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Former Main Event Winner Takes Down $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Bracelet

26 Years After WSOP Main Event Win, Jim Bechtel Wins Second Bracelet And $253,817


Before Tuesday evening, most poker fans only knew of Jim Bechtel because his picture hangs in the Amazon Room during the World Series of Poker.

Bechtel won the WSOP main event in 1993 for $1 million, which earned him a spot on the wall in the Amazon Room. Despite having numerous cashes since then, including a fourth-place finish in the 2006 $50,000 HORSE, Bechtel hasn’t been a fixture in the poker world since taking down poker’s most prestigious event 26 years ago.

Bechtel was back in the spotlight on Tuesday by adding a second bracelet to his name another coveted event. The Arizona resident topped a field of 91 entries, most of which was made up of top poker pros, to win the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 single draw and $253,817.

The 26-year span between bracelets marked the longest stretch between a span of multiple bracelets, eclipsing the 24 years that elapsed between Chip Reese’s second and third bracelets.

“It’s only the second [tournament] I’ve played here,” said Bechtel to WSOP reporters following the victory. “The last one I played was the $10,000 [main event] and I won $27,000, and that was four or five years ago. I don’t hardly play any.”

Darren EliasDespite a final table that featured top pro Darren Elias, as well as bracelet winners Prahlad Friedman and Jean-Robert Bellande, the heads-up battle was a one between two poker veterans.

Bechtel, 67, battled heads-up with 77-year-old Vince Musso. Bellande fell in sixth, Friedman busted in fourth and Elias hit the rail in third, leaving Musso and Bechtel heads-up and roughly even in chips.

The early portion of heads-up play saw Musso open up a nearly 3:1 chip lead over Bechtel. But Bechtel found a way to claw his way back and take the lead thanks to several pots that didn’t go to showdown.

Before long, it was Bechtel who had the nearly 3:1 lead and was able to finish off Musso when the two got all in with Musso patting a J-9-6-4-2 and Bechtel drawing one to an 8-6-4-2.

Bechtel flipped up a nine, which gave him a 9-8 low and eliminated Musso in second place. Musso earned $156,872 for his runner-up finish.

Despite his second bracelet, Bechtel certainly didn’t catch the tournament bug. We might not see him again for a while.

“I don’t know. I may not come back this [series],” said Bechtel. “I might play the $10,000 [main event] at the end and I might not.”

Bechtel also picked up 540 Card Player Player of the Year points for the victory. With his first final table and first cash of 2019, he now sits in 564th place in the 2019 POY race, sponsored by Global Poker.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Winnings (USD) POY Points
1 James Bechtel Sr. $253,817 540
2 Vince Musso $156,872 450
3 Darren Elias $109,738 360
4 Prahlad Friedman $78,157 270
5 Jean-Robert Bellande $56,693 225
6 Pedro Bromfman $41,897 180

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.