The World Series of Poker has stories that capture the public’s attention, no matter what their proclivity. In particular, everyone likes a story of a player who has had some difficulties for a bit but then earns their way back to the spotlight. While it might not have been quite as big, the return of John Monnette to the winner’s circle in Event #16, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, certainly had all the earmarks of a classic.

Difficult Final Table to Start

Ten players came back to the felt on Saturday, vying for one of the $10,000 Championships that populate the WSOP schedule. The roster was replete with top pros, including Monnette on the short stack (270K), bracelet winners Ray Dehkharghani (315K), Jason Somerville (670) and chip leader John Racener (1.09 million). But many eyes were locked on a man who manages scientific analysis in his profession, perfect for coming to the Limit Hold’em table – the founder of the predicative website fivethirtyeight.com, statistician Nate Silver (440K).

It seemed that everyone was to spend a bit of time at the top of the heap at the final table. Racener would lose the lead to Scott Tuttle, who was not able to hold on to the slot. Chan made his moves up the ladder, knocking Tuttle out of the top slot in a hand that saw Dehkharghani left with only 50K in chips. Dehkharghani would leave the table as the final table “bubble boy” when Eric Kurtzman out flopped him with a K-J against Dehkharghani’s A-8 on a K-5-7-7-3 board.

Chan, who has routinely driven deep in Limit Hold’em events at the WSOP without capturing the gold, exerted a little of his expertise over the table at this point. He would pull out to a 400K chip lead over Racener but, as he continued to add a few chips to his stack, he would also see a dangerous player in Monnette capture a large pot from him. While Chan maintained the lead, Monnette was beginning to climb the mountain.

After Christopher Chung and Tuttle left the table in eighth and seventh places, respectively, there was a little bit of a logjam at the top of the leaderboard. Kurtzman and Chan were tied with 1.5 million chips, while Monnette had climbed into third place with a 1.1 million stack. The battle was just getting started, however, and the action entered the evening hours.

It was at this time that Silver decided to get in the action, scraping up enough chips to be able to battle equally with the leading trio. The one player who could not match was Somerville, who was cruelly eliminated after he had flopped a Broadway straight against Silver, but Silver caught a seven to make a set and the river paired the board with another ten to give him the backdoor boat.

Just before the dinner break, Chan would leave the table. He would get his final chips in the center with a K-J, only to see Monnette turn up Big Slick for the preflop lead. A Jack on the flop gave Chan top pair, but the turn Ace gave Monnette a bigger pair of his own. Looking for a Jack to salvage the hand (a King was worthless as it would improve Monnette to two pair also), a Queen rolled off on the river to send Chan out in fourth place as the tournament took a break.

Longest Final Table of 2021 WSOP Yet

Already in action for over six hours, there was still a championship to determine between the three survivors. Silver got out to the early edge, taking chips from Monnette, but both Monnette and Kurtzman both had a time in the lead. Kurtzman, however, would begin to bleed chips, eventually dropping from the tournament to Silver in third place.

At the start of heads up, Silver held a decent 600K lead, but Monnette quickly snatched it away from him. Silver battled back, however, and pulled out to almost a 2:1 lead. The duo would continue to battle it out, with Monnette fighting back to even. It was only after the blinds were kicked up to 40K/80K (Level 24) was a player able to take command.

That player was Monnette, who rivered trip sevens against Silver on a 9-7-4-2-7 board (Silver did not show) in one hand and then made a better two pair with his pocket sevens on a 3-K-K-4-8 board in which Silver had pocket deuces. On the final hand, Silver committed his final chips on a 10-8-7-K flop and turn with a Q-10. Monnette had him, however, with a K-9 that faded another ten or a Queen on the river six to earn the championship of Event #16.

1. John Monnette, $245,680
2. Nate Silver, $151,842
3. Eric Kurtzman, $108,747
4. Terrence Chan, $79,210
5. Jason Somerville, $58,697
6. John Racener, $44,263
7. Scott Tuttle, $33,979
8. Christopher Chung, $26,561
9. Kevin Song, $21,149

This was Monnette’s fourth bracelet victory, but it is arguably his sweetest one. Although he has over $3 million in career earnings, Monnette has only earned slightly more than $28,000 over the past three years. The fourth bracelet, while also bringing him a nice payday, also puts him in an elite group of players such as “Puggy” Pearson, “Amarillo” Slim Preston, Dominik Nitsche, Mike Matusow, Jeff Madsen, Eli Elezra, Joe Cada, and Bill Boyd (among others) who have also earned four bracelets.

One Comment

  1. Jasper says:

    Fuck this guy. He is an absolute piece of shit human being. He berates players at a similar level to Phil Hellmuth, he just isn’t as funny to watch, or provide great footage when he loses.
    He also has a fondness for berating dealers. I dealt the WSOP 3 years and was berated by players 3 times. Once was in a $5/$5 PLO game when I made an inappropriate comment at the showdown of a hand and I quickly apologized to the player who felt slighted by the remark. In this instance I was out of line and completely understood why the player was angry. He had lost money and I had compounded the situation. When I left that table the player tossed me an extra dollar and said he appreciated the apology.
    The other 2 were both by this sack of human garbage. The first time was in a $1500 Stud 8 event where all the dealers in front of me that day could barely deal hold’em let alone stud. I even was complemented by James Woods that day as he said I was the best dealer he had seen that day. John decided that failing to call both the rank and suit of the low card for the bring in (despite there being only one 3 up) was grounds for a lecture on the proper dealing mechanics, and it continued for a few hands. Literally no one else that day said anything when I did the same thing at every other table and I dealt to dozens of famous players that day.
    The other time was when I was chosen to deal the $10,000 2-7 triple draw event. They only select dealers for the $10k and larger events that are trusted to be quality and efficient dealers. On a hand where John was all in after the first draw, and both players in the pot stood pat on the second and third draws, both players tabled their hands before I was able to burn the card indicating the third draw, but because it was an all in situation and both players stood pat twice there was no confusion as to weather the draws were completed. So I just set the stub down to focus on the hands and awarding the pot and if necessary preparing to get the seat card of the eliminated player. John lost but couldn’t resist calling me a crap dealer for failing to burn that third card and said something to the effect of “I guess it’s really hard to get good dealers for the WSOP anymore.” I bit my tongue at the time but I wanted to fire back, it’s people like you that make good dealers realize the can make more money while receiving less grief elsewhere.
    John is also notorious in dealers circles for being a poor tipper. I just cannot fathom someone who makes their living as a player, deciding that the people who assist in making it possible ar not worthy of making a decent wage. It’s like going to a nice restaurant and deciding that because their food is expensive that the server only deserves a 5% because to tip them more would be expensive. I get that our tipping culture in the US is out of control and I wish it was moving in the direction of people that currently rely on tips getting a living wage from their employer instead, but it isn’t the tipped employees fault that we have our current system, and to reduce what they earn because of begs for John to called out for the cheapskate that he is. I hope John is eventually called out publicly for being the piece of shit that he is.

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