Nothing like a wild Friday night in Las Vegas... especially for one particular 22-year old. The Rio Casino in Las Vegas hosted a freaky Friday evening of poker action with a pair of bracelets up for grabs. A former environmental attorney won his second piece of bling after a nine-year layoff, but the biggest story of the night focused on a young pro from Europe who returned to the winner's circle once again... for a third time.
Military veteran John Smith made waves once again in the $10K Heads-Up Championship. Last year's runner-up seemed hell-bent on winning this year's contest. However, a young pro from Spain who seized the spotlight and defeated Smith heads-up. Adrian Mateos won Event #15 and made history by becoming the youngest player to win three WSOP bracelets. The 22-year old earned a payday worth $336K as he closed in on $2.5M in career WSOP winnings. In another shocking stat... Mateos made three final tables... and he won all three events. Mateos was only 19-years young when he took down the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event. And he's only been eligible to play in Nevada casinos since last year.
Event #14 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. - Final Results
David Singer faded a field of 736 HORSE specialists to win his second-career bracelet. He previous won a pot-limit hold'em event in 2008 for a $214K score. The former environmental lawyer-turned-pro from Brooklyn, New York previously cashed 39 times total, but only had one bracelet to show for it in 12 final table appearances.
Singer defeated Kevin 'Don't Call Me Wayne' LaMonica heads-up for the bracelet. Their match lasted over four hours. It was not pretty either. Singer began with the lead, but quickly coughed it up. Both players appeared to have put each other on tilt. But LaMonica's tilt got the best of him. Singer rallied from redonkulous odds to win the tournament.
Singer's final table included the Italian Pirate Max Pescatori, sporting a colorful head of hair. Pescatori had to settle on a fourth-place finish. David Baker made this final table… but it was BAKES this time and not ODB. Bakes busted in sixth place. Esther Taylor-Brady has been having a strong summer in Vegas. She made another final table, but busted in eighth place.
Brandon Shack-Harris bubbled off the final table in ninth place. Other notables who cashed included Ian Johns, Rochard Ashby, Yuval Bronstien, Frankie O'Dell, Mike Gorodinsky, Daniel Negreanu, and Barbara Enright.
2017 WSOP - Event #14 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
Prize Pool: $993,600
Final Table Results:
1. David Singer (USA) $203,709
2. Kevin LaMonica (USA) $125,904
3. Andrew Kelsall (USA) $88,221
4. Max Pescatori (Italy) $62,733
5. Michael Coombs (USA) $45,281
6. David 'Bakes' Baker (USA) $33,184
7. Kyle Loman (USA) $24,696
8. Esther Taylor-Brady (USA) $18,669
Event #15 $10,000 Heads-Up NL Championship - Final Results
Adrian Mateos made a name for himself at the age of 19 when he won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event for €1,000,000. I dunno about you, but when I was 19 years old, I hit the road to join the psychedelic circus while following the Grateful Dead on a head full of liquid sunshine. Meanwhile, at the ripe age of 19, a young Mateos was crushing souls and shipping big-time tournaments.
Winning one event is one thing, but it's not easy winning a second one. Alas, last summer Mateos proved he was not a one-hit-wonder when he won his second bracelet. Mateos won the 2016 WSOP "Summer Solstice" event in the first-summer he was eligible to legally play in Las Vegas, which has a minimum age of 21 years versus Europe's lax gaming laws that allow anyone 18+ to gamble.
And to prove two wins were not a super-fluke, Mateos went out and won a third one. At 22-years old, Mateos became the youngest player to win three bracelets. In his short career, Mateos only has 7 total cashes at the WSOP. But he also made three final tables... and won all three. That's a sick run! His total WSOP earnings are closing in on $2.5M.
At this rate, by the time he's 30, Mateos could easily have 10 bracelets and reached a pinnacle of double digits wins. By the time he's Hellmuth's age, he should surpass the Poker Brat as the greatest all-time WSOP player. Okay, we might be getting a little too ahead of ourselves… but Mateos certainly put himself in great position to overtake the legends of the game. The future is in his hands.
On Friday night, Mateos defeated John Smith heads-up for the 10K Championship. Smith, a decorated military veteran from California, was runner-up in last year's 10K. Alas, he had to settle on another second-place finish. Smith defeated former WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess in the semifinals. However, Smith fell short in the finals. Smith nearly beat someone 50 years younger than him. To put the age difference in perspective, Smith cashed in his first WSOP before Mateos was even born. When Smith was 22 years old… it was 1969.
Speaking of the late 60s, Charlie Carrel busted in third place. Other notables who went deep… Ryan Riess, Ryan Hughes, Olivier Busquet, Ryan Fee, Jack Duong, Dan Smith, Chris Moore, Jason Les, Taylor Paur, and Mo Dietrich.
2017 WSOP - Event #15 $10,000 Heads-Up NL Championship
Prize Pool: $1,203,200
Final Eight - Results:
1. Adrian Mateos (Spain) $324,470
2. John Smith (USA) $200,538
3. Charlie Carrel (U.K.) $125,454
4. Ryan Riess (USA) $125,454
5. Ryan Hughes (USA) $54,986
6. Olivier Busquet (USA) $54,986
7. Jack Duong (USA) $56,909
8. Ryan Fee (USA) $56,909