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McMaster takes home his first gold bracelet

3 June 2019

Derek McMaster

Derek McMaster (photo by WSOP)

Name: Derek McMaster
Nationality: U.S.
Birthplace: Minnesota
Current Residence: Minnesota
Age: 46
Profession: Former pool player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 2
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 74th in 2017 $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo
Total WSOP Earnings: $230,519

The $1,500 Omaha Eight or Better is over and Derek McMaster has claimed his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. He takes home $228,228 and his second-ever WSOP cash, topping a field of 853 players. Most of his cashes have come from his home state Minnesota and his previous best WSOP finish was 74th place in the 2017 $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo. Now, after winnings his first-ever WSOP final table, he now has $230,519 in career WSOP winnings.

“It was very surreal to me. I’ve just been on cloud nine since last night, all week. I was happy to be here and I enjoyed playing with these guys.”

McMaster entered the day third in chips and, after scooping a huge pot off Jason Berilgen during three-handed play, eventually took the chip lead. He then went on to beat Berilgen heads up. The final hand provided some drama when Berilgen turned a set, only to have McMaster win with an ace on the river, for a bigger set to scoop the pot and win the title.

The rail for this event was much bigger than previous $1,500 Omaha Eight or Better final tables, and McMaster had the biggest winner photo crowd of the 2019 WSOP.

“We got a lot of poker players in town for whatever reason, and they all happened to be here today, which I’m happy for.”

McMaster mostly plays mixed games and gets in some hands of Omaha Eight or Better three to four times a week. The general feeling at the final table was a fun one, and McMaster felt that made it easier for him to close out this tournament.

“I try to just have fun when I’m playing. If I’m not having fun I’m usually not doing very well. The more fun I have, it seems like stuff goes my way.”

McMaster is not sure if this win will change any of his current summer plans, but might add another stop in Vegas to his schedule. He says, this is his second time playing the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo and he had a couple other events scheduled, but his goal was clear.

“I came here to win this one and I lucked out.”

Final Table Results
1) Derek McMaster ($228,228)
2) Jason Berilgen ($141,007)
3) John Esposito ($98,807)
4) David Halpern ($70,231)
5) Joe Aronesty ($50,646)
6) Tom McCormick ($37,063)

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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