2019 WSOP: Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck won by Alex Epstein for $296,227

A total of 4 days of play was scheduled for this event, but it unexpectedly ended one day early when a Californian poker pro bested his remaining three opponents at the final table to earn his very first gold bracelet after winning Event #8 of the 2019 WSOP.

2019 WSOP Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck NLHE

Buy-in: $10,000
Date: June 2 to June 5, 2019 (ended June 4)
Entries: 114
Prize pool: $1,071,600

Alex Epstein outlasted a player field of 114 to take home the prize money worth $296,227! This is also his very first score at the WSOP.

A resident of Oakland, California, the 28-year-old Epstein currently works as a commercial real estate broker and before he participated at the WSOP, he’s exclusively a pot-limit Omaha (PLO) cash game player.

This memorable first-time bracelet win and first-ever WSOP score for Epstein came in a poker format that is also making its debut as a WSOP bracelet event. Short deck is just like a regular no-limit hold’em but lacks the cards 2, 3, 4 and 5. The exclusion of these cards also changes the odds of some poker hands appearing. For example, a flush is difficult to achieve compared to a full house and so it outranks the latter. Also, an ace is still a wrap-around card for a straight, which means that A-6-7-8-9 is the lowest straight one can possibly get.

The main reason why he diverted from his usual PLO cash game activity that he opted to join the inaugural $10,000 Short Deck event at the 2019 WSOP was, “I ran so far below [expected value] in PLO this summer, that I decided to play an event with even higher variance than that thinking that I was just due.”

Epstein explained that his win wasn’t just because of variance, but mainly it came from the time when he was able to win a hand against Chance Kornuth and left him with crumbs, “That wasn’t variance. The big spot against Chance, like with most of the other professionals, when they see me and the way that I table-talk and set myself up, they think they have a post-flop edge in a game that they definitely don’t, given the way the current high-level players are evaluating the game and thinking about post-flop equities and equity denial. I try very hard to table-talk and fake-talk strategy. I think my image is a good one. Not any more, unfortunately!”

He admitted that having the opportunity to play around 15,000 hands of short deck while at the major event in Reno allowed him to sharpen his skills on this game format. “I’ve gotten to play tournaments and cash games… enough to get a rough estimate of how the population plays. That seemed to help.”

Final Table Action
An unofficial final table of seven players returned on June 4, Thursday, to continue the first-ever short deck bracelet event at the WSOP. Two-time bracelet winner Chance Kornuth started the third (which eventually became the final) day of play as the chip leader.
Just four hands in, Andrew Robl was eliminated after losing his last chips to Tsang.

Chinese Yong Wang was the first to go down from the official final table of six, courtesy of Tsang as well.

Two hours went into the five-handed play, and then René van Krevelen busted in fifth.

Even though he started the day as the chip lead, Kornuth was then knocked out by Epstein.

A mere 12 hands later, a three-way all-in concluded the event.

Epstein won by flopping a straight in a hand that put each of the last three players all-in prior to the flop. Epstein’s straight was the most superior, leaving Thai Ha from Factoryville, Pennsylvania to stop at 2nd place for $99,153, whereas Anson Tsang from Hong Kong , a former bracelet winner who started the final hand with the shortest stack among the three, had to settle in the 3rd spot for $65,2017.

Epstein said about his first trip to a prestigious final table, “I really wanted to enjoy the experience. I thought that the other good players in the [final] had the shorter stacks, so I had a very good chance, if things broke my way.”

This is Epstein’s very first cash score in the WSOP and it’s just his 7th recorded cash in his poker career. He now has $410,358 in total live earnings, according to The Hendon Mob.

2019 WSOP Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck Final Table Ressults




Prize (USD)


Alex Epstein




Thai Ha




Anson Tsang

Hong Kong



Chance Kornuth




Rene van Krevelen

The Netherlands



Yong Wang




Andrew Robl



Source: https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-8-10000-short-deck/chips.273934.htm


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