2013 World Series of Poker: Steve “gboro780” Ends Drought, Captures Gold

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And again. And yet again ad infinitum. Such is the mantra to which Steve “gboro780” Gross must subscribe as after fifteen fruitless tournaments at the 2013 World Series of Poker, he finally broke through, not only cashing, but winning Event #41: $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha.

Gross is not one of those familiar faces casual poker fans would recognize from television (but then again, the days of constantly seeing Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson on TV are long gone, for multiple reasons), but he has been very well known in the poker community for years. Regarded as one of the greatest online tournament players of all time, “gboro780” made it all the way to the top of the PocketFives World Wide Rankings in August 2010. According to PocketFives, he has over $6.25 million in online tournament winnings, with his largest cash of $275,600 coming from his victory in the FTOPS XI Event #10 (2009).

His live tournament results have been a bit checkered. This was the 14th WSOP cash of his career to go along with four World Poker Tour (WPT) and two European Poker Tour (EPT) cashes. Prior to now, his best cash was the result of a fifth place finish in the 2011 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, an effort which earned him $304,000.

Going into yesterday’s Day 3, Gross was the chip leader as the only player with over half a million chips. But going into the six-handed final table, he was in last place, the only player whose stack wasn’t over 600,000.

He began his climb to the bracelet almost immediately. On Hand 11 of final table play, he used a six-high straight to dispatch Nader Arfai, who had flopped a set of fives. That, combined with some chips he added before that, took him up to 1.46 million. He then knocked out Lee Goldman on Hand 59 to move up to 2.62 million and on the very next hand, he eliminated Joseph Leung in fourth place. Just like that, the tournament was down to three players and Steve Gross had 3.015 million chips, more than his two opponents combined.

After he eliminated Timo Pfutzenreuter, Gross entered heads-up play against Salman Behbehani with a 3.505 million to 2.5 million chip lead. While the lead fluctuated a bit, Gross never gave it up, eventually opening up such a wide gap that Behbehani had to go all-in pre-flop on the final hand. Gross only hit a pair of Sevens on that hand, but Behbehani hit nothing but air, resulting in Gross piling up all the chips and putting on a gold WSOP bracelet for the first time.

2013 World Series of Poker Event #41: $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha – Final Table Results

1. Steve “gboro780” Gross – $488,817
2. Salman Behbehani – $301,965
3. Timo Pfutzenreuter – $194,147
4. Joseph Leung – $128,742
5. Lee Goldman – $87,890
6. Nader Arfai – $61,739

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