The $1,500 NLH event was scheduled for three days but the final two refused to just give up and go to sleep so an unscheduled fourth day was added. With 3,166 players jumping in to compete, the prize pool grew to $4,274,100. First place would score $737,248 out of the 324 that were going to be paid.
The field was incredibly large and these are a few of the pros that couldn't get anything moving on Day 1: David Benyamine, Lauren Kling, Kyle Cartwright, David Vamplew, Bill Chen, Ana Marquez, Bryan Devonshire, James Woods, and Lex Veldhuis.
Day two brought 348 players back and after only 24 eliminations, it was money time! Six people shared the bubble. Day 3 found the final table of 9.
When it got down to heads-up play, it went back and forth with each player being at risk and somehow being able to come back and stay alive. The tournament staff enforced a hard stop ruling after 10 full levels forcing the remaining two players to come back for a Day 4 to find a winner.
The final hand found Neil Willerson completing from the button and Vladimir Mefodichev checking. Mefodichev checked when the flop hit. Willerson bet 300,000 and faced a check raise to 800,000 from Mefodichev.
Willerson announced all-in and Mefodichev's tournament life was on the line when he announced a call.
The on the turn paired Willerson. The on the River officially sent Vladimir Mefodichev off the table in second place with a prize of $456,217.
Neil Willerson got to take home a first place prize of $737,248 and the gold bracelet! Congratulations Jim!
Neil James "Jim" Willerson has six WSOP cashes and one final table appearance, this one. He has played eight events this year and is playing the main event also. Perhaps it's a two bracelet year.
Sarah Grant Talks with Jim Willerson following his gold bracelet victory.
Final Table Payouts
PokerNews Live Reporting has the full recap.