Poker Coverage:

Chandrasekhar Billavara Wins Event No. 49

Billavara Comes Back From a Short Stack

There is no greater feat of strength than when an unranked amateur gets in the ring and goes toe-to-toe with some of the most highly accomplished and well-trained athletes in the sport. It's an even more amazing thing to watch a complete unknown come to the final table in last place and then scratch and claw his way out of the short stack only to go on and win the whole thing. Chandrasekhar Billavara came to the final table of event No. 49, the $1,500 no-limit hold'em, dead last in chips and without a single notch in his belt, but he never once threw in the towel. He ended the night as the last man standing in a 3,151-participant every-man-for-himself no-limit battle royal.

Event No. 49 hosted the single largest field to date, and it would prove to be a grueling contest of strength, wit, and determination. One player fought through 3,151 people to claim the lion's share of the $4,301,115 prize pool: Billavara. Taylor Douglas came to the final table with a huge chip advantage of $2,618,000; more than a 2-to-1 edge over second place. Leandro Pimentel weighed in next at $1,134,000, followed by Ray Spencer ($1,128,000), Greg Mueller ($1,032,000), Duane Felix ($996,000), John Hunt ($8,33000), Cort Kibler-Melby ($694,000), Lewis Titterton ($552,000), and Billavara as the lightweight with $456,000.

Lewis Titterton Eliminated in Ninth ($45,162)

Lewis Titterton moved all in from the short stack with K Q and Leandro Pimental made the call with A 10. The board came A 10 7 2 K, no help for Titterton, and he was the first to fall, in ninth place, earning himself $45,162.

Greg Mueller Eliminated in Eighth ($55,914)

Greg Mueller made a preflop raise from the cutoff and got two callers. The flop came 6 4 4, and Taylor Douglas bet $210,000. Mueller raised to $400,000, Ray Spencer folded, and Douglas moved all in. Mueller called and turned over 4 3 only to be countered by Douglas's 10 4. The turn and river brought the 7 and the 9, no help to "FBT" as he dropped out in eighth place ($55,914).

Ray Spencer Eliminated in Seventh Place ($75,270)

Now on a steady downswing, Ray Spencer shoved the rest of his chips in the pot with K J only to run into Taylor Douglas and his dominating A J. The board came A 10 3 10 K, the king coming a little too late, and Ray Spencer was the seventh-place finisher. Ray got $75,270 but Taylor Douglas got his second kill of the night. Chalk it up!

Cort Kibler-Melby Eliminated in Sixth ($96,775)

John Hunt raised out of the small blind with pocket nines and Cort Kibler-Melby moved all in from the big blind with A 7. The board came 8 4 3 6 10, no help to Cort Kibler-Melby, and he was eliminated in sixth place ($96,775).

Duane Felix Eliminated in Fifth Place ($131,184)

Duane Felix moved all in preflop with A 2 and was quickly called by John Hunt with A 9 in the big blind. Hunt had Felix covered and the board came K 9 10 4 J. Duane Felix was the fifth-place finisher and John Hunt scored back-to-back knockouts. Felix got $131,184 and Hunt got two points on the board. Count it!

Leandro Pimentel Eliminated in Fourth Place ($189,249)

In the next tale of domination, Leandro Pimentel got it all in with A 10, but Chandrasekhar Billavara called him out with A Q. The board came 8 4 3 J A and the champ got his first TKO. Leandro Pimentel went down in fourth place ($189,249) and Billavara got his first "W" in the win column.

John Hunt Eliminated in Third Place ($292,476)

Taylor Douglas decided that he was going to be the man to put an end to the whole "best hand winning" thing, and broke the cycle when he sucked out with Q J against John Hunt's A Q. Douglas spiked a jack on the flop and doubled up to $4 million. John Hunt was left crippled and moved all in on the very next hand with K 4. The champ came back for another quick knockout and called him out with Q J. The board came J 10 9 8 6, and Chandrasekhar Billavara "jacked up" John Hunt on the flop. He sent him to the ropes in third place ($292476).

The Final Countdown

The preliminary fights had all been decided and the only thing left on the ticket was the final bout between Taylor Douglas and Chandrasekhar Billavara. Douglas came to his corner weighing in at $4 million, while the soon-to-be champ made his entrance with nearly $5.5 million. Douglas came out swinging at the sound of the bell, throwing several wild punches, and moving all in multiple times from the start. Billavara kept an early distance, circling and evading Douglas's jabs by surrendering his blinds and antes. Douglas became more and more aggressive as the fight raged on, but he left himself wide open when he threw a haymaker with Q 9. Douglas pushed all in for the last time and Billavara countered with an uppercut out of nowhere that caught him square on the chin with A 7. The board came J 4 3 A as Douglas hit the mat on the turn, and was drawing dead to the river. Chandrasekhar Billavara was the last man standing in event No. 49, and his most impressive victory earned him a gold bracelet. He also took home the $722,914 grand prize. Taylor Douglas would hold his head up high as the runner-up, and rightfully so, earning $467,101 for his valiant effort.