The World Series of Poker $1,500 Millionaire Maker was an experiment five years ago when it appeared on the schedule and it’s grown to one of the most popular events on the schedule. The event drew 7,761 entrants and Pablo Mariz joined the WSOP millionaire’s club with $1,221,407 after defeating Dejuante Alexander heads-up for the bracelet.
“This is unreal, this week, me and my buddy had a close second earlier [$1,000 Tag Team Event]. So to make back-to-back final tables in big Hold’em fields is just insane,” Mariz said. “I still can’t believe it – it’s a dream come true.”
“Every year we [Tag Team partner David Guay] come here grinding the small events, build our roll online every year so we can take some shots in Vegas,” Mariz said. “We only booked to stay here for two weeks – our strategy is if we do well we book for another week. So, after the Tag Team we extended for a week, but now I think I’m going to stay the whole Series.”
Pablo and David embracing after the win. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
“Every year we come here hoping that we can have a breakthrough or a life-changing score,” said Mariz. “I have a degree and still haven’t found a job after two years – maybe that will wait with a healthy bankroll now.”
Mariz was on the verge elimination on Day 3 with 15 players remaining in the field holding king queen against pocket jacks. On the final hand Mariz held queen jack and said, “I hit the same queen of spades on the river to survive. I told my buddy if I end up winning this thing I ‘m gonna get some sort of tattoo with the queen of spades and I was kind of kidding – but now since it hit for $1.2 million on my second final table this week...”
Jonathan Gray finished in seventh place for his second Millionaire Maker final table - he finished in third in 2013. He also cashed in 68th place in the 2014 Milly Maker and has cashes in the Colossus II and the Monster Stack events.
The final day took over 12 hours to complete with 14 surviving players returning. Brian Altman and Ralph Perry just missed out on the final table, 2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert finished in 17th place and Lisa Hamilton came in at 26th place as the last woman standing.
This year was the second-largest Millionaire Maker field since in 2014 with 7,977 entrants when Jonathan Dimmig won $1.3 million and the 2017 version also paid out 1,165 players.
A full replay of the final table is available exclusively on PokerGO, as well as, the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl and the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop.
Final Table Payouts
1. Pablo Mariz - $1,221,407
2. Dejuante Alexander - $754,499
3. Alexander Farahi - $561,530
4. Marc MacDonnell - $420,805
5. Bryce Yockey - $317,544
6. Yuriy Boyko - $241,303
7. Jonathan Gray – $184,663
8. Thiago Grigoletti - $142,323
9. Hector Martin - $110,476