The WSOP Main Event is over, and the World Series wind-down is well underway. The Rio convention center is already reverting to its pre-Series state as dealers board Greyhounds for their home towns.
What remains in the ruins of Caesars’ empire are the shrinking fields of the last few very low- and very high-stakes events. No field is smaller or stakes higher than the 2021 WSOP Event #82: $250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em. This year there is no $1,000,000 for One Drop, so a quarter-mill is the biggest ticket item on the 2021 calendar.
The 2021 WSOP $250,000 SHT field contained 33 entries by the time late-registration closed on Day 2. That put $8,217,000 in the post-rake pot, with $3,265,262 up top for first.
Three-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos — now four-time — ended up being the man to take down the top prize.
“The most important thing for me is feeling that I’m among the top tournament players,” Mateos told the press after the dust had settled. “And that I can compete with the best of the best.”
Talking about cash games and bigger fields, he added that events like this require different skill sets. “It’s the same game,” Mateos said. “But it’s different because you have to adapt. My game is a little bit different in a tournament with a lot of people compared to a small field.
“For me, it’s more of a mental challenge to win these tournaments.”
He was certainly up against some of the best. The final table included players like Seth Davies, David Peters, Stephen Chidwick, and Daniel Negreanu.
Although nine players made up the final table, only five were paid.
Negreanu vlogged about his run in the event (coming in 9th for $0). He tweeted the video with the caption:
“Day 49 VLOG is Live and it’s Day 2 of the $250,000 High Roller with a stacked field and a first-place prize of $3.2 Million!”
With concerns that there may have been numerous unvaccinated players in the WSOP’s fields, players were on high alert before Christopher Brewer announced he would be missing the event after a test came back positive.
After Brewer’s test came in, most of the field agreed to a “COVID contract.” This was effectively an insurance agreement where anyone who was disqualified under the WSOP’s COVID rules would get their buy-in back from those players who cashed.
Fading COVID and straights
Luckily, there was no need to act on the contract. No one came down with COVID during the event. Mateos gets to keep every red cent he earned (less whatever his stakers take him for).
Though Mateos has over $25 million in tournament winnings, this was his first super high-roller win. To take down the event down, fading a straight against his heads-up opponent, Ben Heath.
Heath was playing 5♦3♦ on a board of 7♣6♦5♠Q♥2♠ when Mateos put Heath all in. Heath had put most of his stack into chasing the straight He was therefore priced to call with his bluff-catching pair of fives.
Mateos turned over Q♠T♣ for a pair of queens. Heath won $2,018,148 for second place.
“It means a lot,” Mateos explained. “I have played some $100,000 tournaments and even the $1,000,000 buy-in, and I never won a big buy-in like this. So this was something I’ve had in mind, to win one of these. […] When I came here I knew that I was the favorite to win, but there were four other players to beat and it was a long wait yet. I was lucky enough — and played well enough — to win.”
The WSOP congratulated Mateos for his win tweeting:
“Congrats to @Amadi_17 for taking down the $250,000 Super High Roller! […] For his triumph, Mateos earned a first-place prize of $3,265,362 as well as his fourth WSOP bracelet.
The 2021 WSOP Event #82: $250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em complete final table results
Featured image source: PokerGO