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Derek McMaster Wins 2019 World Series of Poker $1,500 Omaha Eight-or-Better Event

46-Year-Old Outlasts Field of 853 Players To Win $228,228 and His First Gold Bracelet


Derek McMaster has won the first Omaha tournament of the 2019 World Series of Poker. The 46-year-old former pool player from Minnesota defeated a field of 853 entries in the $1,500 buy-in Omaha eight-or-better event, earning his first gold bracelet and the $228,228 top prize.

“It was very surreal to me. I’ve just been on cloud nine since last night, all week. I was happy to be here and I enjoyed playing with these guys,” McMaster told WSOP reporters after coming out on top. “I try to just have fun when I’m playing. If I’m not having fun I’m usually not doing very well. The more fun I have, it seems like stuff goes my way.”

In addition to the title and the money, McMaster also earned 912 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his first POY-qualified score of 2019, but it alone was sufficient to move McMaster into 182nd place in the 2019 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

McMaster came into the final day in third chip position with seven players remaining. Chip leader John Esposito furthered his advantage by scoring the first knockout of the day, eliminating three-time WSOP bracelet winner Ben Yu in seventh place ($27,530).
Esposito has also responsible for knocking out Tom McCormick in sixth place ($37,063).

John EspositoJoseph Aronesty fell in fifth place ($50,646) to see Esposito take a solid lead into four-handed action. McMaster was able to chip up as play continued. He scored his first elimination of the final table, scooping a pot with a pair of queens to send WSOP bracelet winner David Halpern to the rail in fourth place ($70,231).

McMaster took the lead not long after that, and never looked back from there. Esposito began to slide down the leaderboard. Jason Berilgen ended up landing the final blow, scooping Esposito with a pair of jacks and a 8-5-4-3-A low. Esposito earned $98,807 as the third-place finisher.

McMaster and Berilgen battled it out for around half an hour. In the end Berilgen was whittled down to less than a big bet. McMaster picked up the ASpade SuitAClub SuitQDiamond Suit7Heart Suit and raised. Berilgen called all-in with 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit4Spade Suit4Club Suit. The board came down QHeart Suit10Club Suit3Club Suit4Diamond SuitAClub Suit. Berilgen made a set on the turn, but McMaster rivered a higher set to scoop the pot and the title. Berilgen took home $141,007 as the runner-up.

Place Player Winnings (USD) POY Points
1 Derek McMaster $228,228 912
2 Jason Berilgen $141,007 760
3 John Esposito Jr. $98,807 608
4 David Halpern $70,231 456
5 Joseph Aronesty $50,646 380
6 Tom McCormick $37,063 304
7 Ben Yu $27,530 228
8 Shannon Shorr $20,760 152
9 Patrick Leonard $15,897 76

For more coverage from the summer series, check out the 2019 WSOP landing page, complete with a full schedule, results, news, player interviews, and event recaps.