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Darius Samual Wins World Series of Poker $25,000 Heads-Up Championship

British Businessman Risks Half His Poker Bankroll To Enter This Event, Came Away With $500,000 and His First Bracelet

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Darius Samual came into the 2024 World Series of Poker with just eight recorded tournament cashes to his name, and no prior final-table finishes. The British businessman took a risk early in the series, putting up around half of his poker bankroll to enter the $25,000 buy-in heads-up no-limit hold’em championship.

The gamble paid off big, as Samual went on to top the field if 64 entries to earn $500,000 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

“I basically put 50 percent of my bankroll on one tournament. I really wanted to go for it and this payout is like 95 percent of my poker money now. I took a shot! I think I was the only one who didn’t care about the bracelet, I only cared about the money,” Samual told WSOP reporters after the event had finished.

After this victory, Samual now has $585,000 in total tournament earnings. He also secured 504 Card Player Player of the Year points and 300 PokerGO Tour points for the win.

Samual came out on top in six consecutive one-on-one matches to secure the bracelet, facing James Chen, Ian Matakis, Matthew Wantman, John Smith, Artur Martirosian, and Faraz Jaka.

In his penultimate match, Samual squared off again Martirosian, the 2021 European Poker Tour Sochi champion and two-time bracelet winner and became the first player to book a place in the finals. The match concluded when Samual three-bet shoved over the top of Martirosian’s button min-raise for nearly 34 big blinds effective with AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit. Martirosian called with ADiamond Suit10Diamond Suit. The board came down 6Heart SuitKHeart Suit6Diamond Suit3Diamond SuitJHeart Suit and Samual’s kings and sixes earned him the knockout. Martirosian earned $180,000 for making it to the final four. He now has more than $16.8 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name. He also collected 294 POY points, bringing his total on the year to 1,747. He now sits in 78th place in the 2024 standings presented by Global Poker.

Moments after Samual booked his spot in the finals, Jaka finished off the other semifinal match. He had roughly a 5:1 lead when the final hand was dealt. Jaka called a button shove from Nikolai Mamut for just over 16 big blinds with ASpade SuitJHeart Suit and found himself ahead of KClub SuitQSpade Suit. Neither player improved on a ten-high runout and Jaka’s ace was enough to end the match. Mamut grew his career earnings to $685,000 with this deep run.

Samual jumped out to an early lead in the final match thanks to winning a big pot with a turned flush against Jaka’s top pair of kings. The two went on to battle for nearly three hours, with Samual ahead through most of the clash. Samual had extended his lead to roughly a 3:1 advantage before Jaka won a classic preflop race with A-K facing pocket queens. Jaka flopped aces up and held to double back to nearly even.

Samual was able to pull back out in front in time for the final hand of the tournament. Jaka min-raised to 240,000 from the button with ASpade Suit6Spade Suit. Samual, who sat with 5,970,000, three-bet shoved holding KDiamond SuitQClub Suit. Jaka called all-in for 3,630,000 total after plenty of thought. The flop came down AClub SuitKClub SuitQHeart Suit to give Jaka top pair, but Samual made kings and queens to take the lead. The 7Club Suit on the turn left Jaka in need of help with only one card to come. The 3Heart Suit changed nothing and Jaka was eliminated in second place, earning $300,000 for his strong showing. The 2023 WSOP $1,500 shootout winner now has nearly $7.8 million in career earnings, with over $2.3 million of that coming from his 75 cashes in bracelet events.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
Champion Darius Samual $500,000 504 300
Finalist Faraz Jaka $300,000 420 180
Semi-Finalist Nikolai Mamut $180,000 294 108
Semi-Finalist Artur Martirosian $180,000 294 108
Quarter Finalist John Smith $86,000 0 52
Quarter Finalist Marko Grujic $86,000 0 52
Quarter Finalist Owen Messere $86,000 0 52
Quarter Finalist Patrick Kennedy $86,000 0 52

Visit the Card Player 2024 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest event results. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.

Photo credits: WSOP / Hayley Hochstetler.