Craig McCorkell has taken down the World Series of Poker (WSOP) USD $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout from a field of 587 players after an exciting final table that had all the atmosphere of an English football match. Much to the delight of his cheering and chanting fans on the rail, McCorkell became the first player from the UK to win a WSOP title this series, which is surprising considering the British invasion last year that saw Jake Cody and others take home the gold.
For his victory, McCorkell pocketed USD $368,593 in prize money but it came at a cost to well-know pro Antonio Esfandiari (aka “The Magician”). At one point down to three-handed, Esfandiari was absolutely steamrolling his opponents and held around 80 per cent of the chips in play. However, it took just three hands for it all to turn around.
McCorkell was able to double up through Esfandiari while all in preflop with A♣ 4♥ against the Magician’s K♠ J♣. With 7♦ 7♠ Jeremiah Fitzpatrick was then able to spike a miracle seven on the flop after getting all his money in against Esfandiari’s 9♦ 9♣ preflop. The very next hand, it was McCorkell’s turn to double through Esfandiari once again, but this time he was in front with A♣ K♥ against A♥ J♥. Esfandiari was left with just five big blinds after that encounter and McCorkell delivered the fatal blow shortly after.
Despite the gaining Magician’s distinguished cap, McCorkell entered heads up a 3:1 chip dog but managed to gain some ground before a key hand saw his Pocket Eights hold up against Fitzpatrick’s A♣ 8♦. The severely crippled Fitzpatrick then produced a blind all in double before being forced to go the next hand with 5♥ 2♣ against McCorkell’s 8♦ 5♦. An eight on the flop elicited a roar from the rail and no surprises on the turn or river gave McCorkell his first WSOP bracelet.
Read more at WSOP.com.
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