Physics professor David Stucke used all the right angles to take down $603,069 for his first WSOP cash and his first bracelet in the $1.5k NLH Event #27.
The odds were long for David Stucke to earn a cash at the World Series of Poker when he entered the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event #27. A field of 1,000 used to be big news at the World Series of Poker, but this year's $1,500 NL Hold ‘Em event was called a donkament thanks to the huge field of 2,628. The field included cashers and gold bracelet winners David Williams, Burt Boutin, Lee Watkinson, Minh Nguyen and Vince Burgio. And Stucke had played poker seriously for only three years and had never cashed in the WSOP.
But not only did he cash, the physics professor won, earning $603,069 and the bracelet.
He was in pretty good shape at the start of the final table, in third place with 975,000 in chips, but by no means was he the leader or the clear favorite.
Here were the chip counts at the start of the final table:
Seth Weinger (1.7m)
David Woo (1.17m)
Dave Stucke (975k)
Young Cho (933k)
Noam Freedman (847k)
Louis Sanchez (516k)
Michael Ium (382k)
Tom Dobrilovic (260k)
Thai Ton (224k)
It took all of one hand to eliminate Ton, when he moved all-in with and was called by Weinger, who showed . Weinger turned a king and that was it for Ton (9th $36,340). Thanks for playing.
Sanchez was crippled when his lost to Ium's pocket tens. Ium moved all in on a flop of . Ium turned a 10, giving him a set and the hand. Sanchez (8th $47,400) was eliminated one hand later, when he moved all in from the small blind with and Woo called from the big blind with and stayed ahead.
After a few hands and mostly trading blinds and antes, Cho got into a confrontation with Dobrilovic when they were nearly even in chips. Dobrilovic had pocket sevens and moved all in, and Cho had pocket 10s. Dobrilovic did not hit his two-outer, and Cho doubled up, leaving Dobrilovic on life support. Dobrilovic (7th $63,200) was eliminated one hand later when Cho pulled the plug.
It took twenty hands to eliminate another player. Freedman was the small blind and Weinger, who had a sizable lead after winning a big pot from the second-place Cho the hand before, was in the big blind. Both players saw a flop of . Freedman was the short stack and moved all in, and Weinger stood up to think for a few minutes. He finally called with , and Freedman was outkicked with . Freedman (6th $83,739) did not improve and Weinger owned a commanding lead with 3.2m in chips, or twice as many as Woo in second (photo right).
At the dinner break, Stucke was the short stack with 855k in chips. Woo (5th $115,339), however, was eliminated next when he was whittled down to 395k and moved all-in with pocket jacks after some raising. Ium wasn't glum and called with A-A Woo couldn't connect and was out. Stucke then slowly but surely built his stack without any big hands or confrontations - that can happen when the blinds and antes turn even big stacks into push-and-prayers - and Stucke found himself only 100k behind the leader Weinger, who had 2.1m in chips.
At the break a few hands later, Stucke was the chip leader with 2.0m as blinds moved up to 60k/120k with a 15k ante. Ium was crippled by Cho when he moved all-in on a stone-cold bluff. Ium took five minutes to make a decision with his before calling, and Cho showed . The board came , and Cho miraculously doubled up, leaving Ium with only 250k in chips.
Michael Ium (4th $164,319) was eliminated in the next hand when his top pair of lost to Weinger's and his two pair. That left the last three players almost equal in chips.
Young Cho (2.53m)
Seth Weinger (2.35m)
David Stucke (2.02m)
Stucke dropped down to 1.3m then won two of three hands to take command of the table. Stucke. He limped from the button, Cho moved all-in from the big blind, then Stucke immediately called with K-K. Cho showed A-Q and did not improve, and Stucke doubled up to 3m.
Weinger, not Cho, was the third to go, however, when he raised from the small blind and Stucke called from the big blind. The flop came . Weinger bet, Stucke raised, and Weinger moved all-in. Stucke quickly called, showing against Weinger's and the surprising lead. Stucke had a lot of outs, however, and hit one on the turn when a spade fell. That sent Weinger (3rd $246,478) home and gave Stucke a monster lead heads-up with Cho. Stucke had 5.6m in chips and Cho only had 1.3m.
Four hands later, Cho moved all in with and Stucke called with pocket sevens. Young Cho (2nd $382,375) did not improve, and the David Stucke (1st $603,069) proved that he was a force in the poker universe. (photos courtesy of PokerNews)