John Monnette won the third World Series of Poker bracelet of his career Tuesday, as he took the title in Event #22: the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. The quarter-million dollar victory was his fourth cash of the 2017 WSOP and brought his lifetime live earnings total to more than $2.6 million.
Monnette entered the eight-handed final table as the chip leader with 1.051 million chips. The closest opponent was Mike Leah, who had just 618,500. It was a stacked final table, as one would expect a $10,000 non-Hold’em tourney to be (the price plus the specialized aspect of the game tends to bring out heavy hitters). In addition to Monnette and Leah, the final table included the likes of Paul Volpe, Mike Gorodinsky, Darren Elias, and Per Hildebrand.
Monnette held the lead most of the way, save for about an hour Tuesday afternoon. After dipping down to about 700,000 chips and then regaining the lead, Monnette took off the rest of the way, quickly distancing himself from the pack.
After eliminating Elias in third place, Monnette had a monster chip advantage going into heads-up play against Hildebrand, 3.5 million chips to 1.1 million. The entire one-on-one match, Monnette was unchallenged. He extended his lead from the start, only doubling-up Hildebrand when the magnitude of the double-up was insignificant.
On the final hand, the chip stacks were similar to what they were at the start of the heads-up contest. The two players got into a raising battle in the first betting round until Hildebrand was all-in and Monnette called. Monnette stood pat, happy with hand, while Hildebrand drew a single card. Monnette turned over 8-6-5-4-3. Hildebrand told him he had won before even showing three of his cards: 8-7-6. A good hand, but not quite good enough to stay alive in the tournament.
As mentioned this was Monnette’s third career WSOP gold bracelet. He previously won the $2,500 Eight-Game event in 2011and followed that up the next year with a win in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Event. He came close to winning a number of bracelets last year, with a second, two thirds, a seventh, and two ninth places finishes at the 2016 World Series of Poker.
In his post-match interview, Monnette explained how a third bracelet can be even better than the first.
“I just want to say, this has been my first bracelet with my wife,” Monnette said. “She’s been awesome for me. All of them are special, but it was super cool with her being here. She’s always been supportive of me in everything I do. She’s always rooted for me, and there’s been some disappointment. She deals with me being gone thirteen hours a day, and coming home angry, but luckily, I’m not so angry anymore.”
2017 World Series of Poker Event #22: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship – Final Table Results
John Monnette – 256,610
Per Hildebrand – $158,596
Darren Elias – $110,944
Xavier Kyablue – $79,016
James Chen – $57,316
Mike Gorodinsky – $42,357
Mike Leah – $31,903
Paul Volpe – $24,498