A field of 850 kicked off the 2011 World Series of Poker on Tuesday as Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em tournament, started the summer festivities. After 10 levels on Day 1, 77 were fortunate enough to return on Day 2. Another 10 levels were played and even though the tournament was scheduled for two days, a third would be needed as four players were still in the running to capture the coveted WSOP gold bracelet. In the end, only one would be able to claim the title and earn the title of champion. That man was Sean Drake, a part-time poker dealer from Folsom, California.
Though he was the chip leader entering Day 3, there was a time when things looked very bleak. Heads-up with Jason Baker, Drake could taste victory when they got the chips in on a flop. Drake's was miles ahead of Baker's , but a cruel hit the turn and put the momentum in Baker's corner.
Drake, however, stayed focused and would not be denied. Two crucial double ups vaulted him to a commanding chip lead. First, it was his holding against Baker's . Shortly after that, Drake got it in with on a against Baker's . No miracle one-outer came for Baker and he bowed out in second place the next hand, paving the way for Drake to claim the first 2011 WSOP bracelet awarded at the Rio this summer.
Final Table Payouts
Congratulations to Drake for a job well done! That concludes our coverage of the Casino Employees Event, but the excitement of the summer has only just begun. Be sure to keep it here at PokerNews throughout the summer as we continue to keep you up-to-date on the happenings from the Rio.