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Chris Brewer Banks $5.3 Million And First Bracelet In World Series Of Poker $250,000 High Roller

American High-Stakes Pro Makes Late Comeback To Earn First WSOP Title

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Chris Brewer has a poker resume full of huge scores, but the 30-year-old high-stakes pro picked up the biggest payday of his career on Sunday, banking a massive $5,293,556 at the World Series of Poker.

The former University of Oregon distance runner emerged victorious from a field of 69 entries in the $250,000 buy-in high roller event, taking home his first gold bracelet.

“I feel like I got so lucky. Everything today just felt like it was going to go my way,” Brewer told PokerGO’s Natalie Bode. “This is the one I wanted to win more than any other. Money, prestige, everything about it. It means so much. I’ve had so many tough ones… it feels really good.”

Brewer’s comment was undoubtedly a reference to the several tough beats he’s taken in recent years in key spots, including bubbling both the Super High Roller Bowl and the Super High Roller Bowl Europe in 2021, as well as losing with pocket kings to Doug Polk’s pocket queens for essentially all of the chips during the semi-finals of this year’s WSOP $25,000 heads-up championship.

After this monumental win, Brewer now has more than $15.6 million in career tournament earnings. This was his fourth title and 12th final-table finish of 2023. He earned 720 Card Player Player of the Year points for the victory.

With 4,617 total points and $8,521,187 in year-to-date POY earnings, Brewer has climbed into sixth place in the 2023 standings, which are presented by Global Poker.

This nosebleed-stakes tournament ran over the course of three days inside the Paris and Horseshoe on the Las Vegas Strip, with the solid turnout resulting in a final prize pool of $17,181,000. The top 11 finishers made the money, with ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey eventually getting knocked out on the massive bubble late on day 2. Bracelet winner Ben Heath (11th – $411,940) and Alfred Decarolis (10th – $411,940) were then sent to the rail before play was halted for the evening.

Brewer came into the final table in the middle of the pack, with three-time bracelet winner Chance Kornuth in the lead when cards got in the air on day 3. He soon added to his stack by hitting two pair against the top pair of Steven Veneziano (9th – $478,663), who got all-in on the flop and was unable to come from behind.

High-stakes player Brandon Steven (8th – $574,899) was the next to fall, with his last few blinds going to two-time bracelet winner Martin Kabrhel.

The Czech player was the center of some controversy in this event. During the livestream of the final table, it was revealed that Kabrhel had been warned by the floor for getting out of his seat while he was in a hand. The precaution was apparently taken by tournament staff after Kabrhel was accused by a number of high-stakes players of marking cards.

Check out a clip from PokerGO’s coverage below.

Four-time bracelet winner David Peters’ run in this event had come to an end before that footage, with his A-9 being outrun by the A-8 suited of Kornuth.

The next big hand saw three of the remaining players wake up with monster holdings. Bracelet winner Dan Smith raised with pocket kings from under the gun and Brewer three-bet with pocket jacks from the cutoff. Artur Martirosian moved all-in with pocket queens from the big blind and Smith called.

Brewer correctly folded his big pocket pair, leaving the two other monster holdings to clash. Martirosian ended up turning a set of queens to earn the double up, leaving Smith as one of the shorter stacks as six-handed play continued.

Dan SmithSmith soon hit the rail when his A-Q suited failed to hold up against the 10-6 suited of Kabrhel. Smith earned $912,022 for his sixth-place showing, growing his career earnings to $44.1 million in the process.

Smith shared his frustration with the Kabrhel situation during his bustout interview, telling PokerGO, “Martin’s antics are worse than anyone I’ve played with. People were speculating – there were a lot of discussions about whether he was marking cards. Whether or not that’s true, playing with him is unbelievably unpleasant. He’s rude. He takes the full 30 seconds every time, and last night playing with him it felt like something not kosher was going on. Can’t know for sure, but I think it’s ridiculous that he’s allowed to play in the tournament.”

Kornuth earned a career-best payday of $1,202,318 as the fifth-place finisher. He got the last of his shorter stack in with K-5 up against A-10 suited for Alex Kulev, who won the EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 high roller earlier this year. Kulev ended up with a winning pair of tens to narrow the field to four contenders.

Martirosian overtook the chip lead from Kabrhel during four-handed play. He then won a flip with pocket eights against the Q-J of Kulev to send the Bulgarian home with $1,632,005. This was his second seven-figure payday of 2023, joining the $1.1 million he earned for his victory in Monte Carlo.

Martin KabrhelKabrhel was knocked out in third place after he got all-in preflop with QClub Suit2Club Suit facing the ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit of Martirosian, who ended up with the nut flush by the river. Kabrhel earned $2,279,038 for his third-place finish.

This was the second-largest score of his career, having earned over $3 million when he took down a €100,000 buy-in event at the 2018 WSOP Europe for his second of two bracelets.

Heads-up play began with Martirosian holding better than a 3:1 chip advantage over Brewer. That gap was narrowed considerably when Brewer made top set of kings against the top pair of Martirosian. Brewer slid back a bit but then managed a double-up with pocket threes against A-10 to overtake the lead.

In the final hand, Martirosian raised from the button with ADiamond SuitKSpade Suit and quickly called when Brewer three-bet shoved with AHeart Suit7Diamond Suit. The flop came down KHeart Suit9Spade Suit5Spade Suit, making Martirosian a 98 percent favorite to win the hand.

The 8Spade Suit on the turn improved Brewer’s chances to nearly seven percent, as any non-spade six would give him a winning nine-high straight. The 6Diamond Suit rolled off the deck on the river, sending Brewer into an emotional celebration.

Martirosian earned a career-best payday of $3,271,666 as the runner-up finisher. He now has $12.2 million in lifetime earnings, and joins Brewer near the top of the POY standings for 2023. He has now made 10 final tables this year, with one title and more than $6.5 million in POY earnings.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Chris Brewer $5,293,556 720 800
2 Artur Martirosian $3,271,666 600 600
3 Martin Kabrhel $2,279,038 480 500
4 Alex Kulev $1,632,005 360 450
5 Chance Kornuth $1,202,318 300 400
6 Dan Smith $912,022 240 274
7 David Peters $712,953 180 214
8 Brandon Steven $574,899 120 172
9 Steven Veneziano $478,663 60 144

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest event results. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Spenser Sembrat.