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Eyster wins first bracelet in six-max

6/16/2014

"This is what I've been dreaming about for my whole life. This is what I've been wanting to win my whole life. I've been watching this on ESPN, I mean words can't even explain it. I'm speechless."

Kevin Eyster has been on the poker tournament grind for years finding great successes along the way, but on Friday, the 24-year-old pro earned the one title that every player desires: bracelet winner. Eyster defeated the field of 541 in the $5,000 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold 'em event at the 2014 WSOP to win $622,998. After a 2013 campaign that featured a WPT title, a WSOP Circuit victory and numerous other successes, Eyster's 2014 didn't have that one big win until now.

Despite getting limited opportunities, Eyster still finds significant success online when he travels abroad. He owns two FTOPS titles worth over $410,000 and peaked as PocketFives' fourth-ranked online poker player in the world in 2010. Including his online play, Eyster now has over $5 million in lifetime career tournament winnings.

The final table featured a few players who have had similar success and most of the attention wasn't on Eyster or the runner-up Pierre Neuville, but Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger and Bryn Kenney. Between the two of them, Lichtenberger and Kenney have 50 career WSOP cashes worth $2.5 million. Both had made WSOP final tables before and excel at the six-max variation.

Kenney entered the final table in second then became the chip leader with five to go. With four remaining, Eyster took over the lead from Kenney and won a few key pots from him to put him on the short stack. Neuville, 61, eliminated Kenney (A-9 > A-5) and used that continued momentum to take a 2:1 lead over both his competitors as three-handed play progressed. As Neuville pulled away, Eyster found some much needed chips with his elimination of Lichtenberger.  He trailed Neuville 4.7 million to 3.4 million to start play, but won two major pots in the first 16 hands to essentially flip the chip counts.

Due to time restrictions, the two players left the arena for the night with Eyster holding the lead. The break didn't help Neuville, who quickly fell into a larger hole, and the cards were no help either. Down 7:1 on the final hand, Neuville called all-in with K-Q, dominating Eyster's K-9. The flop of K-9-3 ended Neuville's hopes and excited the boisterous Eyster crowd.

"I really appreciate all of them came out to cheer me on," Eyster said of his friends. "After yesterday, they were as tired as I was, but they showed up today to support me and I appreciate their help."

Neuville earned $385,041, enough to put him second in Belgium's all-time money list. This was the largest cash of his career.

Other notable finishers include former November Niner Matt Jarvis (ninth), 2012 WSOP main event champion Greg Merson (13th) and Griffin Benger (16th).

Below are the complete results of Event 24 at the 2014 World Series of Poker:

Event 24: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: 5,000
Entries: 541
Prize pool: $2,542,700
Players in the money: 60

1. Kevin Eyster ($622,998)
2. Pierre Neuville ($385,041)
3. Andrew Lichtenberger ($242,827)
4. Bryn Kenney ($160,927)
5. Jeremy Kottler ($109,844)
6. David Borrat ($77,145)
7. Mustapha Kanit ($55,710)
8. Fabrice Touil ($55,710)
9. Matt Jarvis ($41,344)
10. Byron Kaverman ($41,344)
11. Pratyush Buddiga ($31,504)
12. Amanda Musumeci ($31,504)
13. Greg Merson ($24,613)
14. Jay Dragland ($24,613)
15. Mark Darner ($24,613)
16. Griffin Benger ($24,613)
17. Kory Kilpatrick ($24,613)
18. Andrea Dato ($24,613)
19. Will Givens ($19,731)
20. Chris Hunichen ($19,731)
21. Noah Vaillancourt ($19,731)
22. Brian Roberts ($19,731)
23. George Tokarczyk ($19,731)
24. Jared Hamby ($19,731)
25. Benny Chen ($16,196)
26. Ariel Celestino ($16,196)
27. Robert Geith ($16,196)
28. Jeff Rossiter ($16,196)
29. Hunter Frey ($16,196)
30. Jean Gaspard ($16,196)
31. Matt Salsberg ($13,628)
32. Alex Bilokur ($13,628)
33. Freddy Deeb ($13,628)
35. Bassil Karam ($13,628)
37. Jeffrey Yarchever ($11,721)
38. Ezra Abu Gazal ($11,721)
39. Richard Kirsch ($11,721)
40. Bob Buckenmayer ($11,721)
41. Stefan Jedlicka ($11,721)
42. Brian Green ($11,721)
43. Dani Stern ($10,323)
44. Blake Whittington ($10,323)
45. Manig Loeser ($10,323)
46. Cary Katz ($10,323)
47. David Pham ($10,323)
48. Nick Petrangelo ($10,323)
49. Aditya Prasetyo ($9,509)
50. Sergi Reixach ($9,509)
51. Bertrand Grospellier ($9,509)
52. Bjorn Li ($9,509)
53. Viet Vo ($9,509)
54. Kevin Saul ($9,509)
55. Scott Seiver ($8,746)
56. Nicholas Petitti ($8,746)
57. Dario Sammartino ($8,746)
58. Josh Brikis ($8,746)
59. Dan O'Brien ($8,746)
60. Raymond Dandrea ($8,746)