Event 13 of this year’s World Series of Poker, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout tournament, had a capped number of entrants at 2,000. This cap never quite came into play, with 1,440 players showing up to play, creating a nearly $2 million prize pool.
How a shootout works: each player is assigned a table, as usual, to begin the tournament. However, as players bust, the tables are not balanced; rather, each plays down to a winner, much like a sit-n-go. Once someone wins the table, they wait until all tables are finished. Once they are, the winners of the individual tables are reseated again with the other winners, and the same thing happens until we are down to 9 or fewer winners. Once that happens, the final table is formed, and the winner of this table is the winner of the tournament.
Considering this is not a traditional tournament structure, the 1,440 entrants is still quite impressive. Many of these players are those we have seen on TV before: former November Niner Filippo Candio, former actress Jen Tilly, WSOP champion Greg Raymer, and Pokerstars spokesman Daniel Negreanu all finished in the money, making at least almost $5k for their efforts.
The final table was stacked with talent. Former bracelet winners David ‘the Dragon’ Pham, Vitaly Lunkin, Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly, and Erik Cajelais were all vying to add another to their trophy case. However, none of these were ever really in contention, with Cajelais outlasting the rest, but still finishing in 5th.
Eventual winner Andrew Badecker made sure to put himself in the best place to win this tournament very early, entering the final table as the chip leader. Throughout the entirety of the final table, he rarely lost the lead, and when he did, he reclaimed it quickly. Eventually, he busted Robbie Verspui, who took home $228k for his second place finish. Badecker, along with the bracelet, also took $369,371 home for his win.