2012 WSOP: Max Steinberg Wins Event #33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

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If there was ever a poker player with the right attitude, it is Max Steinberg. The Oakland, California resident said he felt “no pressure” to win 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em once he reached heads-up, despite finishing as a runner-up in a $1,500 event two years ago. He was able to close the deal Tuesday, winning the 2,795 player event and taking home $440,238.

In a post-tournament interview with WSOP officials, Steinberg said that he was most certainly feeling a bit of pressure heading into the final table, but once he reached it, he “felt very, very comfortable.”

Going into Day 3, with just 14 players remaining, he said he thought to himself, ‘I just want to get to the final table. And then we’ll see what happens from there.”

“I just felt really at ease here because I didn’t really feel any pressure,” he added. “Especially the heads up. Someone asked me if I felt extra pressure because I had gotten second before. It was actually the opposite. Like, no pressure at all.”

As the nine-hour final table began, Steinberg was comfortable amongst the leaders, one of four players with over a million chips. His 1.012 was good for fourth, almost tied with Samuel Gerber for third, though still a ways behind the chip leader Joseph Marzicola, who had 1.783 million.

More than two hours into play and Steinberg was struggling to find his way, watching his stack fall under 600,000. He was still alive, though, and that’s what really matters. After the three hour mark was when he made his move. Holding just Q-9, he made a fantastic river call on a K♠-K♣-9-5-T board to climb to 1.2 million chips. He then took pots from Matt Stout, Gerber, Dylan Hortin, and Marzicola to reach 2.7 million. When he eventually eliminated Hortin in 4th place, Steinberg was up to 4.5 million chips and in the lead, a far cry from where he was a few hours prior.

After dinner, things slowed down for a while, but then all of a sudden it was an all-in fest, with rotating double-up after double-up. Finally, Steinberg was able to oust Stout to go into heads-up play against Gerber just a little bit behind, 4.4 million to 4 million.

There would soon be a magical moment for one of the two finalists, made even more special because both of them notched runner-up finishes in 2010, the best either of them has ever done at the WSOP. Maybe his comfort played a role, because heads-up, it was the Max Steinberg show. He quickly took the lead and never looked back.

On the final hand, Steinberg limped and Gerber checked pre-flop to bring on a flop of 4♣-3♣-K. Gerber checked, Steinberg bet 100,000, and Gerber shoved for 1.7 million more. Steinberg pondered his move, but eventually made the call with T-T. Gerber’s hand of 4-T♠ was totally crushed. Neither of his two outs showed up on the turn or river, giving the pot and tournament to Max Steinberg.

2012 WSOP Event #33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Final Table Results

1.    Max Steinberg – $440,238
2.    Samuel Gerber – $273,385
3.    Matt Stout – $192,813
4.    Dylan Hortin – $139,258
5.    Joseph Marzicola – $101,802
6.    David Nicholson – $75,314
7.    Ryan Laplante – $56,372
8.    Vitaly Meshcheriakov – $42,688
9.    Christopher Shaw – $32,702

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