The $10,000 heads-up championship concluded last Friday night with 22-year-old Spaniard Adrian Mateos as the champion after defeating highway contractor John Smith, 70, from California in the final round!
Mateos got off to an early lead in the final, however, Smith overtook the lead a few times over the course of the two hour and 15-minute match. In the final hand, Mateos bet 300k and Smith called.
The flop fell A93, Mateos bet 200k and Smith moved all-in with around 1.3 million. Mateos called.
Smith turned over Q8 and Mateos 52 for a gutshot and flush draw. Despite being called bluffing, Smith still had the best hand. The Spanish rail shouted for a spade while Smith's supporters wanted a queen.
The turn card was a queen but unfortunately also a spade, which left Smith drawing dead. The meaningless K completed the board and Smith was eliminated in 2nd place for $200,538. This was the second year in a row that Smith finished second in this event (last year, Smith finished runner-up to Alan Percal for $198,192).
"I'll be back next year. Unfinished business. Maybe I can get three seconds," Smith joked afterward.
"It's really sick and really impressive because he played really different than the other players," said Mateos about Smith. "It's really tough to play against him because he makes different plays every hand. He changed his game every hand, so it was really hard to read."
Mateos received $324,470 for his victory, but more importantly, he became the youngest player in WSOP history to win three bracelets! At the age of 19, he won the WSOP Europe Main Event overseas in 2013 for €1,000,000. In 2016, he scored his second bracelet in the $1,500 Summer Solstice No-Limit Hold'em for $409,171.
"[It feels] really good, for sure," said Mateos after the win. "I think it's pretty hard to have three bracelets and I have it, so I'm pretty happy."