Derek McMaster, a player from Minnesota, is off to a great start of the 50th WSOP. The player reached his first final table and won last night his first title from the world’s longest-running tournament poker series for a six-figure payout and a shiny gold bracelet.
McMaster triumphed in Event #4 of this year’s edition of the WSOP. He took down the $1,500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better last night, the first four-card event on the schedule of the series, which kicked off last week at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
McMaster emerged victorious over a field of 853 tournament entrants to claim a first-place prize of $228,228. He also captured his first gold bracelet from the series. The tournament’s field generated a prize pool of $1,151,550. The prize money was split into payouts for the top 128 finishers, min-cashes starting from $2,257.
After emerging triumphant in the tournament, McMaster said that it was very “surreal to me, I’ve just been on cloud nine since last night, just happy to be here and enjoyed playing with these guys.”
And here is how things unfolded to McMaster on the final day of the tournament.
Final Day Action
The final day of the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better kicked off with seven remaining survivors, including three former WSOP gold bracelet winners. John Esposito was leading the seven hopefuls at the start of the day with 2.33 million in chips, good for 23 big blinds. McMaster was third in chips at that stage of the tournament with 1.775 million in chips.
Three-time gold bracelet winner Ben Yu was the first to leave on the final day of action. He collected $27,530 for his efforts. As play unfolded, the other two bracelet holders – David Halpern and John Esposito – departed just shy of the heads-up match. Halpern finished 4th for $79,231, while Esposito was busted in 3rd place for $98,807.
That left it to McMaster and Jason Berilgen to battle it out for the title. Both players were looking to claim their first gold piece from the prestigious series.
Heads-up kicked off with McMaster holding the chip lead, which the eventual champion never relinquished during the short battle.
It took McMaster just several hands to eliminate his final opponent. On what turned to be the final one of the tournament, McMaster put Berilgen all-in and the latter called. McMaster tabled [As][Ac][Qd][7h] to Berilgen’s [8d][8c][4s][4c]. The board ran out [Qh][10d][3c][4d][Ad] to seal it for McMaster and send Berilgen to the rail. The player received $141,007 in prize money for his runner-up finish.
Two more gold bracelets have found their owners since the beginning of the 50th WSOP last week. Nicholas Haynes, a casino dealer at Aria, claimed the title in the $500 Casino Employees Event for $62,345 in prize money and a gold piece. Brian Green took down the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty a couple of days ago for his first gold bracelet from the series and $345,669 in prize money.
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