Andy Bloch Wins WSOP $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Bracelet
Bloch Breaks Streak of Close Calls, Topping Barry Greenstein Heads-Up
After nearly two decades of close calls, and years of being called “one of the best players without a bracelet,” Andy Bloch has finally gotten the monkey off his back by winning the first $1,500 seven-card stud event at the 2012 World Series of Poker .
Bloch outlasted a field of 367 entrants to earn his very first gold bracelet, the $126,363 first place prize and 600 Card Player Player of the Year points.
Bloch had previously made 10 WSOP final tables and finished runner-up twice in those events, including his loss to the late David “Chip” Reese in the 2006 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. That event had the longest heads-up match in World Series history. After all those close calls, Bloch was finally able to close the deal playing seven-card stud, which came as no shock to the 43-year-old.
“I’m not really too surprised,” said Bloch, “I began my casino poker career at Foxwoods back east, where stud was king. The big games were all stud, so I played a lot of seven-card stud over the years.”
Bloch’s road to his first bracelet was not an easy one, as he faced an incredibly tough final table that included three-time bracelet winner Barry Greenstein and the champion of the 2006 running of this event, David Williams.
“You would rather have completely unknowns who play badly, but when you win [at a tough table] people can’t say that you got lucky to go up against such bad players. In some sense, certainly after you win, it is sweeter if the final table was tough,” Bloch said. ““I think if I had to choose, I wouldn’t have wanted those three guys to be in the final four.”
Williams ultimately finished fourth for $36,470, while Greenstein made it all the way to heads-up, although with a roughly 4-to-1 chip disadvantage. Bloch steadily ground Greenstein down, until the Hall of Famer got the last of his money in with a straight against Bloch’s two pair. Block caught running straight cards on sixth and seventh street to make a broadway, securing the win and sending Greenstein to the rail in second place with $78,038.
Much had been made of Bloch’s many close calls in huge events. Despite the focus on his previous lack of a bracelet, Bloch tried his best to keep it in perspective.
“It was kind of embarrassing when people said ‘Andy Bloch is one of the best players never to win a bracelet,’ or especially when people say that I was the best without a bracelet, because there are so many great players out there nowadays. Some of them weren’t even born when I could have started to play the World Series of Poker, and they are better players then I will probably ever be.”
Bloch is now officially a WSOP bracelet winner, and can happily shake off all of the pressure and expectations. But despite the joyous occasion, the former member of Team Full Tilt is aware that many in the poker world are still reeling from the effects of poker’s Black Friday and the ensuing problems with the repayment of Full Tilt player funds.
“It’s certainly a bittersweet win. I don’t think it does anything to ease the pain of what a lot of people have gone through this past year. People have gone through absolute hell. I hope things end up getting resolved in the right way. We’ll see, hopefully there will be some kind of announcement during the Series, but I don’t know anything else.”
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