Josh Pollock wins PLO bracelet

Updated: June 17, 2013, 3:34 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

The stars seemed to be aligned for Noah Schwartz on Friday. Entering the final table with a big chip lead, the 12-time WSOP casher, World Poker Tour Champion and 2013 EPT Grand Final sixth-place finisher had the bracelet within his reach. Making his first WSOP final table appearance, Josh Pollock wouldn't let Schwartz roll over the table and pulled out the win after a quick-paced heads-up match that pushed him repeatedly to the brink of elimination. Pollock earned $279,431, the largest score of his live tournament career, and his first bracelet.

[+] EnlargeJosh Pollock
WSOP.comJosh Pollock earned a career-best $279,431 with his Event 22 victory.

"It's surreal right now. It's awesome," said Pollock to the WSOP. "I never thought I'd win a gold bracelet because I don't play many tournaments. But it's awesome to win one in [pot-limit Omaha], because that's my favorite game."

Pollock, 29, has played full time since 2006 when he graduated from the University of Maryland. Just weeks before this event, he finished second in the Venetian $1,100 Deep Stack event and as a result, has decided to play more tournaments this summer.

The large field of 1,022 offered a 52-player increase from 2012. According to the WSOP, Schwartz was the only player over one million in chips to start the final table. He had a strong rail behind him and started off well as he knocked out Brandon Crawford in ninth (9h-9s-7h-7h>Kh-8s-6c-4h) and David Greene in eighth. Pollock took over the lead with a pot against Schwartz, but lost it again when Schwartz eliminated five-time WSOP final table participant Eddie (Nicholas) Blumenthal in seventh. This was Blumenthal's second seventh-place finish in 2013.

Pollock got lucky against Eric Shanks to take him out in sixth (As-Kh-10s-8c>Ac-Ah-10h-8h), but Schwartz remained aggressive and pushed around the smaller stacks to continue to build his lead. That aggression led him to 50 percent of the chips in play and a number of doubles for his opponents. Regardless of those minor setbacks, he had 2.5 million in chips heading into the dinner break with James Park his closest competitor with only 895,000.

For the second elimination in a row, Pollock found the cards he needed to take out Shawn Silber in fifth (Ks-Qs-7c-6h>Ad-Jd-As-3c) and with James Park knocking out KT Park in fourth, it was really just a waiting game to see who would eventually face Schwartz heads-up.

Pollock earned the lucky ticket as Schwartz took out Park. He entered heads-up play down nearly 3:1 and the gap quickly increased to nearly 10:1 before the tables turned. Pollock doubled up twice within a span of three hands, then won another hand to grab a lead of his own. For the first time all day, Schwartz was fighting for his tournament life and Pollock pounced on the opportunity. Schwartz's was down nearly 4:1 when he pushed his stack in after a flop of 4d-3h-2h. Schwartz showed Ac-Jc-Kd-5h for a straight, but Pollock had him already drawing dead with 9h-7c-6d-5c.

"It was a really tough battle," Pollock said of heads-up. "I started down about 3 to 1 and then even got lower than that, where I was all-in. I won that hand and then seemed to win all the big hands after that."

Other notable finishers include Hoyt Corkins (27th), Marco Johnson (28th) and Ana Marquez (34th).

Below are the complete results of Event 22 at the 2013 World Series of Poker:

Event 22: Pot-limit Omaha
Buy-in: $1,500
Entries: 1,022
Prize pool: $1,378,350
Players in the money: 117

