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Sandeep Pulusani Wins Second Career World Series of Poker Bracelet

The Los Angeles Resident Defeated A Field of 1,234 Entries In The $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha Event To Earn $277,949


Sandeep Pulusani won his first World Series of Poker bracelet by taking down a $3,000 no-limit hold’em event back in 2013. Just over nine years later, the Los Angeles resident returned to the winner’s circle, emerging victorious from a field of 1,234 entries to take down the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold’em mixed event for $277,949 and his second piece of WSOP hardware.

The score has the third-largest of Pulusani, behind his first bracelet victory ($592,684) and a title run in the 2019 Bay 101 Shooting Star main event ($354,400). He now has more than $1.9 million in recorded tournament earnings.

In addition to the title and the money, Pulusani was also awarded 960 Card Player Player of the Year points. He now sits just outside the top 300 in the overall standings thanks to this win, which was his first POY-qualified score of the year.

This event paid out the top 186 finishers, with big names like two-time bracelet winner Connor Drinan (96th – $3,238), 2014 WSOP Asia Pacific main event winner Scott Davies (45th – $5,863), bracelet winner Jonathan Dokler (26th – $8,174), and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (18th – $9,844) among those who ran deep.

The final day began with 11 players remaining and Aden Salazar in the lead. Pulusani entered the day in ninth chip position with just 20 big blinds. By the time the field combined onto a single table, he had maneuvered into fourth chip position. Salazar had extended his advantage even further in the meantime, though.

Esther TaylorEsther Taylor doubled through Salazar to stunt his momentum somewhat, but he soon got back to his winning ways by winning a flip with pocket tens against the K-J suited of Daniel Chuprun (9th – $23,505) to narrow the field to eight.

William Leffingwell (8th – $30,129) was bested by the nut flush of Richard Kellet to hit the rail during a round while playing a round of PLO. The four-card game also spelled the end of Vegard Andreassen, who got all-in preflop with the 10Club Suit9Heart Suit7Heart Suit6Diamond Suit facing the ADiamond SuitJHeart SuitJDiamond Suit4Heart Suit of Pulusani. Jacks full on the turn left Andreassen drawing dead. He earned $39,114 as the seventh-place finisher, while Pulusani chipped up a bit heading into six-handed action.

Noah Bronstein’s run in this event came to an end when his A-10 suited lost a preflop showdown against the K-J suited of Vincent Lam. Bronstein flopped top pair and the nut flush draw, but fell behind after a jack on the turn. The river changed nothing and Bronstein was knocked out in sixth place ($51,372).

The next big confrontation saw Pulusani win a three-way all-in with his AHeart Suit3Heart Suit besting the ADiamond SuitJClub Suit of Richard Kellett and the 7Heart Suit7Club Suit of Salazar. The board ran out JHeart Suit10Heart Suit4Heart Suit9Diamond SuitKHeart Suit to see Pulusani win the main pot with the ace-high flush, while Salazar’s rivered flush won the side pot and eliminated Kellett in fifth place ($68,274).

Vincent Lam got the last of his stack in with top pair with an ace kicker and two other live overcards while playing PLO. He was facing top pair, a gutshot, and three live cards for Salazar. The turn didn’t change anything, but the river gave Salazar kings up to drag the pot. Lam was awarded $91,800 for his fourth-place showing.

Pulusani and Taylor both ate into Salazars lead as three-handed play continued. Pulusani then won a turning-point hand during a round of no-limit hold’em. Salazar raised from the button with 8Diamond Suit7Club Suit. Both opponents called and the ASpade Suit10Diamond Suit4Spade Suit flop saw Salazer bet when checked to, only to have Pulusani unleash a check-raise from the small blind with 10Spade Suit10Heart Suit for middle set. Salazar moved all-in as a bluff, but was met with a snap call. The board paired on the turn to leave Salazar drawing dead. Pulusani dragged the massive pot to take a commanding lead.

Salazar was soon all-in and at risk, with his ASpade SuitJHeart Suit10Spade Suit3Club Suit facing the AHeart SuitAClub Suit9Club Suit4Heart Suit of Taylor. The aces held up for Taylor and Salazar was eliminated in third place ($124,865). This was his second final-table finish of the series, having earned $161,239 for a fifth-place showing in the $5,000 buy-in version of this same event.

Pulusani maintained the lead during his heads-up clash with Taylor. He picked off a bluff in pot-limit Omaha to leave Taylor short. In hold’em, Taylor shoved with QClub Suit7Heart Suit and Pulusani called with 9Club Suit9Diamond Suit. The board ran out JHeart Suit8Heart Suit2Club Suit10Spade SuitQHeart Suit to see Pulusani make a queen-high straight to secure the pot and the title. Taylor took home $171,787 as the runner-up. This was the third-largest score of her tournament career. It brought her lifetime earnings to more than $2 million.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Sandeep Pulusani $277,949 960
2 Esther Taylor $171,787 800
3 Aden Salazar $124,865 640
4 Vincent Lam $91,800 480
5 Richard Kellett $68,274 400
6 Noah Bronstein $51,372 320
7 Vegard Andreassen $39,114 240
8 William Leffingwell $30,129 160

Winner photo credit: Rachel Kay Miller.

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