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Matthew Davis Wins 2018 WSOP $1,000 Seniors Event

50-Year-Old College Teacher Tops Record Field of 5,918 Entries To Win His First Bracelet


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The 2018 World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em seniors event drew a record-setting field of 5,918 entries, blowing away the previous largest turnout of 5,389 entries made in 2017. As a result, the prize pool swelled to $5,326,200 this yeat, with the largest share of that going to eventual champion Matthew Davis. The 50-year-old college teacher from Dublin, California earned $662,676 after coming out on top, along with his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was the first year that Davis was eligible to compete in this tournament, which requires participants to be 50 years of age or older.

The final day of this event saw eight players return to battle it out for the title, with Gary Friedlander holding the chip lead. Davis was essentially tied for second place at the table with Bill Stabler. Davis jumped into the outright lead by knocking out Bill Bennett in fifth place. Davis flopped the nut flush and found action when Bennett made a set of tens on the turn. Bennett did not improve and was sent home with $170,973.

Despite starting the day at the top of the leaderboard, Friedlander lost a few key pots at the final table and eventually was eliminated when he moved all-in with the AHeart Suit5Spade Suit preflop and got called by Stabler’s ASpade SuitJSpade Suit. Friedlander earned $227,072 as the fourth-place finisher and Stabler closed the gap a bit on Davis. Stabler then knocked out Scott Hamilton-Hill in third place ($303,807) to essentially even up the stacks going into heads-up play.

Bill StablerStabler was able to take a 4-to-3 lead by the time the final two players took a dinner break, but after play resumed it was all Davis. He regained the lead and extended his advantage to more than 3-to-1 before the final hand arose.

With blinds of 200,000-400,000 and an ante of 50,000 Stabler raised to 950,000 from the button. Davis called and the flop brought the 6Diamond Suit3Heart Suit2Diamond Suit. Davis checked and Stabler bet 1,500,000. Davis moved all-in, having Stabler well covered. Stabler thought it over before electing to call with the 5Diamond Suit3Spade Suit for a pair and a gutshot straight draw. Davis had two overcards and a flush draw with the KDiamond Suit8Diamond Suit. The turn was the 6Club Suit to pair the board, keeping Stabler’s hand ahead. The 8Club Suit on the river game Davis the superior two pair and sent Stabler home with $409,387.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD)
1 Matthew Davis $662,676
2 Bill Stabler $409,387
3 Scott Hamilton-Hill $303,807
4 Gary Friedlander $227,072
5 Bill Bennett $170,944
6 Rachel Delatorre $129,626
7 Frank Berry $99,015
8 Joe Schulman $76,191
9 Thad Smith $59,074

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2018 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.