When 31 year-old Brandon Schaefer won his first gold bracelet along with $311,174 in cash, it was his poker swan song – for awhile at least.
A total of 1,138 players started the event, and by Day 2, only 120 remained. Along the way, Brandon had to survive some fierce competition, including one table that sported Joe Cada, David ‘Doc’ Sands, Ben Jenkins, Randal Flowers, Tom Schneider, and Lauren Kling.
Those big names and several others fell as Brandon marched towards victory, outlasting Phil Ivey, Gavin Smith, Carlos Mortensen, Jason Koon, Melanie Weisner, Scott Clements, and Erik Seidel. But the tough opponents weren’t all eliminated, when he reached the final table, Brandon had to take on bracelet holders Layne Flack and Jeff Madsen. On the third day, Brandon faced Jonathan Cohen. Going into heads-up play for the gold, he had the chip lead which he maintained until he busted Cohen out in second place.
Brandon after his win:
The funny thing is Brandon didn’t even plan on being at the WSOP this year because he had retired from life as a professional poker player. He had forgotten it was even Series time and had come to Vegas on a two-week leave from the Army for the Electric Daisy Carnival. Army? Yep – Army!
As we reported in The Inside Shuffle, last September Brandon was accepted in the Army and enrolled in basic training. Since then he has been through Officer training school, Advanced Officer school and survival training in his bid to be a helicopter pilot. Read more about why Brandon gave up the green felt for fatigues at WSOP.com.
Final Table Payouts:
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