A total of 421 players entered the 2021 WSOP Event #47: $5,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em. That put $1,941,863 in the prize pool, with $428,694 up top. The freezeout format meant that there were no opportunities to rebuy. Players couldn’t rely on deep pockets to save them if ladies Luck and/or Skill deserted them.
With only a handful of players left on the final Day, Alexandre Reard was able to clear the lot of them up in under two hours.
With $5,000 on the line and no chance to rebuy, the $5k freezeout is one of the events nearest to the spirit of the old WSOP.
However, despite the $5,000 buy-in, the blind levels are still only 40 minutes long. The brevity of the blind levels at this year’s WSOP has been a source of widespread criticism.
Only 64 of the players would be paid for their efforts. In the end, the bubble boy was Andrew Kellsall, who took 65th place and earned $0.
Players who did make it into the money included big names like: Jake Schwarts (38th — $10,000), Shaun Deeb (33rd — $10,000), Daniel Negreanu (32nd — $11,601), Scott Sevier (17th — $13,707), and Dario Sammartino (10th — $25,168).
A great French victory
Reard was able to take the lead shortly after heads-up play began, and extend that lead until he had nine of every ten chips in play.
Daniel Strelitz, Reard’s opponent, re-raised all-in pre-flop, and Reard called with K♠8♦.
Strelitz showed J♦9♦.
The board rolled out 7♦4♥3♣Q♥. Reard just needed to fade a jack or a nine on the river.
The dealer burned a card and turned over the K♦.
“When I saw the river card,” Reard said in his post-game interview. “It was just an indescribable feeling.”
Reard won the event with a pair of kings, earning $428,694.
“I was seeing my wife and all my friends crying and exulting on the rail,” Reard added. “It was such a sincere and strong moment. I really wanted and needed that bracelet. It is not an outcome but more a beautiful step in my career, and I hope for many more.”
Reard’s rail was an impressive one — even more so given that many of the folks there were part of his French poker community, and the U.S. borders are still closed to the Schengen area.
“It’s been a while now that the French poker community is growing and getting stronger. Today the victory is mine but I have no doubts there will be more to come very soon. We all come here to live that kind of moments and experience those feelings.”
Strelitz won $264,953 for second place.
2021 WSOP Event #47: $5,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em complete final table results
Featured image source: PokerGO