The final table of the World Series of Poker $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship returned eight world-class players to play for the title. But the day belonged to John Monette, in under six hours of play he won his third career bracelet and $256,610.
“There were some really tough players – Paul who won this tournament before, busted right away, so that was nice,” Monnette said. “Then I played with Darren on my left, who is awesome at this game. When I finally busted him it was a big relief because he’s tough and having someone like that to your left can put you in a lot of weird spots.”
The final table may have been the toughest yet this summer with six total bracelets, three World Poker Tour Titles, five High Roller titles and $24 million in combined earnings. Mike Gorodinsky, Mike Leah, James Chen Per Hildebrand and Xavier Kyablue filled out the table.
Monnette famously earned the nickname “Angry John” earlier in his career and even adopted it as his Twitter handle. Seasoned dealers would groan as Monnette approached the table and media never bothered asking him for a quote
But Monnette’s ways changed – mostly because of the happiness he found in his wife Diana Cox-Monnette. Some in the media began to call him “Affable John” in recent years as Diana’s influence calmed him.
“I just want to say, this has been my first bracelet with my wife,” he said. “She’s been awesome for me. They are all special in their own way but this was cool to win one with Diana here. We’ve been together for five years now and she’s so supportive of everything I do.”
Diana Cox-Monnette and John celebrating his bracelet win. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
“She’s always rooting me and there’s been some disappointing stuff, so to have her here is great,” he said. “She deals with me being gone 13 hours a day and coming home angry. But luckily, I’m not as angry anymore because of her.”
Monnette is a feared cash game player and a staple in the biggest games at ARIA and Bellagio. “The game has been growing – people like the game,” said Monnette. “It’s played in the Mix at the Commerce and Bellagio. It’s an interesting and dynamic game. I think people are wanting to play, but it’s kind of intimidating.”
Shaun Deeb was quoted calling No Limit Deuce to Seven as “the purest form of poker” during the $1,500 event. While it’s one of Monnette’s favorite games, he recognizes there’s limited appeal to the lowball game. “Every game has cool things and annoying things about them,” he said.
“This game is tough because for anyone watching it was probably pretty boring. There’s no board, no flop and only two betting rounds,” Monnette continued. “There’s nothing you can see – you have to try to get information in ways that aren’t available in other games.”
“I’ve always enjoyed this game – I started playing Limit Triple Draw first and then learned this game from Billy Baxter – who is the master at this game. I’ve made the final table of this game several times – got second twice – once to Phil Ivey back in the day. It was tough to because I could have won. It’s awesome to win a bracelet in one of my favorite games.”
Final Table Payouts
1. John Monnette – $256,610
2. Per Hildebrand – $158,596
3. Darren Elias – $110,944
4. Xavier Kyablue – $79,016
5. James Chen – $57,316
6. Mike Gorodinsky – $42,357
7. Mike Leah – $31,903
8. Paul Volpe – $24,498