The first event of the 2014 WSOP put cards in the air on Tuesday, May 27th, with 876 players ponying up $500 to build a prize pool of $394,200 in the Casino Employees Event. The event was scheduled for two days but after hours of play on Day 2, the last two players standing called it a night somewhere after 3 a.m. and would return later in the day to resume Day 3's final battle.
After two hard days of play, Roland Reparejo took just five minutes to lock up the first bracelet of the summer and an $82,835 payday on Day 3 of the event.
Final table results:
It wasn't that long ago that Reparejo became a poker dealer and began dishing out cards instead of the food he used to serve as a California chef. Today's competition found him at the final table where the goal was a big stack of cash and a gold bracelet and the other players were going to try to dish some bad beats on him. But that didn't work, as evidenced by the following statement.
"This is incredible to win," a jubilant Reparejo said afterward. "I've been coming here for years, usually to play in the Employee's event and the Seniors, too. I can't believe I won this. It's a dream to me."
Corey Emery battled it out with Reparejo heads up and Reparejo had to fight to take home the title and gold. Emery is no stranger to poker, having made a deep run in the 2010 Main Event. Unfortunately for him, his run for the November Nine ended in 33rd place. Emery pocketed $250,000 in that tournament, and his runner-up finish in the Employee's Event gave him $51,037 more reasons to continue pursuing his game.
Once Day 3 started Reparejo only needed six hands to finish off Emery — he won every hand except the one where Emery shoved from the button and Reparejo folded.
On the very next hand Reparejo limped from the button position and immediately called a shove from Emery with the . Emery held the .
The board ran out and Reparejo's rail — including his son — started the celebration. Reparejo left his rail to shake hands with Emery before he went back to his supporters.
Sarah Grant over at PokerNews.com spent a few minutes visiting with Reparejo on his victory.
Find the full tournament report at PokerNews' Live Reporting.