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David Jackson Denies Phil Hellmuth, Wins Second World Series of Poker Bracelet

The Jacksonville Florida Resident Defeated The All-Time Bracelet Leader Heads-Up To Earn $598,173

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David Jackson earned his second World Series of Poker gold bracelet and the largest payday of his tournament career after he defeated all-time bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth heads-up in the 2022 WSOP $3,000 no-limit hold’em freezeout event. The 35-year-old poker pro from Jacksonville, Florida pocketed $598,173 as the champion after he denied the 16-time bracelet winner another victory at the series.

“I was just in my zone, honestly. I felt like I was going to win. I knew I was going to win. I felt like it was meant for me,” Jackson told WSOP reporters after coming out on top for the largest payday of his career.

Jackson on his first bracelet during last year’s WSOP Online series, taking down a $777 buy-in tournament for $194,178. This time around he was able to close out the victory on the big stage in Las Vegas, overcoming a Poker Hall of Fame member with the title on the line.

“I’m just in awe. I’m just happy. I’m happy, but it’s just hard to process right now,” said Jackson. “This one definitely feels much better. The online one was like a $700 or $777 event, so there were a lot of people, but it was an easier field. This one was a tougher field.”

Jackson now has nearly $3.8 million in recorded tournament scores. He also earned 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event, enough to move him inside the top 100 in the 2022 POY race sponsored by Global Poker.

Phil HellmuthWhile Hellmuth fell just short of securing his record-furthering 17th bracelet, he did earn $369,698 as the runner-up, increasing his lifetime tournament earnings to more than $25 million. This was Hellmuth’s fourth final-table finish of the year. The 1,200 POY points he secured catapulted him into 35th place in the overall standings.

This event attracted 1,359 total entries to build a prize pool of $3,628,530. The top 204 finishers made the money, with plenty of big names making deep runs including four-time bracelet winners Mike Matusow (165th – $5,269) and Adrian Mateos (145th – $5,269), bracelet winner Lara Eisenberg (125th – $6,022), 2019 main event champion Hossein Ensan (86th – $7,401), four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy (40th – $14,090), bracelet winner Romain Lewis (33rd – $16,733), three-time bracelet winner Julien Martini (25th – $20,149), and Blake Bohn (18th – $20,149).

By the time the field combined onto the final table, Jackson was in the lead with Hellmuth in third chip position. Bracelet winner Justin Saliba busted accomplished tournament star Anton Wigg in ninth place ($48,494) when his pocket queens won a race against the Swedish player’s A-K.

Richard Scardina’s (8th – $62,423) run in this event came to an end when his K-Q suited ran into the pocket ace of Jeffrey Lo. Lo flopped top set and held from there to narrow the field to seven contenders.

Hellmuth doubled through Jackson to move into the lead during seven-handed play, flopping the nut flush against Jackson’s top and bottom pair. Jackson remained near the top few spots on the leaderboard despite losing that big hand, though.

Onur Unsal fell in seventh place ($81,390) when his river bluff shove was quickly called by the flush of Jackson. Another failed bluff attempt against Jackson, this one from Hellmuth, saw him continue to pull away from the field.

A preflop cooler looked like it might take a big chunk out of Jackson’s stack, but his pocket kings cracked the pocket aces of Renan Bruschi after all the chips went in preflop. Jackson flopped a set and held through the river to bust the Brazilian bracelet winner in sixth place ($107,472).

Timothy Sullivan was the next to fall, with his A-3 suited getting all-in facing the A-10 suited of Lo. A ten on the flop extended Lo’s advantage, and Sullivan was soon on the rail after blanks on the turn and river. He earned $143,699 as the fifth-place finisher.

Justin SalibaJustin Saliba got the majority of his stack in preflop with A-9. Jackson had called the effective shove with K-7 suited. A king-high flop made it easier for Jackson to call off Saliba’s last big blind.

Saliba picked up extra outs on the turn with a gutshot, but a brick on the river saw him sent home in fourth place ($194,525). The 2021 WSOP Online bracelet winner earned $194,525 for his strong showing in this event.

With that, Jackson had more than 40 million of the roughly 54 million chips in play heading into three-handed action. Lo was soon all-in and at risk, having check-raised all-in on a 8Diamond Suit7Spade Suit4Club Suit7Heart Suit board with 5Heart Suit4Spade Suit. He was called by Jackson, who had turned trips with QHeart Suit7Club Suit. The QClub Suit river improved Jackson to a full house and sent Lo packing in third place ($266,559).

Jackson held more than a 4:1 chip lead over Hellmuth when cards got back in the air. The 16-time bracelet winner won a big pot with pocket aces to nearly even things out, but Jackson was soon able to regain control of the match. In the final hand, Hellmuth limped in from the button with AHeart Suit7Heart Suit. Jackson shoved from the big blind with KClub SuitJClub Suit. Hellmuth called for 9,500,000 (just shy of 16 big blinds). The board ran out 10Heart Suit10Club Suit4Spade Suit9Spade SuitQDiamond Suit and Jackson rivered a king-high straight to lock up the pot and the title.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 David Jackson $598,173 1440
2 Phil Hellmuth $369,698 1200
3 Kuenwai Lo $266,559 960
4 Justin Saliba $194,525 720
5 Timothy Sullivan $143,699 600
6 Renan Bruschi $107,472 480
7 Onur Unsal $81,390 360
8 Richard Scardina $62,423 240
9 Anton Wigg $48,494 120

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Hayley Hochstetler. Hellmuth and Saliba photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.

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