Rowdy rails abound as Brad Gafford wins the WSOP $1k Mini Main Event

Brad Gafford
Terrance Reid
Posted on: July 04, 2023 14:49 PDT

As the World Series of Poker Main Event is still in the early stages, its mini counterpart wrapped up down the hall in the Paris Ballroom.

After three full days of play, it was Bradley Gafford who prevailed, outlasting the field of 5,257. Gafford takes home his first gold bracelet along with an astounding $549,555 for his win.

"I haven't really processed it yet," said a collected Gafford. "We're going to celebrate tonight."

$1k Mini Main Event final table results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Brad Gafford United States $549,555
2 Josh Reichard United States $339,646
3 Jeremy Oleon France $255,215
4 Jennifer Abad United States $193,103
5 Oliver Berens United States $147,129

From final table short stack to champion

Gafford came into the day as the short stack with only six big blinds. With 30-minute levels and little time to waste, he knew he needed to find a double early.

"With the nature of this tournament, with how fast it played, I knew if I won the first won, we had a shot," said Gafford. "Once we did win the first one, I just felt like everything would go my way."

That's exactly what happened, as Gafford secured pay jump after pay jump, soon finding his way heads up with Josh Reichard for the title.

Brad Gafford and Josh Reichard play for the bracelet Brad Gafford and Josh Reichard play for the bracelet

Reichard, hailing from Wisconsin, was also searching for his first bracelet. Everything seemed to go Reichard's way as he quickly took over the role of chip leader and knocked out all three other players en route to heads-up play. The final elimination eluded him, though, as Gafford ran hot at the end.

The rails show up in full force

One of the best parts of WSOP final tables is the rails. The costumes, the chants, and the flowing adult beverages; they can create iconic atmospheres and lasting memories for all involved.

Today, plenty of people showed up to cheer on the supported players, as evidenced by the legendary video shown below.

In the end, once they reached heads up, even his supportive rail couldn't help Reichard overcome the cards and play of Gafford.

Key hands to seal the deal

When you're hot, you're hot, and Gafford was hot at the end. As he said, if he could just spin it up early, he felt like it would go his way, and it did.

He flopped quad threes to get his first double through Reichard. Imagine flopping quad threes heads up for a bracelet.

Near the end, both players flopped top pair, a monster in heads-up play. All the chips went into the middle on the flop, and Reichard was left with crumbs.

It wasn't too much later that Gafford finished the job when he moved all in with the four-three off suit. Reichard only had a few blinds to his name, and he called with ace-nine off suit. Unfortunately for Reichard, it was Gafford that made a pair and the tournament was over.

Reichard played well, he looked confident and in control of the final table. The cards didn't fall is way at the end, and that's the game we play sometimes.

"There are a lot more events in the future," said Reichard. "I'll be back. It's so awesome that everyone came out here," Reichard referenced his fun rail. "I look forward to doing it again soon."

Congratulation to Brad Gafford on winning his inaugural gold bracelet and $549,555!