You have to love it when people say, "Finally won a bracelet..." like you were just in the back of the pack trying to fail. Did they know there were 256 other players in the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Eight-or-Better event all trying to win too? Joe Cassidy may have known. Cassidy managed to pull his first place prize of $294,777 out of the total prize pool of $1,203,200 and find a piece of gold at the same time.
The field had more than one gold bracelet winner in it – like Mike Wattel (11th), Dan Kelly (12th), Brendan Taylor (13th), Brian Hastings (16th), Viacheslav Zhukov (17th), and John Guth (26th). The final table had four relative newcomers at the ESPN Main Stage but the other four were Phil Ivey, Scotty Nguyen, Mike Matusow, and Meng La.
When Phil Ivey was knocked out in third place, Scotty Nguyen wanted to postpone the match for an unscheduled fourth day. They did. The chip counts were:
The chips moved back and forth when play resumed with Nguyen managing to build his stacks but Cassidy started restacking the chips in the third level of heads-up play and Nguyen was down to just a few big bets. The final hand came down with Joe Cassidy raising on the button and Scotty Nguyen reraising all-in for 200,000 total. Cassidy called.
The board came . A typical case of Cassidy started with the best hand preflop, flopped the best hand, Nguyen drew out on the turn with two pair, and Cassidy drew out on Nguyen on the river when he hit a Broadway.
Scotty Nguyen went home with $182,213 for second place and Joe Cassidy stopped trying to fail from the back of the pack and FINALLY won his first bracelet and $294,777. Plus he beat some of the world's best poker players to do it. Congratulations Joe!
The Final Nine:
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