After two days of play in Event #6: $5,000 Mixed NL Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha at the 2023 World Series of Poker, Michael Moncek emerged victorious to scoop his second WSOP gold bracelet and $534,499.
“It means a lot and helps for the Player of the Year chase that I am going for,” Moncek said. “I don’t even play PLO, so I was pretty lucky.”
Moncek defeated Fernando “Jnandez” Habegger in heads-up play to grab the title, denying Habegger his first piece of WSOP gold.
That’s now two years in a row that Moncek has won WSOP gold. At the 2022 WSOP, he won his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet when he topped the 522-player field in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event to win $145,856.
|Fernando “Jnandez” Habegger
Day 2 of Event #6: $5,000 Mixed NL Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha saw 48 players return from the original starting field of 567 entries. Everyone remaining was already in the money, with Fernando “Jnandez” Habegger out in front. From there, the field began to work its way to the final table. Shortly after 6 p.m. Las Vegas time, Ferenc Deak was eliminated in eighth place and the final seven players were sent on a one-hour dinner break. When they returned, play resumed on the PokerGO feature table stage for the livestream.
Kristen Foxen was the first player to bust at the livestreamed final table, and she was followed out the door by Tyler Brown in sixth place. Then it was Christian Harder’s turn to bust, hitting the rail in fifth for $124,266.
Out in fourth place was Michael Banducci. He lost a flip with ace-king against the pocket eights of Habegger and was forced to settled for a $169,674 prize. That left Habegger, Michael Moncek, and Alex Livingston for three-handed play.
Moncek knocked out Livingston in third when his queen-seven beat the ace-four of Livingston. Moncek had shoved all in from the small blind, and Livingston called off his final 14 big blinds. A queen hit the flop and Moncek held from there to score the knockout. Livingston picked up $235,062 for his result.
When heads-up play began, Moncek had the chip lead with 19,250,000 to Habegger’s 9,125,000. The blinds were 150,000-300,000 with a 300,000 big blind ante, putting Moncek with just over 64 big blinds and Habegger with just over 30 big blinds.
Heads-up play saw Moncek extend his lead early as Habegger constantly battled as the shorter stack. Habegger doubled up twice after he got short, but it wasn’t enough in the end. It was Moncek’s night and he would not be denied.
The final hand came during a round of pot-limit Omaha. Moncek raised on the button with king-jack-ten-four and Habegger put his final 2,900,000 in with ace-nine-three-three. Moncek called. The king-jack-five flop gave Moncek two pair and left Habegger with less than a 20% chance to win the hand. The turn was a ten and the river was a king to seal the deal for Moncek. Habegger picked up $330,344 for his runner-up result, but it was Moncek the victor to the tune of $534,499 and his second WSOP gold bracelet.