Peter Traply (Belabacsi) Wins WSOP $5,000 No Limit Holdem Shootout

A total of 280 players took to the field in the $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Shootout (Event #41) at the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP). In the end, Hungarian poker player Peter Traply, who goes by the name Belabacsi online, took home the bracelet and $348,000.

Traply became the first Hungarian ever to take home a bracelet from the annual tournament series in Las Vegas. He is just a few weeks removed from taking eighth in the European Poker Tour’s (EPT) Monte Carlo Grand Final, banking €170,000. Following his landmark win, Traply told WSOP officials what his bracelet may mean to the game of poker in his homeland: “In Hungary, the poker is growing very fast. There is a poker boom right now. And, I think it will be bigger after I won my bracelet.”

Nasr El Nasr was all-in pre-flop at the five-handed final table holding pocket threes, but ran into Traply’s pocket eights. The board ran out 10-10-5-J-7, sending El Nasr to the rails $82,000 richer for his efforts in his first WSOP cash. He wound up on the short stack after his pocket aces were cracked by the 9-10 suited of Andrew Lichtenberger, who flopped top pair and a flush draw. The turn brought Lichtenberger two pair, besting the German’s pocket rockets and marking a watershed moment at the final table.

Ousted in fourth place from the $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Shootout was Danny Wong. Lichtenberger checked the action on a board of 10-2-2-7 to Wong, who promptly pushed. Lichtenberger called, turning over pocket aces. Wong showed A-10 for two pair and was drawing to two outs. The river came a deuce, sealing Wong’s exit and $105,000 payday. Wong’s last three WSOP in the money finishes have all been from final tables, including a fourth place showing in a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament last year for $217,000.

Departing in third place was Maxim Lykov. The Russian, who affectionately goes by the nickname “Decay” in the poker world, picked an inopportune time to push all-in with A-10. Lichtenberger’s run of cards continued, as he called and turned over pocket jacks. No card above nine came on the board and Lykov was sent packing, his bank account boosted by $145,000. It was Lykov’s first in the money finish of his WSOP career. Russian poker has received a boom due to Ivan Demidov’s runner-up finish during the 2008 WSOP Main Event to Peter Eastgate and the launch of the Russian Poker Tour, sponsored by PokerStars.

It didn’t take long for fireworks heads-up between Lichtenberger and Traply. The latter called for his tournament life pre-flop holding pocket sixes against Lichtenberger’s A-Q of diamonds. The race was on, with an ace hitting the flop to propel Lichtenberger into the lead and potentially end the 41st tournament of the 2009 WSOP. However, the turn came a six, giving Traply a set. The river was a harmless deuce and Traply doubled up. However, his chip lead was short-lived, as a series of double ups by Lichtenberger catapulted him back into contention.

In the end, both players woke up with monster hands heads-up. Lichtenberger was all-in pre-flop with A-J and found himself dominated by Traply’s A-K. Both hit top pair on an ace-high flop, but running queens on the turn and river preserved Hungary’s first WSOP bracelet of all-time. Lichtenberger and Traply each recorded their first WSOP final table showings.

Here were the results from Event #41 of the 2009 WSOP, the $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Shootout:

1. Peter Traply – $348,755
2. Andrew Lichtenberger – $215,402
3. Maxim Lykov – $145,062
4. Danny Wong – $105,609
5. Nasr El Nasr – $82,697

The event was ripe with poker talent, as David “The Dragon” Pham, 2009 dual bracelet winner Phil Ivey, Peter “Nordberg” Feldman, and Hendon Mob member Barney Boatman all finished in the top ten.

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