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First WSOP bracelet victory for Anthony Koutsos

20 October 2021

Anthony Koutsos

Anthony Koutsos (photo by WSOP)

After a back and forth battle heads up, it was real-estate agent Anthony Koutsos besting Charbel Kanterjian heads up in the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em for his first World Series of Poker Bracelet and $167,272.

The heads-up match lasted three hours long and involved quite a lot of back and forth between the two players. "I feel strangely level," said Koutsos. "Heads up felt pretty fun, all the back and forth it felt like a home game."

With Koutsos biggest live score prior being just over $5,000, the San Francisco native said "the money doesn't mean much, it was more about the competition and the drive to win."

Though he had played poker for about nine years, this was his first venture down to the World Series of Poker, and only his third time playing a bracelet event. When asked if he was going to play the rest of the series, he said he had plans to leave later this week and was not going to stick around for any other events.

A total of 2,930 entrants had entered into the tournament with 440 players paid out from the prize pool of $1,231,000 and a total of two full days of tournament play.

Eliminations at the beginning of day 2 were fast and furious with half of the 132 surviving players, busting before the first break and the final table was reached before the dinner break. Big names saw themselves going out quickly such as Kyna England (73rd-$2,011) and Shaun Deeb (42nd-$3,825). The start of day chip leader Denys Chufarin (11th-$12,944) bubbled the unofficial final table when his ace-queen couldn't improve against the kings of Ronald Ibbetson.

The final 10 saw their first elimination rather quickly with the big slick held by Gilad Grinberg colliding with the pocket tens held by Jacob Rich failing to improve, seeing his run end in 10th place for $12,944.

Afterward, it was Fausto Valdez who lost a flip with jack-ten suited versus the pocket sevens of Charbel Kanterjian. Valdez flopped a straight draw, but could not find any improvement against the flopped set of sevens. Valdez was eliminated in ninth place for $16,324.

John Moss was next to go in eighth place for $20,753 when Jonas Lopas rivered broadway against Moss' two pair.

Ibbetson doubled up Sundiata DeVore to lose most of his chips and then lost the remainder when his ten nine off-suit could not catch up to the ace-jack of Dongsheng Zhang, seeing his run come to an end in seventh place for $26,595.

Rich had also lost a big hand to Dongsheng Zhang and got the remainder of his chips in ahead with an ace-three off-suit against Kanterjian's king-nine suited, but a king on the flop spelled the end of Rich's run in sixth place for $34,353.

DeVore came into the final table with the second shortest stack and found himself laddering up a couple of places before running his pocket eights into the pocket tens of Zhang and finding no improvement, ending his run in fifth place for $44,725.

Lopas lost a big pot against Zhang with five players left and was unable to win his last all-in with king-three offsuit versus Koutsos' ace-jack. Jonah shook hands with the table and ended his run in fourth place for $58,685.

Despite knocking out three players, the next player eliminated ended up being Zhang who after losing a big pot to Anthony Koutsos with quads, could not find improvement when his queen-nine ran into Koutsos' ace-queen. Zhang ended his run in third place for $77,600.

Heads up play started with Koutsos in the lead, but the ball quickly shifted to Kanterjian taking the lead. The chip lead switched many times throughout the three-hour-long affair, with both sides seemingly one river card away from their bracelet.

The most notable of which was when Kanterjian had Koutsos all-in and at risk with pocket jacks versus Koutsos' ace-six. The flop and turn only gave Koutsos a pair of sixes, and it wasn't until the river six that Koutsos pulled ahead. A few more instances of this went on, shifting back and forth between the two players.

In the end, it all got in when Kanterjian put his remaining 8,300,000 in chips in with eight-six against Koutsos' pocket queens. Kanterjian was unable to find any improvement and shook his opponent's hand as his run ended in second place for $103,403.

Final Table Results
1 Anthony Koutsos United States $167,272
2 Charbel Kanterjian Canada $103,402
3 Dongsheng Zhang United States $77,600
4 Jonah Lopas United States $58,685
5 Sundiata DeVore United States $44,725
6 Jacob Rich United States $34,353
7 Ronald Ibbetson United States $26,595
8 John Moss United States $20,753
9 Fausto Valdez United States $16,324

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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