NEWSBRIEF
BY MARKANDERSON
Wassup At The WSOP: The First Event
June 2, 2022
Somewhere right now, Jeffrey Pollack must be smiling. The controversial decision to make the first event of this year's World Series Of Poker, a 10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold 'em Championship event seems to have paid off in spades. Not only did the first event attract a field significantly bigger than expected with 352 players, but it also created the kind of final table a TV producer could only dream of.

The final table of event #1 had a little something for everyone. We had the internet guy in Mike "SowersUNCC" Sowers, the old school poker gentlemen in Mike Sexton, the math guy in Andy Bloch, the female phenom in Kathy Liebert, the big game regular in Patrik Antonius, and of course the lovable wacky guy, Phil "The Unibomber" Laak.

Andy Bloch entered this star studded final table with the chip lead with 2,115,000 in chips, followed by poker pro Nenad Medic in second with 1,200,000 and Mike Sexton in third with 1,130,000. After those three, the other six players all had less than 700,000 in chips, a situation that was destined to create a chaotic beginning to this historic final table. In very short order, four of the nine final tablists were out of the match. Phil Laak (9th) ran into Nenad Medic; Mike Sowers (8th) got beat by Mike Sexton; Patrik Antonius (7th) lost to Andy Bloch; and Chris Bell (6th) fell to Medic as well. The next elimination didn't occur for some time but eventually Amit Makhija (5th) decided to make a play with A-3, only to run into Bloch's slightly less weak A-7. Soon after, Mike Sexton (4th) went home as well, when he was unlucky enough to hit top pair against Kathy Liebert who hit top two.

This left only Liebert, Bloch and Medic all fighting for a $794,112 first prize and perhaps more importantly, a coveted WSOP bracelet. Unfortunately for Liebert, she was quite short stacked compared to Bloch and Medic, a handicap she would not be able to overcome. Liebert (3rd) fought valiantly, but eventually lost when her pocket sixes ran into Bloch's pocket nines.

Despite taking Liebert's stack, Andy Bloch still had about half as many chips as Nenad Medic when heads-up play began and despite his proven proficiency at heads-up play (he recently took 2nd at the NBC National Heads-up Championship) Bloch was never able to close this gap, eventually settling for 2nd place when his pair of nines lost to Nenad Medic's turned heart flush, earning himself $448,048 for the surely disappointing second place finish.

With this win, Nenad Medic won his first ever WSOP bracelet, along with the honor of being the 2008 WSOP Pot-Limit Hold 'em Champion.

For story in it's entirety, please visit the Independent Online Poker Authority, PokerNews.com
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