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Doug ‘WCGRIder’ Polk has won a WSOP bracelet before.
Two, actually. The $1,000 Tag Team event with partner Ryan Fee last year, and a $1,000 No-Limit Holdem Turbo tournament back in 2014.
The stakes were much higher yesterday.
Playing in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller, Polk proved he belongs at the absolute top of the game by winning his third career bracelet against a stacked field of elite players.
Coming into the final table sixth in chips and well back of leader Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Polk had to come all the way back from just 13 big blinds to ultimately win the crown, outlasting Martin Jacobson, Rainer Kempe and Dario Sammartino along the way.
His reward? A massive $3.68m first-place prize – the biggest of his career – and a bracelet that he says feels a little different than his last two:
“It does feel much better,” he told the media after his win. “To win that much money against tough people in a world-class event, it’s way different.”
Near Miss, Big Score for ElkY
On the other side of that heads-up duel was a name anyone who follows poker will recognize.
France’s Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has been a prominent member of Team PokerStars Pro for years but, as we mentioned yesterday, starved for a major title since 2012.
Also already a bracelet winner – in a $10k Stud event back in 2011 – Grospellier looked on the brink of his second most of the final table.
Coming into the final table with a quarter of the chips in play and a big lead over Martin Jacobson, ElkY looked the part of WSOP champion, only losing the chip lead briefly and then storming back out in front with 5 players left.
But after the eliminations of Haralabos Voulgaris and Dario Sammartino Elky started the head-up slightly behind Polk and couldn’t catch up.
Hitting two pair on the flop only to see Polk get a better two-pair on the river, the tide swung big in Polk’s favor and he couldn’t recover.
Six hands later it was over and Polk had has third bracelet, but ElkY had his biggest career score and the confidence that comes with outlasting virtually all of an elite 130-player field:
— ElkY @ WSOP (@elkypoker) June 6, 2017
With the extra $2.2m ElkY stretched out the gap between him and David Benyamine even further for France’s all-time money lead. He now has $13.4 million to Benyamine’s $7.3m.
Final-table Results of the $111,111 WSOP One Drop High Roller
1st: Doug Polk – $3,686,865
2nd: Bertrand Grospellier – $2,278,657
3rd: Dario Sammartino – $1,608,295
4th: Haralabos Voulgaris – $1,158,883
5th: Chris Moore – $852,885
6th: Martin Jacobson – $641,382
7th: Rainer Kempe – $493,089
8th: Andrew Robl – $387,732
9th: Mike Kamran – $312,006
Litany of Stars Fall
As you can see by the final table above there was no shortage of superstars both Polk and ElkY had to outlast to get to the final two.
Italian ace Dario Sammartino and 2014 WSOP Main Event champ Martin Jacobson held court for much of the final table alongside 2016 Super High Roller Bowl champ Rainer Kempe.
High-stakes legend Andrew Robl finished 8th. Bubbling the final table was 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Also finishing in the Top 20 were Antonio Esfandiari, Byron Kaverman, Scott Seiver, Charlie Carrel, Dan Colman and Igor Kurganov.
For a full rundown of all the action and the payouts, check WSOP.com.