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Darrin Wright Scores First Bracelet With Dominant Performance In $600 No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha

Retired Newspaper Writer Scored Five Of The Seven Knockouts At The Final Table


Darrin Wright scored his first World Series of Poker bracelet in dominating fashion as he scored five of the seven available knockouts at the final table of the $600 no-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha eight-handed event.

The recreational player from Chicago earned $127,219 for his victory after besting the 1,569-entry field and defeated Victor Paredes heads-up. Wright told WSOP live reporters after the event that during his run to the title, he thought it was meant to be.

“I just felt it,” said the former Chicago Sun-Times writer. “You know how sometimes you can feel something, and you can feel it in your stomach. They say that’s your gut. I felt it in my gut.”

Wright only began playing poker a few years ago and was at the first major final table of his career in just his second recorded cash. He came into the unofficial nine-handed table right in the middle of the pack, sitting fourth in chips.

But once there, everything changed, and Wright began accumulating chips at a rapid pace. After winning a few non-showdown pots and eliminating Erik Eberts in ninth, Wright was sitting atop the leaderboard.

Kyle McLean was eliminated in eighth when he was all in postflop against both Paredes and Wright. On a board of QHeart SuitJHeart SuitJDiamond Suit7Spade Suit, McLean moved all in and was called in two spots. Paredes and Wright checked the river and Paredes took the pot with KSpade SuitKHeart Suit10Heart Suit2Spade Suit against McLean’s AHeart SuitKDiamond SuitQClub Suit5Heart Suit and Wright’s QSpade Suit9Club Suit8Club Suit8Heart Suit.

Wright lost the pot but went back to work when he eliminated John Gilchrist in seventh. Gilchrist flopped trips with JSpade Suit8Spade Suit6Club Suit4Diamond Suit on a KSpade SuitJClub SuitJHeart Suit flop, but he was drawing dead against Wright’s full house with AClub SuitKClub SuitJDiamond Suit2Heart Suit. All the chips went into the middle on the 10Spade Suit turn with the eventual river meaning nothing.

Ryan Colton hit the rail in sixth when he functionally moved all in preflop, leaving himself just 1/20th of a big blind and was called by Wright. The last of the chips went into the middle on a JDiamond Suit9Club Suit5Diamond Suit with Wright’s AClub SuitJClub Suit in the lead against Colton’s 3Spade Suit3Diamond Suit. The turn and river were clean for Wright, sending Colton to the cashier’s cage.

Wright knocked out his third consecutive player when he flopped quad eights in pot-limit Omaha with KHeart Suit9Spade Suit8Spade Suit8Diamond Suit on an 8Heart Suit8Club Suit3Club Suit flop against Hanan Braun’s AHeart SuitASpade SuitJClub Suit10Spade Suit drawing nearly dead. Braun didn’t hit running aces and was out in fifth.

The final four players finished the level and went on dinner break with Wright holding more than half the chips in play. When they returned, the only other elimination that didn’t involve Wright took place.

Joshua Ray raised on the button and Colten Yamagishi three-bet shoved from the big blind. Ray called with A-Q and held against Yamagishi’s A-9.

With three left, Wright was still the chip leader, but Paredes slipped and became the short stack, while Ray was in second. Paredes doubled through Ray and then Wright sent Ray packing when they were all in on an 8Spade Suit5Spade Suit2Heart Suit flop.

Both players flopped a pair and a flush draw, but Wright hold both the better pair and the better draw with KSpade Suit8Club Suit6Club Suit3Spade Suit against Ray’s QSpade SuitJSpade Suit7Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit. The turn was the AHeart Suit and the river was the 5Heart Suit, which extended Wright’s chip lead as he started his heads-up match against Paredes.

The heads-up match didn’t even last the remainder of the level. In yet another hand of Omaha, all the money went in on the turn with the board reading 9Diamond Suit4Heart Suit2Heart SuitQSpade Suit. Paredes was the favorite with QClub Suit9Spade Suit6Club Suit4Diamond Suit against Wright’s JHeart Suit6Spade Suit5Heart Suit4Club Suit.

Wright needed a heart and got it when the KHeart Suit came on the river which gave Wright the title. Paredes earned $78,604 for his runner-up finish.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Darrin Wright $127,219 540
2 Victor Paredes $78,604 450
3 Joshua Ray $57,276 360
4 Colten Yamagishi $42,192 270
5 Hanan Braun $21,425 225
6 Ryan Colton $23,668 180
7 John Gilchrist $18,028 135
8 Kyle McLean $13,889 90

Photo Credit: WSOP/Danny Kim