Eighth in chips to start the Final Table, Saro Getzoyan rode a late rush to knock out William Thorsson and Geoff Sanford to take the richest Limit Hold-Em prize in the history of poker.
Limit Hold-Em is the game that many older players cut their teeth on. With less risk than NLH, limit is a great way to learn poker. 257 players ponied up $5k each to take their shot and claim the title of the World's Best Limit Hold-Em player.
Many spectators rooted for Liz Lieu to reach the final table. Lieu was among the chip leaders for much of the tournament, but as can happen in limit a bad run of near misses sent her out in 19th ($11,475).
William Thorsson held the chip lead when the Final Table began, and he wanted this event badly. His near miss in last year's Main Event (13th $907,128) left him hungry to capture a bracelet. Thor Hansen and had the experience to be comfortable at the final table and the player with the best chance to finish on top. His WSOP bracelet in 1988 in Seven Card Stud was a lifetime ago, and his 2002 $1.5k Ace to Five Lowball WSOP bracelet isn't even held now. This was his fifteenth WSOP final table, and he'd been there and done that in pretty much any situation he would confront.
These two were joined by two relative newbies in poker as David Gee busted in 5th ($68,850). Geoff Sanford cashed in last year's WSOP Main Event, heading out as the bubble burst. He took home $10,616 along with ten other players who went out on the same hand. Saro Getzoyan had never cashed in a tournament, so he was a true neophyte.
Chips were very swingy for this quartet. William Thorsson had the chip lead while Saro Getzoyan was down to his last chips until he doubled through Geoff Sanford. Thor Hansen had been growing his stack but took a one-two punch that ended his night. He doubled up Sanford when he caught a jack on the turn. He got all of his chips in with Sanford, this time with vs. Sanford's . Sanford caught a seven on the flop and the river to send out the wily veteran, Thor Hansen (4th $93,008).
Down to three, the chip counts were:
Saro Getzoyan: 1.5m
William Thorsson: 750k
Geoff Sanford: 650k
With 15k/30k blinds and 30k/60k bets, stacks grew and shrunk quickly. Getzoyan got Sanford quickly down to 150k only for Sanford to triple up with pocket queens. He then won a massive pot from Thorsson by catching trip four's with . He finished off William Thorsson on the next hand (3rd $136,493).
Getzoyan had a stack of 1.58m in front of him, within reach of Sanford at 970k. They each won a couple of big pots to stay about the same distance apart, but Getzoyan went on a tear over half a dozen hands to end the match. Both men had the largest win of their short careers. Geoff Sanford took home $200,511 for second place, and Saro Getzoyan walked away with a new bracelet and $333,379. He just started work as a computer programmer at a hedge fund. At least he'll have somewhere to put his new funds.