1. Josh Pollock ($279,431)
2. Noah Schwartz ($172,931)
3. James Park ($108,196)
4. Michael Park ($78,532)
5. Shawn Silber ($57,974)
6. Eric Shanks ($43,460)
7. Nicholas E. Blumenthal ($33,057)
8. David Greene ($25,483)
9. Brandon Crawford ($19,909)
10. Michael Genovese ($15,756)
11. David Colin ($15,756)
12. Scott Davies ($15,756)
13. Andrei Kaigorodtcev ($12,638)
14. Uzair Mulla ($12,638)
15. Matthew Prior ($12,638)
16. Young Ji ($10,264)
17. Brad Peeples ($10,264)
18. Jared Ingles ($10,264)
19. Michael Schwartz ($8,443)
20. Pakinai Lisawad ($8,443)
21. Levon Khachatryan ($8,443)
22. David Johnson ($8,443)
23. John Mccaffrey ($8,443)
24. Ismael Bojang ($8,443)
25. Martin Kozlov ($8,443)
26. Evan Raso ($8,443)
27. Hoyt Corkins ($8,443)
28. Marco Johnson ($7,050)
29. Christopher Brammer ($7,050)
30. Tue Phan ($7,050)
31. Allan Le ($7,050)
32. Romik Vartzar ($7,050)
33. Joseph Page ($7,050)
34. Ana Marquez ($7,050)
35. Christopher Delgrande ($7,050)
36. Ryan Fair ($7,050)
37. Jonas Mackoff ($5,960)
38. Tommy Le ($5,960)
39. Tanya Kirk ($5,960)
40. Henri Koivisto ($5,960)
41. Nick Grippo ($5,960)
42. Jesse Chinni ($5,960)
43. David Nixon ($5,960)
44. Jeremy Ausmus ($5,960)
45. Jaspal Brar ($5,960)
46. Khiem Nguyen ($5,091)
47. Ryan Hartmann ($5,091)
48. Joseph Couden ($5,091)
49. Olivier Dinand ($5,091)
50. Ed Tonnellier ($5,091)
51. Thomas Cipriano ($5,091)
52. Richard Ashby ($5,091)
53. Ben Yu ($5,091)
54. Micah Smith ($5,091)
55. Colin York ($4,401)
56. Joseph Gray ($4,401)
57. Alexander Kostritsyn ($4,401)
58. Richard Rashid ($4,401)
59. Michael Noori ($4,401)
60. Nick Binger ($4,401)
61. Alan Keating ($4,401)
62. Felipe Villagran ($4,401)
63. Bruce Frank ($4,401)
64. Cameron McKinley ($3,863)
65. Evan Yanoshik ($3,863)
66. Lawrence Lazar ($3,863)
67. Jim Karambinis ($3,863)
68. Scott Eskenazi ($3,863)
69. Dash Dudley ($3,863)
70. Miguel Candelario ($3,863)
71. Raffi Nahabedian ($3,863)
72. Lance Wilber ($3,863)
73. Keven Stammen ($3,435)
74. Artem Metalidi ($3,435)
75. Michael Drummond ($3,435)
76. Curtis Wangrud ($3,435)
77. Leonardo Cavarge ($3,435)
78. Geoffrey Grover ($3,435)
79. Kevin Marcus ($3,435)
80. Paul Volpe ($3,435)
81. Berry Johnston ($3,435)
82. Kirill Rabtsov ($3,090)
83. Chris Back ($3,090)
84. Jeremy Harkin ($3,090)
85. Nikolai Yakovenko ($3,090)
86. Benjamin Zamani ($3,090)
87. Reginald Simmons ($3,090)
88. Hon Cheong Lee ($3,090)
89. Joe Ebanks ($3,090)
90. Tony Hoang ($3,090)
91. Navin Kamal ($2,842)
92. Richard Acovino ($2,842)
93. Joseph Cheong ($2,842)
94. Dean Hamrick ($2,842)
95. Daniel Nicewander ($2,842)
96. Lee Watkinson ($2,842)
97. James Hawkins ($2,842)
98. Gregory Mudd ($2,842)
99. Leif Force ($2,842)
100. Alyssa Valverde ($2,621)
101. William Beshara ($2,621)
102. Olegs Pavlucuks ($2,621)
103. Gordon Vayo ($2,621)
104. Max Pescatori ($2,621)
105. Marcio Cid ($2,621)
106. Ben Tollerene ($2,621)
107. Todd Barlow ($2,621)
108. Andrew Sellers ($2,621)
109. Matthew Saffer ($2,621)
110. Alex Lindop ($2,621)
111. Dan Martin ($2,621)
112. Travis Pearson ($2,621)
113. Ross Boatman ($2,621)
114. David Sklansky ($2,621)
115. Charles Edwards ($2,621)
116. Doug Lee ($2,621)
117. Kevin Boudreau ($2,621)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE