Ryan Leng defeats Connor Drinan heads-up to earn third bracelet in 2021 WSOP $1,500 Eight Game Mix

Dave Consolazio Poker Writer Photo
Dave Consolazio
Posted on: October 14, 2021 19:49 PDT

Poker fans have been treated to plenty of stacked final tables early in the 2021 World Series of Poker. Wednesday night’s heads-up battle between Ryan Leng and Connor Drinan in the 2021 WSOP Event #23 $1,500 Eight Game Mix, however, marked the first time this series that we’ve seen two multiple bracelet winners get down to heads up play. Leng eventually came out on top after over two hours of heads-up action to win the third WSOP gold bracelet of his career and the tournament’s first-place prize of $137,969.

The $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed tournament drew a total of 484 entries to create a total prize pool of $646,140. Shuyler Thornton was eliminated in fifth place (for $27,038) as the last player remaining at the final table who hadn’t won a WSOP bracelet before. And when Dan Zack was eliminated in fourth place ($38,752), all three of the remaining players in Leng, Drinan, and Brett Shaffer had two bracelets to their name and were competing for a third. Connor Drinan just picked up his second bracelet in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Event 10 days ago.

Sipping scotch during wild heads up battle

Drinan and Leng are no stranger to World Series of Poker success. Coming into this event, Leng had 52 WSOP live cashes, 55 WSOP circuit cashes (with four circuit ring victories), and 34 WSOP online cashes. Drinan had 61 WSOP live cashes and 21 WSOP online cashes. All that accumulated in two bracelets each and a combined $6,637,202 in WSOP-branded tournaments.

Less experienced players might have been nervous about having a drink in as big of a moment as being heads-up at the final table. Drinan and Leng on the other hand decided to get loose with a couple cups of scotch.

The two tournament crushers started heads-up play just about even in chips, with Drinan at 6,200,000 and Leng at 5,800,000. Drinan grinded up a big early lead in the first hour of the battle, holding just under 90% of the chips in play when Leng got all of his chips in during a No-Limit Hold’em hand. Leng called off Drinan’s shove for his last 1,370,000 chips with queen-seven suited and was behind Drinan’s ace-five off-suit. A seven on the flop put Leng in the lead and held up on the turn and river, keeping Leng’s tournament alive.

That hand sparked the comeback. Leng dominated the second hour of heads up play and won a 2-7 Triple Draw hand on the last hand of the tournament to secure the win.

Final Table Payouts

1. Ryan Leng: $137,969
2. Connor Drinan: $85,273
3. Brett Shaffer: $56,839
4. Daniel Zack: $38,752
5. Schuyler Thornton: $27,038
6. Ryan Hughes: $19,317