Guarav Raina is the latest gold bracelet winner at the 2017 World Series of Poker. The 33-year-old poker pro based out of Athens, Georgia defeated a field of 1,086 entries to win the latest $2,500 no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP, capturing the title and the first-place prize of $456,822. Prior to this win Raina had only two WSOP cashes for a combined total of $9,749, although he had more than $200,000 in total live tournament earnings before taking down this massive tournament.
This event was scheduled to last three days, but when 30 players survived to day 3 it seemed likely that play would be extended an extra day. Raina came into day 3 in 11th chip position but was able to accumulate chips and survive to heads-up action against 51-years-old attorney and real estate investor James Calvo.
Play was halted at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time after 13 hours of play. Raina sat with 4,000,000 in chips coming into the unscheduled day 4, while Calvo had more than twice as many chips with 9,600,000. The two had an extra night to consider the gravity of the situation, which would see them battle for the bracelet and the $174,546 pay difference between first and second place.
“I couldn’t sleep much,” said Raina. “I was thinking about the chip disadvantage, the bracelet, the huge pay jump. I got like four hours of sleep and I was just like walking around in circles. Trying to figure out what to do to not lose this match.”
Only five hands into day 4 Raina scored a crucial double up. With blinds of 60,000-120,000 and an ante of 15,000 Raina limped in from the button and Calvo checked. The flop brought the K72 and Calvo bet 275,000, which was roughly the size of the pot. Raina raised to 800,000 and Calvo moved all-in. Raina quickly called off his last 3,495,000 with the K2for top and bottom pair. Calvo had only the 94 for a flush draw. The turn Q and river Q kept Raina’s hand ahead and he raked in the sizable pot to take the chip lead.
On the final hand of the tournament Calvo flopped top pair with the Q10 on a QJ5. He got his last chips in on a 5 only to get a snap-call from Raina, who held the JJ for jacks full of fives. The 4 on the river secured the pot and the title for Raina, sending Calvo to the rail in second place with $282,276.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:
|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.