After three days of intense poker action, a winner has been crowned in the Event 23: $2,500 Seven Card Stud event with David Chiu capturing his fifth WSOP gold bracelet.
Three days ago 246 players took to the felt to play the only seven card stud tournament of the series; and thus technically the Stud Championship. Although there was controversy over the diminishing amount of stud tournaments at the WSOP and the decrease in buy-in from $10,000 to $5,000 to $2,500, a plethora of pros came out to play - some of which make this stud event their only appearance at the WSOP.
As the tournament progressed through the first two days there would be ten individuals remaining eyeing the prestigious bracelet, and once the final table was reached, the eight remaining players were mixed game specialists with eight of the 12 bracelets on the table coming in a form of Seven Card Stud. Young guns Adam Friedman and Matthew Ashton would fall first before Gary Benson's pursuit to claim bracelets 17 years apart ended in 6th. 2010 Player of the Year Frank Kassela fell next before three-time bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi exited in 3rd to leave a battle between 2009 winner Freddie Ellis, David Chiu and Scott Seiver. Unfortunately for the 78-year old Ellis, his run would end in 3rd place to see Chiu and Seiver enter heads-up play fairly even in play after 138 hands of final table play so far.
In a battle of youth versus experience, Chiu and Seiver swapped chips back-and-forth before Chiu slowly began to claw his way into the lead eventually holding a near four-to-one advantage only to see Seiver claim a double to give him some hope. However the match would end after 89 intense hands of heads-up play when Chiu spiked a bigger two pair on seventh to send Seiver out in 2nd.
For Chiu the $145,520 first prize sees him extend his $7.4 million in lifetime earnings, but more importantly it puts him into a club of five-time bracelet winners that include Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Jeffrey Lisandro and Stu Unger. For Chiu though, he decided early in this tournament that he would play this event in honor of the late Jerry Buss who was blessed with a touching tribute at the beginning of this tournament. Chiu not only honored Buss with playing his best game, but dedicated this win to a man that has been a part of the WSOP for so many years and will surely be one that is missed.
Congratulations to David Chiu for capturing his fifth gold bracelet and etching his name in the record books as one of the all-time greats whose long list of accomplishments are matched by his positive attitude and approach to the game that has earned him the respect of fellow pros, poker fans and everyone that has come across Chiu's path.