In arguably one of the most dominant displays of poker in some time, Sam Soverel completed the objective he came to Las Vegas with. Not only did Soverel capture the championship of the 2019 Poker Masters Main Event, he also earned the Purple Jacket, significant of the overall champion of the series. In reaching that goal, Soverel demonstrated tremendous skill and no fear in the face of some of the biggest “High Rollers” in the world.
Soverel Defeats Hunichen for Main Event Title
Coming to the final table of the Poker Masters Main Event, there were six players remaining but only five of them would receive anything for their efforts. Chris Hunichen was at the helm of the ship, but he had a highly aggressive Soverel on his heels for the title. Joining them as the only player over the million-chip mark to start Day 2 was Seth Davies, while Stephen Chidwick was just off the million mark. Elio Fox and Ali Imsirovic had some work to do if they were to have a chance at the title and they definitely tried to make a mark.
Sitting on the short stack, Imsirovic got his chips to the center in the early going after flopping top-top with his A-10 against Chidwick’s open ended straight and flush draw on a 10♣ 6♥ 9♦ 5♣ flop and turn. Needing to dodge any club, eight, Jack, Queen or King (roughly 21 outs), Imsirovic instead saw the 8♦ come on the river to complete Chidwick’s straight and send Imsirovic to the rail in sixth place with no money.
Everyone was now guaranteed at least $136,000 and the play began to loosen up. In a rather surprising move, Davies was the next to depart the festivities after clashing with Soverel in a huge cooler. Davies committed all he chips to the center with Queens, only to see Soverel wake up with Kings after him and knock Davies out of the tournament in fifth place. A similar occurrence would take place to eliminate Chidwick from the tournament in fourth, except he ran into Hunichen in the hand.
Happy to have moved up to third place, Fox would be denied any further push up the ladder by Soverel. Holding a 10-7 against Soverel’s pocket eights, Fox would be teased by a seven on the flop (7-4-9) that gave him a pair, but not one bigger than Soverel. The turn and river would come with two more nines to give both men a full house, but Soverel’s out-pipped Fox and sent the former World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion to the rail.
Now holding a dominant 4:1 lead, Soverel would make rather quick work of “Big Huni.” On the final hand, Soverel would put the pressure on Hunichen by moving all in with only a Q-10 for the fight, but Hunichen would wake up with a pocket pair of deuces and made the call. The drama was virtually ended on the flop, coming down 9-Q-K, to give Soverel not only a pair of Queens but also an inside straight draw. With roughly a 10% chance of finding another deuce, Hunichen instead saw a six on the turn and four on the river to end the tournament and crown Soverel the champion.
1. Sam Soverel, $680,000
2. Chris Hunichen, $442,000
3. Elio Fox, $272,000
4. Stephen Chidwick, $170,000
5. Seth Davies, $136,000
(Ali Imsirovic finished sixth, out of the money)
Soverel Earns Purple Jacket Before Day 2 Began
While winning the 2019 Poker Masters Main Event was a nice achievement, it could be said it was just the crowning achievement of Soverel’s week of poker. Soverel’s work in Day 1 of the Main Event ensured him of winning the Purple Jacket, significant of the overall champion of the Poker Masters event, after seeing Kahle Burns depart the tournament during Wednesday’s action. Arguably, though, it was seeing Burns depart that allowed Soverel to loosen up a bit and go for the Main Event title, however.
Of the ten events on the Poker Masters schedule, Soverel cashed in seven of them and won the Main Event. That would add over $1.3 million to his bankroll and, along with the $100,000 payout for being the overall champion, made for a very profitable tournament series for Soverel, who is the defending High Roller of the Year and should be on the course to potentially repeat that title in 2019.
1. Sam Soverel, 1160 points
2. Kahle Burns, 630
(tie) Chance Kornuth
4. Sean Winter, 480
5. Ali Imsirovic, 450
6. George Wolff, 420
7. Alex Foxen, 330
8. Kristen Bicknell, 300
(tie) Sergi Reixach
(tie) Isaac Baron