The storyline of the 2021 World Series of Poker has been multi-time WSOP bracelet winners adding to their collection. However, on Sunday evening, it was Stamford, Connecticut native Ryan Hansen who would buck the trend and parlay his second career WSOP cash into the Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em bracelet.

Hansen and Kosei Ichinose were the final two players remaining from the 162-entrant field, and although Ichinose had a bevy of supporters cheering him on whenever he dragged a pot, it would be Hansen prevailing after a grueling near three-hour heads-up match.

“I’m used to the swings. Yeah, it’s to be expected heads-up,” Hansen said about his nearly three-hour heads-up match with Ichinose. “I had to keep playing my game and hope the cards turn, which they eventually did.”

The final day of play began with ten players, and action soon saw the final seven combine to one table with Kenny Hsiung holding the chip lead. Once John Hoang was eliminated in seventh place, the final six players went on dinner break before the PokerGO stream would begin. Steve Chanthabouasy exited in sixth-place before Hsiung fell next as Hansen and Ichinose shared the chip lead. Once Ken Deng fell in fourth, Kevin Erickson was eliminated in third as Ichinose took a two-to-one chip lead into heads-up play with Hansen.

Hansen mounted a charge by first flopping quads and then winning several key pots to take the lead. The back-and-forth continued between the two as each player held the chip lead with Hansen holding it as both players went on their final break of the tournament. Two big pots would see Ichinose fold to the heat from Hansen and be left with just over two big bets before the final hand saw Ichinose all-in with jack-ten against the king-four of Hansen. The board blanked out, and Ichinose exited in second place as Hansen was crowned the Event #44 champion and recipient of the $109,692 first-place prize.

Ryan Hansen and Kosei Ichinose after the final hand of Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em.

“This is the dream that I never expected to happen,” Hansen said about winning a Limit Hold’em bracelet after spending the majority of his poker career playing high-stakes limit hold’em. “I was just having a shot at having some fun and look what happened.”

Playing predominately at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Hansen is a regular in the limit hold’em games according to his friend that was supporting him on the rail throughout the final table.

“I switched to limit hold’em and I think it’s a great game,” Hansen said regarding his poker experience. “I always like that game the best.”

Hansen follows in the footsteps of many WSOP Limit Hold’em bracelet winners who grinded their way up the stakes in limit hold’em cash games around the country before finally breaking through to win gold at the WSOP. Hansen will be taking home the Event #44 bracelet and $109,692 in prize money after he topped the 162-entrant field, and the final table that played out on PokerGO.com

Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
Place Name Country Prize
1st Ryan Hansen United States $109,692
2nd Kosei Ichinose Japan $67,796
3rd Kevin Erickson United States $46,669
4th Ken Deng United States $32,864
5th Kenny Hsiung United States $23,688
6th Steve Chanthabouasy United States $17,486

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WSOP, 2021 WSOP, WSOP 2021, Ryan Hansen, Kosei Ichinose