2013 World Series of Poker: Ken Lind Wins Largest Seniors Event in WSOP History

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Ken Lind has fathered seven children and spent more than two decades in the military. Cash in a World Series of Poker tournament? Nope, he had never done that. Never, that is, until early Monday morning, when he not only cashed, but won the 2013 World Series of Poker Seniors Event and earned $634,809.

A couple tidbits make Lind’s win even more astounding. For one, this was the first World Series of Poker tournament he had ever entered. Afterwards, he told WSOP officials, “I put this on my bucket list about six or eight years ago.  I have been pushing it off every year, but finally my wife talked me into doing it. She said, ‘before you start pushing grass up, go do it!’”

He added, “The biggest tournament I had ever played was like 10 or 12 tables.  And you come here, and there are 4,400 opponents.  I just wanted to compete….this is my kind of tournament.”

And that brings us to the next part of the story that makes Lind’s triumph so amazing: this was the biggest Seniors Event in WSOP history. In fact, it was the tenth consecutive year that the tournament boasted a new record field. This year’s tourney boasted 4,407 entries, almost 300 more than last year’s 4,128. To put that in a little perspective, the 2013 WSOP Seniors Event would have been larger than every WSOP Main Event through 2004 (even though the poker boom had started, Greg Raymer needed to best “only” 2,575 opponents to win his title in 2004). According to the WSOP write-up, this tournament was the largest non-re-entry, single starting day event in World Series of Poker history.

Just 34 players were still in the running at the start of Sunday’s Day 3 and by the time the final table was determined, Ken Lind was in second in chips with 1.9 million. The chip stacks to begin final table play were as evenly dispersed as we have even seen them. Dana Ott was the chip leader with 2.1 million and after him, there were three men, including Lind, with 1.9 million. Fifth place had 1.8 million, while the next two players had chip stacks in the low millions. It was really anybody’s game.

Lind began taking down pots in the first couple orbits, quickly growing his stack to 2.7 million. At the start of the fourth orbit, Lind took out Fernando Halac in ninth place to take a commanding lead with 5.525 million chips. He kept the train rolling, knocking out a few more players to add to his chip stack. He did fall back a bit, though, so when Ott eliminated John Holley in third place, the chips were close going into heads-up play with Lind holding a 6.99 million to 6.22 million chip lead.

Not surprisingly, it was a long heads-up match, lasting 70 hands. Lind had been playing small ball, and it was more of the same on the final hand when he limped pre-flop and Ott checked. On the flop of 7♣-8♣-T, Ott bet 400,000 and Lind just called, bringing out the 7 on the turn. Ott checked that card, prompting Lind to fire out a 1 million chip bet. After some thought, Ott moved all-in and Lind insta-called. With that, Ott knew he was in deep trouble, asking Lind, “You got the straight, don’t you?”

Lind did have the straight, holding J♠-9 against Ott’s J-7♠. Trip Sevens was very good, but Ott needed to fill up to win, which did not happen, allowing Lind to celebrate his victory in the 2013 WSOP Seniors Event.

2013 World Series of Poker $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship – Final Table Results

1.    Ken Lind – $634,809
2.    Dana Ott – $390,601
3.    John Holley – $283,312
4.    Baryr Bashist – $209,856
5.    Randolph Spain – $156,629
6.    Michel Bouskila – $117,799
7.    James Miller – $89,281
8.    Jack Ernest Ward – $68,180
9.    Fernando Halac – $52,474

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