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Ran Koller Wins World Series of Poker Bracelet In $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack

Israel Native Bests 2,778-Entry Field To Win First Tournament Of His Career And $269,478


Ran Koller made his first career tournament victory a memorable one as it came with a World Series of Poker bracelet.

The native of Israel took down the massive 2,778-entry field in the $800 no-limit hold’em deepstack event. He defeated fellow Israeli Ran Ilani heads-up to earn $269,478, by far the largest score of his career. Ilani took home $$166,552 for his runner-up finish.

“It’s amazing,” Koller told WSOP live reporters after his victory. “I do not even have words for it. It was surreal.”

Along with the six-figure score, Koller earned 600 points in the Card Player Player of the Year race, which puts him in the top 500 for the title.

Despite the deepstack title, it only took about four hours for Koller to finish off the other seven players at the final table. When the final nine players combined at the unofficial final table, Koller was near the bottom of the counts with 18 big blinds, while everyone was chasing Ilani, who started nine-handed play with 48 blinds of his own.

Florian Guimond made his presence felt early as he eliminated Cody Brinn in ninth and then sent World Poker Tour champion Donald Maloney to the rail in eighth when Guimond’s QsJd bested Maloney’s Ah10d in a preflop all in.

With seven players left, Koller was the short stack at the table. He started making his ascent up the leaderboard when he was all in preflop with 10c9c against Ilani’s Ah4d. The flop and turn were safe for Ilani, but the 9d came on the river to give Koller the best hand.

Koller then spiked an ace with A-J all in against Jorge Hou’s pocket queens to leave Hou with about a single big blind. Hou was eliminated by Oleg Titov just two hands after.

Ilani eliminated tournament veteran Alex Outhred in sixth in brutal fashion to regain a commanding chip lead, while Kris Steinbach slid and became the short stack. Outhred was all in preflop with Ah10c against Ilani’s Ac8s.

The flop was 10s9s8c, which gave Outhred a commanding lead and left Ilani with just two outs. The turn was the 3s, but the river was the 8h to send Outhred home with a $54,722 payday.

After the first break of the final table, Koller eliminated Steinbach in fifth.

Titov was the next to fall as he sat back for most of the first half of the final table. He was down to just a couple big blinds and then was eliminated by Ilani when his Qd10c couldn’t best Ilani’s Ad9h.

Koller won a key flip three-handed to put himself in a position to win. His 7d7h held up against Guimond’s Ah10c, which left Guimond as the shortstack and Koller neck-and-neck with Ilani for the chip lead.

Guimond lost another flip, this time against Ilani, to bust in third. Guimond was all in preflop with 3s3c and up against Ilani’s Ac9h.

The flop was safe for the Frenchman, but the 9d came on the turn to seal his fate. The pot gave Ilani a roughly 1.5-to-1 chip advantage heading into heads-up versus Koller.

Koller steadily grinded Ilani down over the first level and change of heads-up before putting him away. Koller flopped the nuts with 5d3c on a flop of Ah4d2d. Ilani check-called a bet on the flop and got all in on the Kh turn.

Ilani showed 7h2h, good for a pair and a flush draw, but the river was not the heart he was looking for, which sent him to the rail one spot shy of WSOP gold.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Ran Koller $269,478 600
2 Ran Ilani $166,552 500
3 Florian Guimmond $124,671 400
4 Oleg Titov $94,028 300
5 Kris Steinbach $71,457 250
6 Alex Outhred $54,722 200
7 Jorge Hou Huang $42,231 150
8 Donald Maloney $32,845 100

Photo Credit: WSOP/Melissa Haereiti