Series of Poker bracelet and $484,791 after defeating Danny Chang heads-up.
After the last hand was dealt 10 hours into Day 3, Arieh was able to turn to his wife and poker friends on his rail with a huge grin on his face and his arms raised in the air.
"Having Rachel here was amazing,” Arieh told PokerNews. “She wasn't able to be here for the first one and we really wanted to get a winner's photo together."
Final Table Payouts
|1st||Josh Arieh||United States||$484,791|
|2nd||Danny Chang||United States||$299,627|
|4th||Dan Colpoys||United States||$146,817|
|5th||Jeff Gross||United States||$106,391|
|6th||Adam Owen||United Kingdom||$78,955|
|7th||Aaron Kupin||United States||$60,040|
|8th||Matt Woodward||United States||$46,813|
Arieh couldn't have been any happier after falling just short of the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship final table and coming back to win this just 48 hours later.
“It was really motivating having that play out right there. I really wanted that," as he pointed to the Main Stage, "because of the year before when I came in second, but this is a hell of a consolation prize."
In the past two weeks, Arieh has claimed three six-figure scores at the WSOP including two bracelet wins, and he credits a lot of that to his personal life. "I'm at a better place, my personal life is as good as it's ever been. I'm willing to accept whatever happens and I just feel good."
While Arieh is widely considered one of the best pot-limit Omaha players and his results can confirm that, the hi-lo 8 or better variant isn't necessarily something that Arieh felt very comfortable with. "I noticed a lot of mistakes that I made, but I also noticed a lot of gameplay mistakes that they made. There was a point where they were letting me see flops when I shouldn't see flops, they were gambling when they shouldn't have been gambling. Just my experience in pot-limit really helped me figure out what I should be doing."
Final Day Action
Only 12 players came back for Day 3 where they quickly found out that they would be playing to a winner today instead of just five players. There were a few short stacks to kick things off and most of them were unable to survive. Tim Seidensticker, Jason Riesenberg, Alan Sternberg, and John Esposito all hit the rail in just over an hour to bring the field down to just eight players and a final table.
Matt Woodward came into the day as a top-three stack but a rough cooler didn't go his way against Chang, which led to Woodward exiting the tournament in eighth place. Seven-handed play continued for over 2.5 hours with Arieh and Chang clashing in a couple of monster pots while the others just saw their stacks dwindling to the blinds.
Eventually, Aaron Kupin was left with a difficult call for all of his chips and the cards didn't fall his way as he was eliminated in seventh place. The short stacks continued to stay alive with double-ups, triple-ups, and chops which frustrated some others looking for those crucial pay jumps. Adam Owen was one of those short stacks but he happened to be the first to fall when Chang made a full house on him.
Jeff Gross, the king of short-stack grinding, was down to three big blinds at one point but that was nothing unusual for him. Gross hung in there with some timely double-ups and survived past the dinner break. However, with just a couple of big blinds left, Gross ran into Anatolii Zyrin's pocket aces which he could not overcome, bowing out in fifth place.
Dan Colpoys was next on the chopping block when he ran into a red-hot Chang after the dinner break. Chang flopped a set of eights and Colpoys couldn't make a low hand to get half the pot. Chang took a huge lead heading into three-handed play with over 75% of the chips sitting in front of him. However, multiple double-ups from Zyrin and Arieh brought the stacks back to even.
After the last break of the night, Arieh came in as the short stack but would find a huge double up from Zyrin to take the chip lead. Just moments later, Arieh would go on to eliminate Zyrin and take the chip leads into heads-up play with Chang.
The two players would not back down from each other as they dealt heavy blow after heavy blow to each other but it would be Arieh who would have the last say. In the last hand of the night, the tables turned multiple times as the cards hit the felt. Arieh was in the lead on the flop, Chang found a chop on the turn, but Arieh made a wheel on the river to scoop the pot and claim the title.
Arieh talked a little bit about what it meant to him to have four WSOP bracelets to his name now. "I really want my kids to say that their dad is a Hall of Fame poker player and I knew that I had to do a lot more than I have already done. Hopefully, this run 25 years into my poker career will give me a chance."
That wraps up the coverage for this event but stay tuned to PokerNews for all of the live updates throughout the Main Event over the next couple of weeks.