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Friday, July 5, 2013
Ashton wins $50K Championship

By Andrew Feldman
ESPN.com

For poker purists, the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship is truly the real main event of the World Series of Poker. Sure, the champion doesn't have to outlast thousands of players for a mind-turning first-place prize, but in order to win this bracelet, one must show mastery in all games and outwit the best players in the world. The $50,000 features only the best players in the world and this year, Matthew Ashton can say he's the best of the best as he defeated a field of 132. Ashton became the second British champion of the 2013 Series and earned $1.7 million for his five-day effort.

Matthew Ashton
With his victory in the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, Ashton is now the leader in the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year race.

"My head is still spinning," said Ashton to the WSOP. "It really hasn't sunk in. I'm also feeling pretty tired right now. This was a really long tournament. … It is the tournament I wanted to win the most. Because it's the mixed games, I wanted this one. It was the toughest field here. I've come a long way."

The final table itself lasted 10 hours and Ashton needed everything he had to outplay Don Nguyen heads-up. Nguyen owned the chip lead for most of the last two days, but the British 25-year-old wouldn't give in. This was Ashton's fourth final table of the 2013 WSOP finishing first, second, third and seventh. His close calls provided him with an additional hunger and with the victory, he becomes the leader in the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year race.

"I always wanted to win one before, but it wasn't as big a deal until I started making final tables and started coming so close," he said. "That made this really something I wanted."

The Poker Players Championship featured a 10-game rotation, a challenge that Ashton wanted to master after he gradually became less enthralled with no-limit hold 'em. All four of his final tables this summer and his eight career WSOP cashes came in non-hold 'em events.

"I think the hardest thing is that when you are switching back and forth between games, it's harder to pick up reads on people," said Ashton. "If you play the same game, you can get a feel for the flow of it and who people play, but with the changing games, it's not as much a factor since the game doesn't came back around for two more hours.

In addition to the money, Ashton also wins the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, awarded to the champion of this event each year. Reese was the winner of the inaugural $50,000 buy-in event. 

Below are the complete results of Event 55 at the 2013 World Series of Poker:

Event 55: Poker Players' Championship
Buy-in: $50,000
Entries: 132
Prize pool: $6,336,000
Players in the money: 17

1. Matthew Ashton ($1,774,089)
2. Don Nguyen ($1,096,254)
3. John Hennigan ($686,568)
4. David Benyamine ($497,122)
5. George Danzer ($388,523)
6. Minh Ly ($309,830)
7. Mike Wattel ($251,602)
8. Jonathan Duhamel ($207,630)
9. Mike Gorodinsky ($173,796)
10. Michael Glick ($173,796)
11. Huck Seed ($147,882)
12. Bryn Kenney ($147,882)
13. Tommy Hang ($128,620)
14. Kevin Song ($128,620)
15. Troy Burkholder ($111,893)
16. Gary Benson ($55,947)
17. Joe Cassidy ($55,947)