Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a winner.
We came back today with a daunting 21 players, and after play was delayed for some time owing to Erik Seidel playing the Tournament of Champions, it was doubtful whether we'd make it at all and it was suggested for a while that we might have to come back tomorrow to play down to a winner.
Bearing all this in mind, it's actually been a remarkably speedy final.
The nine gentlemen who made it as far as the official final had an extraordinary 13 bracelets between them - three in the hands of Perry Green, eight for Erik Seidel and one apiece for Dave Ulliott and Rob Hollink - and that number has now been upped to 14. Chris Bell already had an impressive record before he reached this final table, including three WSOP final tables, but now he has achieved the fondest dream of every poker player - his first WSOP bracelet.
As the Rio cleaners vaccuum around us, it's a bunch of extremely happy railers who pose around their boy Chris Bell - particularly happy and proud is Gavin Smith, who of course won his own first bracelet last night. And indeed it's been a notably amicable, jovial and well-supported final. The chip lead changed hands many times over the course of the night and any of our finalists would have made a worthy champion. This one, however, belongs to Bell.
From Event #46, it's thank you and good night.
One of those "big" PLO hands was bound to come up sooner or later in this heads-up math between Dan Shak and Chris Bell. It finally came in Level 28. Bell limped his button and Shak checked the big blind. Shak had first action on a flop of and checked over to Bell, who bet 100,000. Shak then raised pot, to 460,000 total.
Bell showed a penchant for taking his time to think through many of his decisions heads-up and this one was no different. After about 40 seconds he called, and once again the feature table set became very, very quiet. The turn paired the board and put three hearts out. Shak bet pot, Bell was all in and Shak called!
Shak: , the nut flush and a low draw
Bell: , a full house
With Bell having made a full house, Shak would need a 3, 4, 5 or 6 on the river in order to secure a low and chop the pot. The river fell to finally eliminate Dan Shak and secure the win for Chris Bell. Gavin Smith, who won a bracelet last night and has been sweating this final table most of the night, gave Bell a huge hug while Shak went to his railbirds for solace. He'll leave with $202,142 in prize money.
Wow, we almost went a whole night at the final table with James "Flushy" Dempsey without hearing it, but in retrospect it was never really going to happen.
"He's a doctor!" came a lone chant from the rail - the theme tune to Dempsey's bracelet win. Some giggling ensued.
We had an all-in! The final table area became a hive of activity as everyone scurried towards the table to see what the devil was going on. Chris Bell had limped in his button, then called a pot-sized raise to 240,000 from Dan Shak. The rest of the chips were in on a flop of . Shak showed down for a pair of treys, a low draw, and a flush draw. Bell showed for a straight draw and a bad flush draw. The two chopped the pot with the turn and river.
The gentleman at the Shak rail who earlier had the questionable sense of balance just now attempted to order some pizza. He walked over to the Bell rail to ask them what they wanted.
"What are you doing?" cried another Shak railer, "They're the enemy!"
It's all love here, though, and orders were taken. "Please be open, please be open..." he prayed to the telephone gods as he called the one pizza delivery number he had, but to no avail. The rail shall remain hungry, as will the media and floor staff who were hoping to cadge some when it arrived.
If anyone knows of any all-night pizza emporia in Vegas that deliver, please get in touch.
The room got suddenly tense after a raise pre-flop was called and our esteemed TD announced, "We've got a pot." Indeed we did. Each player was in for 240,000 pre-flop and checked a flop of . When the turn came , Dan Shak bet pot, 480,000. Chris Bell thought about it but ultimately gave up.
"I so wanted you to go for it," said Shak. He showed . Bell said he folded queens.
"Shak's a card rack," yelled out Gavin Smith.
"Oh stop it," Shak replied with a grin. "I know what you're doing. It's the anti-sweat."
Play began, in silence. The rail was not impressed.
"Can we have some announcing please?" called over a gentleman whose name we understand is Michael.
Announcer Shawn obliged.
"Dan limps on the button, Chris checks his option, Michael annoys the announcer. Flop is five-jack-ace, Chris bets, Dan folds. Chris wins the pot."
Dan Shak, at least, was amused.
"Can you say something else than 'Chris wins the pot'?"
"Guess not. Let it be said I still have a sense of humor."
Over at the rail, the gentleman who earlier fell over spectacularly did it again, we think on purpose this time.
It took a little while to find Chris Bell, but he has been located and both he and Dan Shak are back at the felt.