It was a change of pace at the 2021 Poker Masters as, for the first time, a game other than No Limit Texas Hold’em hit the felt. In Event #3, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha match, Adam Hendrix would reign supreme over the 69 entries that the tournament received. In an interesting sidelight to the PLO tournament, John Riordan would cash for the third time in three events, continuing to try to grind his way up the Poker Masters overall champion standings.

Long Day of Work for Hendrix

Hendrix would have a long day of work to get to the championship. Sitting on a stack of 930,000 in chips, he looked up to see the chip leader Matthew Wantman (2.74 million), Chris Brewer (2.035 million) and Jake Daniels (1.205 million) all ahead of him in the standings. The only players that Hendrix might have to “pick on” would also put him at risk, as Brent Roberts (925,000) and Jake Schindler (795,000) could inflict some damage on Hendrix if he were to lose a hand.

Surprisingly, it was Brewer who would be the first to head to the exits from the six-man final table. Brewer was attempting to make some inroads towards catching up with Wantman, but he instead lost more than half of his chips in the effort. Brewer would eventually give the remainder of his chips to Hendrix to take the sixth-place spot in the standings and watched the rest of the final table from the PokerGO Studio rail.

Wantman got into action after that, taking down Schindler in fifth place, marking the second cash in three events for Schindler, while Hendrix took out Roberts in fourth to stay close. The turning point at the final table may have been Hendrix’s elimination of Daniels in third place as, after a 9-4-3 two club flop, Daniels would commit the remainder of his stack with an A♣ 10 5♣ 4 for a pair of fours and a plethora of draws. Hendrix held a K-10-9-8 for only a flimsy flopped top pair.

Another trey would come on the turn to give both men two pair, but Hendrix’s nines up was better than Daniels’ fives up, and the river six would help nobody. Hendrix adopted Daniels’ chips to his stack but, even after being responsible for three of the four eliminations at the final table, he still faced an uphill climb; Wantman held 5.44 million of the chips in play entering heads up, while Hendrix only had 3.175 million.

Three Hour Battle Ensues

Over the next three hours, the duo would spar over the championship. Hendrix, who had been in this position previously when he lost to Joey Weissman in the 2021 U. S. Poker Open, maintained a steady head and was able to eventually pull into the lead. It would all lead to a final hand where, typical of Omaha Hold’em, both men held the lead at one point or another. On that final hand, Hendrix kicked up the action while holding an A♠ K♣ 7♠ 2♣, which was met with a call by Wantman’s Q-10-8-5. The flop came as 9♣ 8♣ 2x and Wantman bet his pair, only to see Hendrix move all in with his flush draw. Wantman, with 1.63 million chips behind, made the call to put his tournament life at risk. A trey on the turn didn’t bring any changes, but the Ace on the river did, snatching the hand away from Wantman and giving the victory to Hendrix in the first PLO event of the 2021 Poker Masters:

1. Adam Hendrix, $186,300
2. Matthew Wantman, $138,000
3. Jake Daniels, $89,700
4. Brent Roberts, $69,000
5. Jake Schindler, $55,200
6. Chris Brewer, $41,400

Perhaps the story of Event #3 was the third consecutive cash in as many events for John Riordan. He is the only player to have earned money in each of the three tournaments so far on the 2021 Poker Masters schedule, but you have to either win or get close to the top to earn the serious points in the overall standings; Riordan’s three cashes have him in eighth place, but he at the minimum is in the mix for the Purple Jacket.

1. Sean Perry, 239 points
2. Shannon Shorr, 205
3. Adam Hendrix, 186
4. David Peters, 148
5. Jeremy Ausmus, 146
6. Jake Schindler, 141
7. Matthew Wantman, 138
8. John Riordan, 122
9. Daniel Negreanu, 103
10. Dylan DeStefano, 98

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO)

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