Today’s PokerGO action features a double dose of World Series of Poker action and while the Event #52 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em final table will be streamed from start to finish, Event #50 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Bounty was picked up with five players remaining. When play resumed, Florida’s Chris Bolek was near the bottom of the leader board but a few hours later, he was in the winner’s circle posing with his first career WSOP bracelet.
Bolek came back one from the bottom of the five-handed table but a rush of cards, and a fortunate double up through James Gilbert, who finished 3rd, quickly shot Bolek up the leader board. He then dispatched Gilbert and then sent the long-time final table chip leader, Bryan Emory, to the rail with the silver medal to claim gold for himself.
“It feels really surreal,” Bolek said after the victory, adding, “I came in short but I wanted to give myself a shot to win. People talk about visualizing stuff a lot so I tried to do that this morning to get myself in the right mindset.”
That mindset is usually perfect at home, as a majority of Bolek’s past tournament success has come in his home state but he has had a few deep runs at the World Series. He notched a 4th place finish in 2015 and another final table run in 2013, but those close calls have stayed with Bolek over the last few years.
“I’ve thought about those opportunities a lot over the years because I think I may have made some mistakes or may have been able to play better.” Bolek said about those past WSOP runs. “I got to the point where I just looked at it as a learning opportunity and I just told myself that if I do get back there, just make good decisions and make the best of it.”
Bolek certainly did make the best of it after today’s restart. He outlasted a nearly 2,000-player field that boasted some of the games best young talent, with Harrison Gimbel finishing 15th and Jake Bazeley falling a few spots short of the final table, but there was even more talent on his rail. November Niner Jerry Wong, bracelet winner Kyle Bowker, Jake Schwartz and other Florida professionals were there to celebrate the win and Bolek had others watching live on PokerGO.
“It feels good to have anyone supporting you, so I’m just glad they were here to do that. It’s even better to do that when they are good players and commend you for your achievement.” Bolek said, after joking, “Kyle Bowker told me we can hang out if I won the tournament.”
Bowker, Bolek and the entire Florida crew will likely spend the rest of the night celebrating and while they do, PokerGO continues coverage of the World Series of Poker. The final table of the Event $52 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em is streaming live on PokerGO and another WSOP champion will be crowned later tonight.