There were six players who returned on the final day of play in Event No. 18 ($1,500 no-limit hold’em) at the 2011 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The biggest name left in the field had fallen the night before, when Tristan Wade was eliminated in seventh place and play ended for the evening. That gave the overnight chip leader Foster Hays a clear shot at the title with 3,620,000 in chips and he didn’t squander his lead on the path to victory. Hays went on to win his first gold bracelet and $735,400, which is one of the largest first-place prizes of the summer.Hays also had to outlast professional Allen Le on the brisk final day of the event. Hays may be an amateur players from Dallas, Texas, but considering that he just earned $18,385 an hour by winning the tournament he might reconsider his day job as a medical researcher — but not too quickly. “I am on the red eye flight tonight. I believe I should keep my commitments. I have a meeting at 8 am on Wednesday morning…Well life-changing — yes and no. I ’m not going to change any of my plans for the fall. But I’m going to buy a new car.” said Hays right after the win. Hays is just the second amateur of 19 bracelet winners crowned so far to take home a gold bracelet this summer at the Rio Hotel and Casino.“It was a goal of mine to play in a World Series of Poker event. I decided on the $1,500 and it was between this and the $1,000 event. I figured that playing the $1,500 event would give me time to play on the weekend. It was just a standard Vegas weekend for me,” said Hays of his decision to enter the event. He continued to give some insight to the later stages of his tournament, “On Day Three, I maintained the chip lead until the final table, where I sort of went back and forth and got lucky a few times. I got very lucky. I don’t think I was a top-five in skill. There were a lot of good players. All the young guys were very tough. Tristan Wade and Jordan Young were the toughest opponents and they were on my left and I was really sweating that.”Here is a look at the elimination hands on CardPlayer.com’s summary reports :Jordan Young Eliminated in 9th Place ($54,936)Jordan Young started the level second in chips with just over 2 million, but lost half his stack early after doubling up Foster Hays with a busted A – 10 against Hays’ pocket sixes.Young continued to drop chips until he finally got it all in before the flop with K 6 against Robert Koss’ A 3 .The board came J J 4 A 3 , giving Koss top two pair and the chip lead with 2.3 million.Jordan Young had a roller coaster of a final table. From short stack to middle of the pack, down to one big blind, to second in chips to first-out, Jordan Young came to the final table as one of the short stacks, but was not eliminated until quite some time later in 9th place ($54,936).Philippe Vert Eliminated in 8th Place ($71,728)Philippe Vert open-shoved the short stack for 92,000 from the small blind and Stanley Tavanese called from the big blind.Vert showed 9 9 for a pair while Tavanese turned over J J for a higher pair.The board came 7 4 2 3 8 , no help for Philippe Vert who was eliminated in 8th place ($71,728).Tristan Wade Eliminated in 7th Place ($94,700)Tristan Wade open-shoved for 1.4 million and Robert Koss re-shoved from the small blind with no call from the big blind.Wade showed A 9 and was behind Koss’ A A .The board came 8 2 2 K 3 , no help for Tristan Wade who was eliminated in 7th place ($94,700).Robert Koss Eliminated in 6th Place ($126,409)Foster Hays opened for a raise of 300,000 from the cutoff, Robert Koss moved all in from the small blind for about 2,000,000 and Hays called.Koss was ahead with A J against Hays’ K Q .The board came 9 8 7 Q 2 , giving Hays top pair on the turn. Robert Koss was eliminated in 6th place ($126,049).Stanley Tavanese Eliminated in 5th Place ($170,648)Stanley Tavanese open-shoved the button and Casey Kelton called from the big blind.Kelton showed 5 5 for the lead against Tavanese’s A K .The board came 10 8 3 5 3 , giving Kelton a set on the turn and a full house on the river. Casey Kelton took the chip lead this hand with over 5 million while Stanley Tavanese was eliminated in 5th place ($170,648).Allan Le Eliminated in 4th Place ($233,043)Foster Hays opened for 300,000 from under the gun, Casey Kelton called from the small blind, Allan Le moved all in for just under 800,000 from the big blind and both players called.The flop came 8 7 4 , and both players checked the side pot.The turn was the Q , Kelton checked, Hays bet 1,000,000 and Kelton folded.Le turned over A 4 for a pair of fours on the flop but was behind Hays’ K Q for top pair on the turn.The river was the J , and Allan Le was eliminated in 4th place ($233,043).Jeffrey Lavelle Eliminated in 3rd Place ($321,947)Foster Hays raised to 300,000 from the small blind and Jeffrey Lavelle called from the big blind.The flop came 9 5 3 , Hays bet 415,000 and Lavelle called.The turn was the 7 , Hays bet 1,005,000, Lavelle moved all in and Hays called.Lavelle turned over K 9 for top pair but was behind Hays’ A A .The river was the A , giving Hays top set on the river. Jeffrey Lavelle was eliminated in 3rd place ($321,947) while Foster Hays took a chip lead of almost 11 million to Kelton’s 3.2 million going into heads-up play.Casey Kelton Eliminated in 2nd Place ($454,920)Shortly after Level 32 began, the aggression finally ended with the elimination of Casey Kelton in 2nd place. Foster Hays opened the pot for a raise to 500,000 from the button, Casey Kelton made it 1,500,000 from the big blind and Hays called.The flop came 9 7 4 , Kelton bet 1,500,000, Hays made it 3.6 million, Kelton moved all in and Hays called (Hays was slightly ahead and it was Kelton that was all in for his tournament life here).Kelton turned over A J for two overs and was behind Hays; J 9 for top pair.The turn and river were the 7 and the Q , no help to Casey Kelton who was eliminated in 2nd place ($454,920). Foster Hays began heads-up play with the chip lead and closed it out shortly after, winning his first gold bracelet in Event #18 and the $735,000 grand prize.
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