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Final Table Takedown: Chad Eveslage Earns His First WSOP Bracelet

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Jul 27, 2022

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Chad EveslageChad Eveslage was born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana, and now the long-time poker pro operates out of south Florida. For the better part of the last two years, however, Eveslage has made a home on the live tournament circuit, where he has racked up more than $5.6 million in cashes.

His run started in January of 2021, when he took down a preliminary event at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $101,572. A few months later, he won the $25,000 high roller at the Hard Rock Poker Showdown for a huge $767,576 payday. Then in July, he went to Las Vegas and won the WPT Venetian main event for another $910,370.

After two more final tables at the Poker Masters series at Aria, he turned his attention to the World Series of Poker, where he’s had some close calls in the past. In 2019, he took fourth in a $3,000 limit hold’em event, and in last year’s series he finished runner-up in the online high roller tournament and fourth in the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. He had eight final tables at the WSOP in total.

Then this summer, Eveslage broke through to nab his first career gold bracelet, and he did so in style. The 30-year-old beat a field of 251 entrants in the $25,000 high roller event to not only pick up the gold, but also a career-best $1,415,610.
Card Player caught up with Eveslage to get his thoughts on a couple of key hands from his run to the title.

Event: WSOP No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $25,000
Entrants: 251
Prize Pool: $5,929,875
First-Place Prize: $1,415,610

Stacks: Chad Eveslage – 10,300,000 (51.5 BB) Chris Brewer – 10,400,000 (52 BB)
Blinds: 100,000-200,000 with a 200,000 big blind ante
Players: 6

Craig Tapscott: How did you prepare for this final table? Both in regard to familiarizing yourself with your opponents, as well as mentally and psychically. You were facing a very tough final table that included high rollers Jake Schindler and Chris Brewer, the red-hot Brek Schutten, last year’s WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh, and last year’s main event winner Koray Aldemir.

Chad Eveslage: I didn’t do anything extra for the final table. I just tried to ignore the stakes and the stage and tried to process all the relevant information. I have played so many tournaments online, I generally know what to do in every spot, and it’s just a matter of executing, and not letting the stakes slip into my decision making. 
Eveslage opened to 400,000 from the cutoff with 5Spade Suit 5Club Suit.

CE: The 5-5, is an easy open on my large stack. 

Action folded to Chris Brewer in the big blind who defended.

Flop: KClub Suit 5Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit (pot: 1,100,000)

CT: Great flop obviously. What’s the plan to extract as much value as possible?

CE: Clearly. Pocket fives make a good big bet here on the flop usually, but with the chipleader and second in chip final table dynamic, I’m never going to get three big streets, unless it is a huge cooler. So, I decided to bet smaller.

Brewer checked, and Eveslage bet 300,000. Brewer called.

Turn: 7Spade Suit (pot: 1,700,000)

Brewer checked, and Eveslage bet 1,500,000.

CT: Why that bet sizing?

CE: I decided to go big here, targeting 6-X plus pair hands and K-X hands. I think all of those hands will call. And about a pot size bet makes more sense than 1/2 or 2/3 pot.

CT: Did you have any experience playing with Brewer? Can you share any thoughts on your strategy against him?

CE: I have played some with Chris, not a lot. It seems he is very good which means I tried to stick to a GTO strategy and do far less exploiting.

River: ADiamond Suit (pot: 4,700,000)

Brewer checked.

CT: What now? That wasn’t a great card for Brewer, right? Did you think you could still extract value when this card dropped?

CE: Not at all. The ace was a great river for me. And it’s one I would always follow through on with all my bluffs like 9-8 or Q-8. I picked a 2,400,000 bet size in this spot, mainly because it’s a credible bluff size.

Eveslage bet 2,400,000. Brewer called and revealed KHeart Suit QSpade Suit. Eveslage won the pot of 9,500,000.

CE: I really wanted to avoid two-pair hero folds and 2,400,000 will even tempt some one pair hero calls. Getting called is very important on this river because if I take from the player who is second in chips, it’s worth more than anyone else because now I get massive chip leader dynamic. 

