From the home games in Hawaii to the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip, David Simon is now a WSOP bracelet winner after topping the 2,076-entrant field to win Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em / Pot-Limit Omaha. Simon defeated WSOP bracelet winner David Prociak in heads-up play and pocketed the $410,659 first-place prize. Based in Princeville, Hawaii, where the casinos and poker rooms are lacking in comparison to Las Vegas, Simon cuts his teeth in home games.
"The poker in Hawaii is all home games and it's basically all cash games," Simon said on the poker action back home. "Everyone has a lot of gamble. So the games are really fun. The games are really talkative.
Returning for an additional day of play so that the final table could be streamed exclusively on PokerGO.com, just five players remained with Prociak holding a commanding chip lead and eyeing his second WSOP bracelet. Tsuf Saltsberg was an early elimination when he was all-in on the turn with a pair and flush draw against the bottom set of Prociak. The river blanked out and Saltsberg would have to settle for fifth place and $102,173 in prize money. Late Day 3 chip leader Eran Carmi would see his tournament end in an orbit of Pot-Limit Omaha. Carmi was all-in on the flop with a pair and straight draw against the flopped straight of Simon. No improvement fell for Carmi, and he was eliminated in fourth place for $137,058.
With Prociak continuing to extend his lead, Simon found a double through Eric Pfenning when his ace-king held against Pfenning's ace-queen. Pfenning would then be eliminated next when he was all-in holding ace-six against Prociak's king-queen. Prociak flopped two pair, and no help fell for Pfenning as he was eliminated in third place for $185,821 in prize money. Prociak would enter heads-up play with Simon holding a nearly two-to-one advantage and soon surged further ahead after picking off a bluff from Simon. Prociak's lead would extend to a five-to-one advantage on the back of riving the best hand and calling Simon's river bet with ace-high.
However, Simon would immediately be given some life when he doubled through Prociak's top set when Simon's flush and straight draw came in on the river. Simon began grinding away at Prociak's lead and eventually took the upper hand. During an orbit of No-Limit Hold'em, Prociak would look Simon up on the river with two pair and king-high, but Simon had a superior two pair to take a five-to-advantage on the leaderboard. Prociak scored one double when he turned top set, but he was soon trending in the wrong direction before he was all-in during an orbit of Pot-Limit Omaha with the slight advantage in hand strength. After the five community cards were dealt, Simon would river a straight against Prociak's ace-high to be declared the Event #62 winner, while Prociak would have to settle for a runner-up finish and $253,821 in prize money.
|1st||David Simon||United States||$410,659|
|2nd||David Prociak||United States||$253,821|
|3rd||Eric Pfenning||United States||$185,630|
|5th||Tsuf Saltsberg||United Kingdom||$102,173|
Before his victory in Event #62, Simon had just under $100,000 in live tournament winnings, according to The Hendon Mob. He now quadruples that after pocketing $410,659 after winning his first WSOP bracelet, but he is unlikely to jump in and hit the tournament circuit.
"With a score like this, it is pretty tempting to look around and see if there are some other opportunities to play some more events," Simon said on transitioning from part-time poker player to a professional. "But I don't see myself like leaving where I live and like going to play everywhere. But I will probably take some more trips each year than just coming out here."
This format of a mixed No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha sees a wide variety of players whose skillset favors one or the other games. For Simon, he is more comfortable playing the hold'em orbits, and that dictated his playing style throughout the event.
"I've always been way more of a no-limit player, and I knew all the guys at the final table I think we're better PLO players than I am. Maybe it'll show in some of the footage. I think between yesterday and today I over-folded probably a little bit in PLO, but I was mainly just trying to stay out of the way in spots where I didn't need to get in the mix and save myself for the hold'em orbits and seems to have mostly paid off."