No bracelet number 14 for Mr. Phil Hellmuth this time as he ended up in 6th place in Event #61: Seven Card Stud ($10,000 buy-in). Well, a big congratulations to Matt "Grapes" Grapenthien for besting an extremly tough field of 102 players to claim his first gold bracelet and $268,473 in prize money!
Grepenthien, a well respected online cash game grinder with some minor live tournament cashes dating back to 2004, overcame multiple chip disadvantages during the 9-hour final table, including the heads-up match against Todd Brunson.
Grapenthien had a slight chip lead when the battle began, but the son of poker legend Doyle Brunson won the first three major pots to take a 3-1 chip lead. Grapenthien didn't give up though. He kept fighting back and managed to narrow down the gap eventually. The two pros then took turns at holding the chip lead for the rest of the match. In fact, the chip lead changed 6 times during the nearly 4-hour heads-up battle before Grapenthien won the only all-in of the match with a pair of 8s against Brunson's pair of fives to secure the title!
"It feels amazing to win. I'm almost speechless right now," Grapenthien said. "I had so many people caring for me and cheering for me."
Grapenthien on the game of Stud
"I started playing poker professionally when I was in my early 20's. Back then, poker was 60 percent Hold'em and 30 percent Stud, and the rest was everything else," Grapenthien said. "I started playing Stud, and then it started dying out. So, this field became really strong with the best players. I'd never even cashed in this event before. It's a big buy-in. It's always been my favourite game."
The victory marked his 11th WSOP cash, including three final table appearances. His best previous cash was in 2010 when he finished 7th in a $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em event! His total live earnings are $402,692!
Final table results:
1st: Matt Grapenthien - $268,473
2nd: Todd Brunson - $165,891
3rd: James Obst - $103,895
4th: Ben Yu - $75,227
5th: Steve Landfish - $58,793
6th: Phil Hellmuth - $46,885
7th: Henrick Hecklen - $38,073
8th: Henry Orenstein - $31,419