Chris Klodnicki had made it down to heads-up play in three World Series of Poker events prior to 2017, and each time the 32-year-old poker pro fell just short of winning his first bracelet. It seems that the fourth time was the charm for Klodnicki, who defeated a field of 1,956 entries to win the latest $1,500 no-limit hold’em event at the 2017 WSOP. For the win Klodnicki finally earned his first bracelet in addition to the top prize of $428,423.
“It’s definitely more relief at this point,” Klodnicki told WSOP reporters after emerging victorious.
Klodnicki now has more than $9.4 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, with over $6 million in cashes at the WSOP alone.
Klodnicki had to overcome a tough final table that featured plenty of recognizable names, despite the smaller buy-in of the event and the massive field. Among those joined Klodnicki at the final table were 2017 $1,000 tag team no-limit winner Aditya Sushant (8th – $44,255), 2016 WSOPmain event sixth-place finisher Kenny Hallaert (7th – $58,083), three-time World Poker Tour main event champion Darren Elias (6th – $77,047) and two-time bracelet winner Benjamin Zamani (4th – $139,896).
He survived to heads-up play with Emile Schiff, and the two eventually agreed to bag up for the night and return to play heads-up on an unscheduled fourth day.
“I was just kind of tired,” said Klodnicki. “I am getting kind of old, so my stamina just isn’t what it used to be. I just thought it would be better just going to bed and starting fresh. I didn’t want to make any mistakes.”
Schiff took a 2-to-1 chip lead into the final day, and he extended that early on. Klodnicki was able to flip the script with a big double up, getting all in preflop with the AK up against Schiff’s A10 and having his hand hold up on a J54510 runout. After that hand he overtook the lead and ran with it. In the end Schiff shoved the 97 from the button and Klodnicki made the call with pocket threes. His hand held up and he sent Schiff to the rail in second place with $264,692.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points|
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.