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Agarwal claims first WSOP gold bracelet

17 July 2019

Anuj Agarwal

Anuj Agarwal (photo by WSOP)

Name: Anuj Agarwal
Nationality: American
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Current Residence: Los Angeles, California
Age: 35
Profession: Poker pro
Number of WSOP Cashes: 12
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 123rd at 2019 WSOP Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event ($59,925)
Total WSOP Earnings: $734,465

Los Angeles, California's Anuj Agarwal has claimed his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet by taking down Event #86 of the 2019 WSOP, $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed.

Agarwal, 35, a native of Brooklyn, New York, earned a lifetime-best $630,747 for winning this big buy-in WSOP event, which drew 273 entries. The huge payday boosted Agarwal's career Series earnings to $734,465 in 12 overall cashes.

Agarwal dominated the late stages of Event #86's final day, securing the title when he busted Melbourne, Australia's Kahle Burns. Burns' runner-up payday of $389,832 also exceeded his own prior Series earnings of $318,978.

The US's Gal Yifrach arrived at the final table with a narrow lead but ultimately finished in third. Yifrach, a prior bracelet winner and a native of Tel Aviv who now lives in Los Angeles, collected $257,533.

Others who made the final table were Germany's Leonard Maue (fourth, $174,252), China's Dong Chen (fifth, $120,828), and the U.K.'s Ben Heath, another prior bracelet winner ($85,915).

Agarwal is normally focused on cash-game action in LA-area card rooms, but he's had a great late Series run in Las Vegas. Agarwal played the Main Event and ran deep, all the way to a $59,295, 123rd-place payday, and he decided to give it a go in the last remaining event with a $10,000 buy-in.

“It hasn't hit me,” he said moments after the win, “but I know objectively how bad I wanted this, just to build my confidence in the future. It feels good to know that I'm maybe finally knowing what I'm doing in tournaments.”

Though Agarwal would certainly have skipped this event had he lasted just a little bit longer in the Main, this event always loomed as an option. “I played this last year, actually. I was playing cash games at the beginning of the summer. I decided I wanted to enjoy the summer. I know that tournaments are not available every day like this. It's hard to say whether I would've played this or not, but I think I would have anyway.”

Agarwal also plans to play at least some more tourneys as well in the future to see if results continue to come his way. And he might kick it up another notch: “Maybe I'll fire a $25K.”

Though this final had a very international theme, Agarwal saw one very familiar face at the final, that of fellow cash-gamer Yifrach. Though the two friends respected and were wary of each other, especially since they started Day 3 with the two deepest stacks, that didn't prevent Agarwal from trying to bust Yifrach with pocket tens when the chance arose, though a short-stacked Yifrach found pocket queens and was able to double before Burns bounced him a short while later.

As for his plans for the big score, Agarwal will reserve most of it to increase his poker bankroll and be prepared for the higher variance of tourney play. And he added, “I'd like to do something for my parents, like a down payment on a car or something for my day. For me, it's not going to change my lifestyle.”

Day 3 began with a six-player final table already in place, led by Yifrach, who brought a 5.385 million stack to the final. On the opposite end of the counts was the U.K.'s Ben Heath, who busted a half hour into the day's action. Heath was down to 585,000 when he moved all in , but the shove ran into Anuj Agarwal. The flop gave Heath some hope, but the turn and river sent him off to collect an $85,915 payout for sixth.

Roughly an hour later, China's Dong Chen busted in a hand against Kahle Burns. The hand began with a Burns open to 175,000, a re-raise from Chen to 600,000, and a Burns call. The flop came and Chen then moved all in for 1.75 million. Burns tanked and asked for a count, then called. He led Chen's hand, and when Chen blanked on the turn and river, he was out in fifth for $120,828.

Thirty more hand elapsed before Germany's Leonard Maue exited in fourth for $174,252. All four players offered action in the hand, as Burns opened to 200,000 from the cutoff, Yifrach called on the button, Maue then moved all in for three million from the small blind and Agarwal moved all in from the big blind for more. Burns and Yifrach folded while Maue opened his hand but found himself behind Agarwal's. The queens held up on the runout to leave just three players in the running.

Los Angeles's Gal Yifrach began Day 3 just ahead of Agarwal but was no match for Agarwal's late rush, eventually exiting in third for $257,533.Yifrach got the last of his chips in ahead to Burns' hand. However, Burns spiked his jack on the flop, the turn left Yifrach only the four kings as outs, and the river sealed Yifrach's exit.

Despite the knockout, Burns remained well behind Agarwal in chips, and he was never able to mount a serious charge. Agarwal steadily wore down Burns' stack, and though Burns doubled up once, he couldn't do it twice. In the final hand, Agarwal moved all in and Burns called for his last chips with what turned out to be dominated. The flop moved Agarwal way ahead, the turn sealed the matter, and a needless river closed out the event.

Event #86, $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed, drew 272 entrants to create a $2,556,800 prize pool. 41 players cashed and a min-cash was worth $15,111.

Among those who cashed in this event were Markus Gonsalves (eighth, $62,684), Jeffrey Trudeau (15th, $28,618), Shaun Deeb (17th, $28,618), Steve Sung (19th, $23,315), Jennifer Tilly (24th, $23,315), Anson Tsang (26th, $19,565), Dominik Nitsche (27th, $19,565), and Paul Volpe (29th, $19,565).

Final table payouts:
1st: Anuj Agarwal, $630,747
2nd: Kahle Burns, $389,832
3rd: Gal Yifrach, $257,533
4th: Leonard Maue, $174,252
5th: Dong Chen, $120,828
6th: Ben Heath, $85,915

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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Agarwal claims first WSOP gold bracelet is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.