The biggest live tournament in poker history has finally come to an end, and after four days of play, Femi Fashakin was crowned as the winner, taking home his very first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet, with a career-defining first-place prize of $1,147,449.
Event #3 BIG 50 – $500 No-Limit Hold’em attracted 28,371 entries, reaching a total prize pool of $13,509,435 – representing the largest-ever prize pool for a $500 buy-in tournament.
An overwhelmed Fashakin was still trying to let his victory sink in when he left the table to claim his prize. The Big 50, which was held to celebrate WSOP’s 50th anniversary, was Fashakin’s third WSOP cashout. The American player was thrilled with this victory but said it was a humbling and learning experience.
The final action involved seven players with Fashakin holding the chip lead. Each player was guaranteed $182,192, but more money was on the line. Adrian Curry was the first to go, exiting in seventh place after a successful call by Rafi Elharar. Curry took home $182,192. It took eight more hands before Ghobrial hit the rail in sixth place for $236,508.
The final table was pretty shallow, with almost all players holding the shortest stack at one point. Walter Atwood was the next to leave the stage when he failed in his shove against Nick Chow. Atwood won $308,701 for his fifth-place finish. After Atwood’s elimination, the four-handed play saw Chow and Fashakin alternately holding the chip advantage.
When the players returned after the third break of the day, Chow exited in fourth place after his A-4 failed to stand against Fashakin’s Q-10. Chow scored $405,132. A couple hands later, Elharar bid goodbye in third place for $534,574. This left Fashakin and Cullen competing for the lion’s share of the prize.
The heads-up play began with Fashakin leading the chips 3:1. Just four hands into the battle, Fashakin became the first player to cross the billion chip mark. During the eighth hand, Fashakin called after Cullen shoved his last ten big blinds with Q-J. Fashakin’s hand eventually held up and just less than 30 minutes after the start of the head-s up play, Fashakin walked out of the stage as the big winner. Cullen won $709,183 for his runner-up victory.
Fashakin only had $59,706 in tournament earnings, with $11,250 being his largest score, prior to entering the BIG 50 which also became his first-ever final table. The poker player, who used to play small stakes events in South Florida, has now become an overnight millionaire, with his total earnings jumping to $1,207,155.