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Ralph Schwartz Wins Event #26 at the WSOP

The $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event Attracted a Steller Field and Schwartz Won the Day

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Ralph Schwartz overcame an excellent collection of poker talent to win the $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. He took home his first gold bracelet and $275,683. Schwartz emerged from a field that included all the big names - Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, David Benyamine, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and many more - to make it to the final day. Lying in wait for him at that point were Phil Ivey, Bill Gazes, Alex Kravchenko, and Robert Mizrachi. Eight hours later, Schwartz won the day after a short heads-up match with Gazes and he walked away with the coveted H.O.R.S.E. title.

Day two had played late into the night and action was stopped with 12 players remaining at two tables. Here's how those tables looked at the start of the final day:

Table 78

Seat 1: Alex Kravchenko - $166,500
Seat 2: Greg Mascio - $55,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey - $152,500
Seat 4: Jeff King - $100,500
Seat 5: Bill Gazes - $76,000
Seat 6: Rick Schwartz - $56,000

Table 72

Seat 1: Thomas Schultz - $145,500
Seat 2: Jeff Campbell - $138,000
Seat 3: Ralph Schwartz - $350,000
Seat 4: Robert Mizrachi - $165,500
Seat 5: Yuebin Guo - $218,000
Seat 6: Alexander Jung - $297,500

Jeff King and Rick Schwartz made quick exits during the stage of hold'em that began the day and then things switched over to Omaha eight-or-better. Greg Mascio was the next to hit the rail when Gazes and Ivey pulled off a tag team annihilation of Mascio. Gazes crippled Mascio and then Ivey busted him on back-to-back hands. Alex Kravchenko has already won a bracelet at this World Series of Poker and he continued to play well in Event #26. He went deep in the event, but was eliminated just shy of another final table in ninth place.

The final table took their seats and Ivey entered the arena as the chip leader:

Seat 1: Jeff Campbell - $38,000
Seat 2: Alexander Jung - $314,000
Seat 3: Ralph Schwartz - $332,000
Seat 4: Robert Mizrachi - $382,000
Seat 5: Thomas Schultz - $112,000
Seat 6: Yuebin Guo - $116,000
Seat 7: Phil Ivey - $481,000
Seat 8: Bill Gazes - $147,000

Ralph Schwartz would draw his first blood of the day against Jeff Campbell on the first hand at the final table. Campbell's queen-low in razz was not enough to survive against the 9-low that Schwartz revealed. The next hour was a roller-coaster ride through seven-card stud (take a deep breath). Yuebin Guo doubled up twice, Thomas Schultz was crippled by Gazes, Schultz then doubled up through Mizrachi, who held pocket aces on the next hand (and exhale). The game then switched back to seven-card stud eight-or-better. Schultz was eliminated during this stretch in seventh place (Schwartz's second victim). Mizrachi then eliminated Alex Jung in sixth place during Omaha eight-or-better.

When the game switched back to razz, Gazes made a move that brought him back from a short stack, and shoved him back into contention. He eclipsed the stack of Mizrachi and sent him to the rail in fifth place. While Gazes increased his strength, Schwartz did the same when he crippled Ivey. He did this by inducing Ivey to lay down his cards during a huge hand in which Schwartz had 6 2 10 2 exposed. Ivey was eliminated in fourth place a few hands later by Guo, and then there were three.

Guo was now the chip leader, but after a rough stretch of seven-card stud and Texas hold'em, he was eliminated on the first hand of Omaha eight-or-better. Schwartz was the culprit once again. Schwartz began heads-up play with the chip lead: $1.3 million to the $550,000 that Gazes owned. The heads-up match would be a fleeting experience that took only seven hands. The flop read Q 6 3 and Schwartz raised. Gazes called and checked the 4 on the turn. Schwartz bet out once again and then Gazes made the all-in call. Schwartz turned over 8-5-3-2 and Gazes flipped over K-K-7-6. The river card was dealt 2 and Schwartz scooped the pot with a 6-high straight and a 6 low. Gazes had made only a pair of kings and a 7 low. Gazes was eliminated in second place and took home $153,408 in prize money. A gold bracelet continues to elude the tournament-circuit veteran. Schwartz captured his first gold bracelet and took home $275,683 in prize money.