Friday was a busy day at the World Series of Poker with three final tables playing down to a winner. Chris Moorman broke through for his first gold bracelet, but also Joseph di Rojas was the first Venezuelan to win gold and Brian Brubaker won the $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event.
Brubaker is a poker pro from Southern California and won his first bracelet for $109,967. “It was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was pretty intense because there was a lot of swings throughout the final table.”
“Heads-up was really intense and there was a lot hands going back and forth,” said Brubaker. “Luckily, I won the majority of the pots and basically just went straight up. It was intense and they you win – that’s it.”
Brubaker was almost left without a place to sleep following Day 2. He checked out of his room that morning and with the EDC Festival in town rooms were hard to find. “I finally found a room a Cosmo, but it was eighth place I called,” he said. “It was 3:30 in the morning and I was tilted for not being able to go to sleep before the final table.”
“I planned on going home whenever this tournament was over and now it’s over,” said Brubaker. “I’ll come back and play the Stud 8 and the $3K HORSE next week – that was the plan all along.”
Final Table Payouts
1. Brian Brubaker – $109,967
2. Brendan Taylor – $67,952
3. Jason Riesenberg – $43,597
4. Max Kruse – $28,740
5. Dean Kerl – $19,482
6. Rick Fuller – $13,591
Joseph di Rojas celebrates the first bracelet for a native Venezuelan. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Joseph di Rojas’ lifetime earnings were only $55,344 in a little over 18 months since the Venezuelan decided to play tournaments for a living. He broke through in a huge way, by outlasting 1,758 other players in the five-day event and earned $690,469.
“It’s incredible, I played a lot of hands. I don’t know [how to feel], maybe tomorrow I will know,” said di Rojas. “I like tournaments more than cash games; it’s more of a competition.”
The long structure and handful of days on the calendar didn’t bother him. “When you play poker you’re just thinking about the table, about the cards – you don’t see time,” he said.
“I’ve been playing poker for about eight years and this is second time I’ve been to Vegas,” he said. “I’ve played in Barcelona, the Bahamas, Panama and Aruba.
Faraz Jaka is still in the debate among best players without a bracelet. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Third place finisher Jeffrey Tomlinson missed out on a chance for a second bracelet while Tim Reilly, Faraz Jaka and Maurice Hawkins all made the final table.
Final Table Payouts
1. Joseph di Rojas – $690,469
2. Alexander Lynskey – $426,663
3. Jeffrey Tomlinson – $307,728
4. Tim Reilly – $224,316
5. Julian Stuer – $165,277
6. Faraz Jaka – $123,105
7. Andrew Jernigan – $92,705
8. Pratik Ghatge – $70,590
9. Maurice Hawkins – $54,356