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Harvey Mathews Wins 2021 World Series of Poker $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Freezout Event

Michigan Resident Defeats Field of 720 Players To Earn First Bracelet and $371,914

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Harvey Mathews defeated a field of 720 players to win the 2021 World Series of Poker $3,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em freezeout event, earning $371,914 and his first WSOP gold bracelet as the champion.

“It feels amazing,” Mathews told PokerGO reporters after the win. “I used to come out every year back when I was younger. But after Black Friday I quit coming out. But it just feels great to get back out here and actually have success because I think my biggest live score is like $13,000. So this is pretty huge.”

The Mount Morris, Michigan resident had just shy of $27,000 in total prior tournament earnings, with his largest previous payday being $12,456 for a 36th-place finish in the 2010 WSOP $2,500 six-max event.

In addition to the bracelet and the money, Mathews was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points. This win alone was enough to catapult him inside the top 100 in the 2021 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

The final day began with seven players remaining and Mathews sitting in fifth place. Craig Mason was the first to fall, with his flopped set of fives losing to the top pair and gutshot straight draw of Girish Apte on the river. Apte improved to a straight to take down the pot and send Mason home with $49,238.

Mathews earned his first knockout of the day when his A-Q held up against the A-2 suited of David Lolis (6th – $65,072). Mathews flopped top pair and held from there to narrow the field to five. Despite that win, Mathews was the clear short stack. He closed the gap considerably by doubling up through start-of-day leader Brandon Caputo, who made a move with Q-4 in a battle of the blinds and ran into the pocket jacks of Mathews.

The next big showdown was also between Caputpo and Mathews. With a board of 10Spade Suit3Diamond Suit2Heart Suit8Diamond Suit, Caputo bet 300,000 holding ASpade SuitADiamond Suit. Mathews moved all-in for 1,270,000 with 7Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit for a pair and a flush draw. Caputo called and was ahead, but the QDiamond Suit on the river gave Mathews a winning flush. Caputo earned $87,288 for his fifth-place finish.

Girish Apte’s run in this event reached its conclusion shortly after he lost a big pot with a turned pair of kings against the flush of a surging Mathews. Apte called off the last of his shorter stack with KDiamond Suit9Club Suit facing the ADiamond Suit9Spade Suit of four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy. The board gave Gathy aces full of nines by the river. Apte earned $118,815 for his fourth-place showing.

Michael Gathy on day 2 of this event.Gathy had a bluff attempt picked off to see him slide down the chip counts. Not long after he found himself all-in preflop, having limped from the button and then shoved over Mathews’ raise to 800,000 out of the small blind. Mathews called the 3,125,000 shove and revealed the AClub SuitKClub Suit, which was dominating Gathy’sAHeart Suit8Diamond Suit. Both players made a pair, but Mathews’ kings beat out Gathy’s eights to eliminate him in third place ($164,083). The Belgian now has more than $2.9 million in career live tournament earnings to his name.

With that Mathews took nearly a 2:1 lead into heads-up play with Gabriel Andrade. he was able to extend that advantage even further in the early going. In the final hand, Mathews raised from the button with KHeart Suit10Diamond Suit, betting enough to put Andrade all-in. Andrade called with ASpade Suit9Club Suit. The board ran out 8Spade Suit8Heart Suit5Diamond Suit2Heart SuitKSpade Suit and Mathews rivered a pair of kings to lock up the pot and the title. Andrade cashed for $229,848.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Harvey Mathews $371,914 1368
2 Gabriel Andrade $229,848 1140
3 Michael Gathy $164,083 912
4 Girish Apte $118,815 684
5 Brandon Caputo $87,288 570
6 David Lollis $65,072 456
7 Craig Mason $49,238 342
8 Andrew Jeong $37,824 228
9 Frederic Heller $29,504 114

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Hayley Hochstetler.