2013 World Series of Poker: Isaac Hagerling Wins $3,000 Mixed Max NLH

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We knew Day 4 of the 2013 World Series of Poker Event #27: $3,000 Mixed Max – No Limit Hold’em was going to be short. After all, there were just two players left. But in this case, short turned out to be a relative term, as those last two players required three and a half hours to decide who won the bracelet. In the end, it was Isaac Hagerling who claimed gold for the first time in his career, earning himself a $372,387 payday.

The Mixed Max tournament started with 593 players on Day 1, all playing your good, old nine-handed no-limit hold’em freezout. On Day 2, the seating arrangements changed, shifting to six-handed. Then, when the field was whittled to 32 players, it morphed once again, this time into a March Madness-style heads-up bracket tournament. Unlike other heads-up tourneys where the match-ups are randomly selected, though, this one was seeded by chip count. Thus, Brandon Cantu was given the top seed based on his chip count at the time of the 33rd place elimination (543,200 chips) and went up against the 32nd seed, Govert Metaal and his 23,600 chips.

The two men who eventually made it to the final – Hagerling and Max Steinberg – were seeded third and eighth, respectively. They were virtually even in chips to start their battle on Day 4, with Hagerling holding a slight edge, 2.690 million chips to 2.649 million.

As one might have expected, the match was very close for quite some time. But then, as can happen in poker, lady luck smiled on one of the players and changed the entire course of the match. On Hand 73, Hagerling raised to 65,000 pre-flop and was met with a re-raise from Steinberg to 175,000. Hagerling called and the two saw a flop of 7-3-K. Steinberg bet 210,000 and Hagerling called. Steinberg checked the 5 on the turn, prompting Hagerling to fire out 525,000, but it was just a ruse, as Steinberg check-raised all-in for 2.198 million.

After a couple minutes of mental gymnastics, Hagerling decided to make the call, showing K-T for top pair. Steinberg, though, had a dominating A-K and was a single river card away from his second WSOP bracelet. To his horror, the river produced a Ten, crippling him. Hagerling now had total control, holding 5.186 million chips compared to Steinberg’s paltry 153,000.

Steinberg made a game of it, though, never giving up. He was able to push his stack above the million chip mark, but you can only put your tournament life on the line so many times before luck runs out. Steinberg’s finally did, forcing him to settle for his third career runner-up finish in a WSOP bracelet event.

For Isaac Hagerling, this was the first bracelet he had ever won in just his fourth career WSOP cash. The nearly $400,000 purse was more than his previous career winnings combined.

2013 World Series of Poker Event #27: $3,000 Mixed Max – No Limit Hold’em – Final Standings

1.    Isaac Hagerling – $372,387
2.    Max Steinberg – $231,501
3.    Jeremy Ausmus – $132,748
4.    Jason Koon – $132,748
5.    Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $51,561
6.    Dan Healey – $51,561
7.    Chris Johnson – $51,561
8.    Brandon Cantu – $51,561

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