2021 WSOP Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em kicked off on October 18 and finished on October 19, with first timer Anthony Koutsos in the podium position.
The tournament was a no-limit hold’em freezeout, meaning that there were no rebuys. Each of the 2,930 entries came from a distinct player that Koustos would have to outlast. And outlast them he did.
In spite of trihecatupling his initial investment (and then some), Koustos seemed pretty cool headed about his win.
“I feel strangely level,” Koutsos said in his post-game interview. “Heads up felt pretty fun. All the back and forth made it feel like a home game. The money doesn’t mean much. It was more about the competition and the drive to win.”
Koutsos wasn’t particularly in the running at the end of Day 1, with 132 players left. He was nowhere in the top ten chip stacks. But that changed over the course of Day 2. Most of the big names were weeded out over Day 1. Barry Greenstein, Scott Ball, Greg Raymer, Ryan LaPlante, Kathy Leibert, Kelly Minkin, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, and WSOP commentator Jamie Kerstetter all failed to bag in the event.
Shaun Deeb, Bret Apter, and Mike Takayama were the only bracelet holders in the Day 2 field.
Kanterjian takes second place
After all those big names had fallen by the wayside, it came down to just two names, both largely new to the poker world: Charbel Kanterjian and Anthony Koutsos.
No one had a huge lead going into heads up play, but slowly Koutsos pulled ahead. Pots were rarely getting to showdown, but eventually the pressure of the blinds brought things to a close.
The blinds were at 1 million-2 million with a 2-million big-blind ante when Kanterjian’s luck ran out. With 22.3 million in his stack, he moved in from the button and Koutsos called him off.
Koutsos flipped over Q♣Q♠, pocket queens. Kanterjian sighed and rolled over 8♥6♣. He was in bad shape.
The flop of 6♠3♣3♦ paired Kanterjian up, but then immediately counterfeited his pair — offering some small hope and immediately dashing it.
The turn was the 4♠ and the river the K♠. Koutsos’ pair of queens took the hand down and Kanterjian won $103,402 for second place.
2021 WSOP Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em complete final table results
Featured image source: WSOP via Twitter