What’s more impressive than going back-to-back? Going back-to-back-to-back, and that’s what mixed game savant Adam Friedman just did in the WSOP $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship Event.
Phil Hellmuth continued his red-hot streak at the WSOP by getting heads-up, but the headlines rightly go to the man who defeated him, as he has all-comers in this tournament since he took his seat in the 2018 edition.
The final table was a tasty prospect. With ten left, Matt Glanz, Joao Vieira, Mike Gorodinski, and Daniel Negreanu were all in contention. Ultimately, though, it boiled down to a final six of Friedman, Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Andrew Kelsall, Jake Schwartz, and Carol Fuchs.
Credit goes to PokerGO who put together an impromptu stream, knowing this would be a fan favorite and possibly a piece of poker history. The stream did not have all the bells and whistles, but the four-camera setup nonetheless made for engrossing TV.
Friedman displayed a full array of mixed game skills
Heading into the final day, all eyes including Hellmuth’s were on Adam Friedman, despite the big-name stars that surrounded him.
As the reigning two-time winner of this Championship event, an improbable third consecutive victory would go down as one of the greatest WSOP achievements.
The man from the Buckeye State did not disappoint as he maneuvered his way through the elite field, setting up the heads-up battle that the audience craved. Showing a willingness to tussle in a wider variety of games than his opponent, a full array of Friedman’s skills were on show.
willingness to tussle in a wider variety of games than his opponent
Thanks to Hellmuth’s more consistent picks, the pair played mostly Badeucey and Pot Limit Omaha down the straight, although there were hands of No Limit Holdem, No limit 2-7 Single Draw, Stud 8-or-better, Badugi, and Big O sprinkled in.
In the end, it would be Friedman’s fourth WSOP bracelet rather than Hellmuth’s 17th.
#17 eludes Hellmuth for now
It was an astonishing fifth final table for Hellmuth, who has been enjoying success in a variety of games this series. He came sixth in the $25,000 HORSE event, fifth in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event, and fourth in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event, in addition to a win in the $1500 2-7 Lowball Draw.
A win in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice would have represented a first for Hellmuth, who would have added a mixed game bracelet to his extraordinary resume. His previous wins are in No Limit Hold ‘Em, Pot Limit Hold ‘Em, Limit Hold ‘Em, Razz, and 2-7 Lowball.
For now, that 17th bracelet eludes ‘The Poker Brat’, who now goes top of the WSOP POY Leaderboard, putting distance between himself and the chasing pack of Ant Zinno, Jake Schwartz, Dylan Linde, and Jason Koon.
WSOP Event #36: The $10,000 Six-Handed Dealer’s Choice Final Table Results
2nd Phil Hellmuth $153,493
3rd Jake Schwartz $107,861
4th Carol Fuchs £77,437
5th Mike Matusow $56,826
6th Andrew Kelsall $42,646