CT: Can you explain a little more about what you mean about the chip leader dynamic?

CE: Regarding the river bet, getting paid is worth more than just the 2,400,000 in chips, because I also become the lone big stack. So, it’s worth 2,400,000 plus and the extra value of being the lone big stack. In that scenario I get to make extra opens because the short-medium stacks must focus more on laddering [up the payouts] and less on accumulating chips. 

Stacks: Chad Eveslage – 16,900,000 (67.5 BB) Kory Aldemir – 1,550,000 (6 BB) Brek Schutten – 4,550,000 (17 BB)
Blinds: 125,000-250,000 with a 250,000 big blind ante
Players: 6

CT: We have to talk briefly about this amazing hand. You knocked two players out, including Aldemir.

Eveslage raised to 4,550,000 from the button holding KHeart Suit 8Heart Suit, effectively putting his opponents all in.

CT: Share what was going through your head when you raised into these two stack sizes in the blinds.

CE: It’s a standard shove, I was hoping to get folds. 

CT: It didn’t quite work out that way, but it did pay off in the end.

Aldemir called from the small blind holding KSpade Suit QDiamond Suit. Schutten called from the big blind holding ADiamond Suit JClub Suit.

Board: AHeart Suit 7Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 4Spade Suit 6Diamond Suit (pot: 10,650,000)

Eveslage completed a straight on the river to win the pot and eliminate both players. Aldemir finished in sixth place, while the bigger stack to start the hand in Schutten took fifth.

CT: How did you react to the double knockout? And what was the plan now as the big stack against three tough opponents in Arieh, Schindler, and Brewer?

CE: I was very happy obviously. The plan at this point was to apply a lot of pressure and maximize chip edge. 

Stacks: Chad Eveslage – 27,625,000 (69 BB) Jake Schindler – 10,050,000 (25 BB)
Blinds: 200,000-400,000 with a 400,000 big blind ante
Players: 2

Schindler completed from the button. Eveslage raised to 1,400,000 from the big blind holding QHeart Suit 9Heart Suit.

CT: Now you’re heads-up. Can you set this hand up for us please?

CE: Jake limped off of about 25 bbs. I’m pretty sure his strategy has zero walks, so his range is huge. I think QHeart Suit 9Heart Suit is the worst hand I would raise/call a limp/shove with. So, if Jake had shoved I would’ve called.

But actually, I was pretty uncertain about this. I have played very little heads-up with a big blind ante, but I think the price is too good to raise/fold to 25 bbs versus his limp/shove range. 

CT: Explain the different type of strategy when you have a big blind ante? Did you do any research after the event about the raise since you seemed a bit uncertain whether it was a raise/call or raise/fold to a shove?

CE: I asked some players better than me and they said QHeart Suit 9Heart Suit is borderline, but probably fine as a 3.5x/call versus 25 bbs.

The big blind ante might seem insignificant, but it changes a lot. Online tournaments use a normal 10 percent ante from each player, so there is a lot less dead money in the heads-up format I’m used to. With that much more dead money, open sizes get bigger and giving walks is a big no no. So, when Jake limped, he has every combination from 2-3 to A-A. (Although less A-A and big pairs because he has open range too.)

Schindler called.

Flop: 6Heart Suit 4Spade Suit 2Club Suit (Pot: 3,200,000)

Eveslage bet 2,000,000. Schindler called.

CE: I bet big, 2,000,000 into 3,200,000. This sets up lots of turn shoves and targeted K-X/Q-J and Q-10 type hands.

Turn: 9Club Suit (pot: 7,200,000)

CE: Thankfully I get a lucky turn with the 9Club Suit. I shoved, and Jake would have to call a lot of pairs that I beat. I also denied his draws equity. 

Eveslage moved all-in, and Schindler folded 7Heart Suit 5Heart Suit. Eveslage won the pot of 7,200,000.

You can find Eveslage on Twitter @chadeveslage. ♠