Max Silver took down Event #53: $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $172,645 after a dominating performance at the final table.
Coming back to the six-handed final table as the chip leader, Silver took just under nine hours to see his competitors off and walk away as the newest recipient of a WSOP gold bracelet.
Although Silver has several other large scores, including a UKIPT title from seven years ago, this has to rank as the most significant score of his career so far.
Silver started off how he intended to go on, eliminating David Olson in seventh place with Big Slick.
With the official final table underway it took a while before the next elimination. Georgios Kapalas fell in sixth place ($22,952) when his hero-call with queen-high was picked off by Mickey Craft's pair of kings.
The lone female at the final table, Lena Wang lasted a while short-stacked before Silver picked her off. Wang finished in fifth place ($32,345).
Eventual winner Silver stretched his lead to around two million before the next elimination, when Craft knocked out another player — this time, it was Ayman Qutami in fourth place ($46,871). Qutami held ace-five, but Craft’s queen-eight had made a pair, and Qutami couldn’t find an ace on the river.
Three-handed, Silver had more than half the chips in play, and it was apparent that both Craft and Geowei Zhang were aware of the pay jump between third and second. Eventually, and despite a couple of doubles, Craft fell to Zhang in a three-way all in for third place ($69,789), and the heads-up battle was set.
Coming into heads-up, Silver still held a commanding chip lead, and despite a straight flush for Zhang at one point, the American wasn’t able to put more than a dent in Silver’s stack. In the end, Silver spiked one of his six outs to deny Zhang a chance to get back into the match.
Zhang took home $106,694 for second place, but Silver took home $172,645 for his efforts, along with his very first WSOP gold bracelet.
|1||Max Silver||United Kingdom||$172,645|
|2||Geowei Zhang||United States||$106,694|
|3||Mickey Craft||United States||$69,789|
|4||Ayman Qutami||United States||$46,871|
|5||Lena Wang||United States||$32,345|
Reflecting on his win shortly after having his photo taken, Silver said he was "so happy" to win a bracelet.
"I can't really describe it," he began. "It's always been a dream for me to win a bracelet. I've come third, sixth, ninth...whatever. It's nice to get the win. I haven't had a big win in a while.
"I did what felt right at all times, and it seemed to work out. I don't claim to be a limit expert by any means, but I played reasonably well and I'm pretty proud of it."
Silver went wire to wire to win his first WSOP gold bracelet and nearly $180k in prize money, but he said that the chip lead didn't really play as big a part as people might expect.
"Really it's just playing the cards each hand, not playing the chips," he said. "But, for sure, it helps!"
Silver added, "It's poker and you get what you get. I was optimistic but this is far higher than anything I could have hoped for!"
The first person to hear about Silver's win? His wife, whom he telephoned from beside the final table.
"She was so happy. She's currently six months pregnant, so she was crying — extra emotions! — but, to be fair to her, she would probably be crying anyway.
"I'm going to see her in about 12 hours. I'm flying to New York, she's flying to New York, and we're going to meet in the middle!"
Silver finished his interview with a veiled warning to his fellow competitors: "I'll be back in five days."