Carlos Chang has taken down the 2021 World Series of Poker Event #41: $2,500 Freezeout for $364,589 after a 3.5-hour heads-up battle against Brady Osterman, . His maiden bracelet is the third for Taiwan and the second in 2021. The tournament attracted 896 players during the registration period which yielded a total prize pool of $1,993,600 with the biggest prize going to Chang in the end.
After reaching the final tables of the 2015 Little One for One Drop here in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, the Monster Stack of the 2015 World Series of Europe, and The Closer in 2019, Chang finally managed to grab that elusive title.
"I think this is my biggest cash, yes, this is my fourth final table. I told myself, this year if I make a final table, I will win the bracelet. And it happened! I am pretty excited. I was focused all day and yesterday."
Chang joins the ranks of Pete Chen who won an online bracelet earlier on WSOP.com and James Chen. "I don't know if I can count myself to the greats of Taiwan, I am a hobby player, I'm probably the better non-pro out there." he said with a smile. Pete Chen was actually on his rail together with John Reading who finished in fourth place in the Little One for One Drop back in 2015, one spot higher than Chang but captured a bracelet later on.
Chang and Osterman were joined by familiar names and faces like Adrien Delmas, Sergi Reixach, Arthur Conan, and Sung Joo Hyun on the final table today while Christopher Basile and Uri Reichenstein busted the night before to make it one of the most international final tables of the series up till now.
Event #41: $2,500 Freezeout Final Table Results
|2||Brady Osterman||United States||$225,333|
|6||Sung Joo Hyun||South Korea||$64,864|
|7||Gerald Cunniff||United States||$49,179|
|8||Quang Ngo||United States||$37,820|
|9||Christopher Basile||United States||$29,506|
From Eight Players to the Heads-Up Battle
Chang came into the final table with the chip lead and had a clear strategy: "At the beginning, I was trying to attack the middle and short stack. I lost a three-bet the first two hands, that got me down to 6 million, lost two flips, down to 2.8 million, the shortest and then I slowly came back. I got lucky when I hit the straight flush draw against the kings. I got lucky on Day 2 too, I started with 8.5 big blinds, won three flips in a row. The strategy I employed this time, just play one hand at a time. That's the key I suppose instead of trying to win immediately. When you know you're losing, it's time to give up, don't try to force any plays that might get you into trouble. If you're losing, just wait for the next hand. That's what I was trying to do, my goal was to win one hand at a time."
It would take almost two hours before Quang Ngo busted to Conan and another two before Gerald Cunniff fell to Reixach. Hyun was the only bracelet winner on the final table but fell to Conan too in sixth place. Just twenty minutes later, Conan ran his lower pocket pair of sevens into the nines of his fellow countryman Delmas.
Four-handed play lasted an hour before Reixach fell victim to Chang who had flopped a straight. Delmas had the biggest and loudest rail of all the players, singing songs from one side to the other but to no avail. Delmas had shoved on the flop with an overpair but Chang had flopped the flush and improved to a straight flush on the turn to get Delmas down to less than a big blind. Chang claimed those chips too to get to the heads-up stage of the tournament.
Hobby Player Wins the Heads-Up Battle
The heads-up battle was a long one with the chips going back and forth for a while.
"I had to pick out some spots. Brady was pretty aggressive and I wasn't getting any cards. He was taking a lot of chips from me. We flipped once with eights versus his ace-king. I doubled up, from there it went back and forth. And finally, the flush helped me. He called. I knew he calls a lot, so I figured out, I'll just go all-in, he'll call. And he really called, because he never folds actually." Chang said while laughing.
Despite many jeers from some of the guys from Osterman's rail, Chang got it done eventually when he doubled with the aforementioned rivered flush and then took the rest when he hit the straight on the final card of the final hand. Chang got up, shook Osterman's hand, and then walked over to Chen and Reading to celebrate. Chen and Chang are planning their bracelet ceremony together at some point during the Main Event when more of their friends have come over to Las Vegas.
This concludes the PokerNews coverage of another Freezeout tournament, but make sure to follow all the ongoing WSOP action on the live reporting hub.