While much of the poker world's attention has been focused down the hall in the Amazon Room for Day 1a of the Main Event today, there was some serious drama here in the Pavilion Room as Event #54 played out to its conclusion.
A total of 3,844 came out for this last of the open-field, $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em events, and after four days of play, Dutch player Marcel Vonk has outlasted all to take the title. It is an historic day -- Vonk becomes the first from the Netherlands ever to win a WSOP bracelet in no-limit hold'em.
Vonk is currently getting his picture taken with his shiny new WSOP bracelet, having survived an exciting heads-up battle against David Peters to take the title. It only seemed right those two would be there at the end. Peters and Vonk came into today's final day of play one-two in chips, and one or the other remained at the top of the counts for most of play today.
Vonk, an accomplished online pro who has written strategy articles concerning subjects like ROI, has turned his one grand buy-in into a $570,960 payday! That'll probably show up on the graph.
Congratulations to Marcel Volk, Event #54 winner. Thanks for following our coverage of this and all of the preliminary events, and be sure to check back with PokerNews over the next couple of weeks for all your Main Event coverage!
After that crippling hand versus Marcel Vonk, Peters lost another and was down to about 1 million chips when Vonk open-raised all in from the button. Peters checked his cards, and didn't waste much time making the call.
The flop brought an ace -- -- but gave Peters a pair as well, which meant he wasn't drawing dead after the turn. But the river brought the , and after leading for much of this heads-up battle, Peters was eliminated.
Marcel Vonk had taken a couple of pots to move up about 2.4 million when the following hand took place. Vonk opened with a raise to 230,000, and David Peters responded by announcing he was all in. Vonk took just a few seconds, then said "I call."
Vonk stood to watch the community cards being dealt, while Peters remained seated. The flop came , pairing Vonk. The turn brought the , and Vonk retook his seat as he could no longer lose the hand. The dealer delivered the as the inconsequential fifth street, and pushed the pot to Vonk.
Peters still has the advantage, but the pair have drawn much closer now. Peters has about 6.5 million and Vonk about 5 million.
David Peters raised to 210,000 from the button, and Vonk called. Both then checked the flop. The turn was the , and Vonk bet 300,000. Peters paused, then called.
The river was the . Vonk pushed out a bet of 500,000 this time. Peters took a look at Vonk, then went to reach for chips. Then he looked up again. He saw something, apparently, as he soon decided to make the call, tabling for king-high. Vonk mucked, and Peters took the pot.
Peters is up over 9.7 million now, and Vonk down to 1.75 million.
On the second hand back from the break, David Peters opened with a raise to 185,000 from the small blind/button, and Marcel Vonk called. The flop came . Vonk checked, Peters bet 220,000, Vonk check-raised to 600,000, and Peters folded.
On the next one, Vonk opened with a raise to 230,000, Peters repopped it to 605,000, and Vonk called. The flop came . Peters bet 610,000, and Vonk took about a minute before letting his hand go.
After these early skirmishes, the pair are about where they were at the break, with Peters at 7.25 million and Vonk at 4.28 million.