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WSOP -- Matt Hawrilenko Wins Event No. 56

Cashes In On A Million-Dollar Payday And Takes Home First Bracelet


Matt HawrilenkoMatt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko can now call himself a million-dollar man after winning Event No. 56 ($5,000 no-limit hold’em six-handed). The penultimate event of the 2009 World Series of Poker saw only the third million-dollar payout of this year’s WSOP go to Hawrilenko.

With 12 previous WSOP cashes, number 13 proved to be the lucky one for Hawrilenko as he took home his first bracelet and $1,003,163. The win was Hawrilenko’s first major tournament victory, live or online, and was the biggest payday of his career.

Hawrilenko made two other final tables at the 2009 WSOP. He showed off his all-around poker ability by finishing 8th in event no. 21 ($3,000 H.O.R.S.E) and displayed his limit skills with a 5th place finish in event no. 33 ($10,000 World Championship Limit Hold’em). Despite these impressive showings in other games, Hawrilenko finally broke through with a victory in the “Cadillac” of poker, no-limit hold’em.

The final three-day event of the 2009 WSOP drew 928 players and accumulated a prize pool of $4,361,600. Notables like Chris Ferguson, Allen Cunningham and Daniel Negreanu were among the fallen after the first day. The field reached the 90 money spots on day 2, with notables like Shaun Deeb, Shannon Shorr and Phil Hellmuth all taking home some cash for their efforts.

The final day saw 16 players return for a chance to cash in on the million-dollar payday, but notables like Peter Feldman and Eugene Katchalov were among the unfortunate players who did not break through to the final table.

Hawrilenko entered the final day in second chip position and was still there when the official final table of six was reached. He then had to deal with a final table that included online players Faraz “The-Toilet 0” Jaka and Matthew “BigStackBBQ” Waxman. Hawrilenko maintained his chip position until the table was four-handed. That was the moment Hawrilenko won two important coin-flips.

In the first one, Hawrilenko’s pair of jacks held up against the overcards of Sean Keeton, busting Keeton and giving Hawrilenko the chip lead. Later, Hawrilenko flopped an ace while holding big slick, cracking Jaka’s pocket queens and sending him home in third place.

When heads-up play began, Hawrilenko had an almost 2-1 chip lead over Josh Brikis. Just four hands into heads-up play, Hawrilenko found his pocket jacks tangling against Brikis’ ADiamond Suit9Diamond Suit for the rest of Brikis’ chips. The board refused to crack Hawrilenko’s jacks and he took home the bracelet, along with a million-dollar payday and tons of momentum heading into the main event.

Here are the official final table results:

1. Matt Hawrilenko — $1,003,163
2. Josh Brikis — $619,609
3. Faraz Jaka — $400,526
4. Sean Keeton — $269,983
5. Jonas Wexler — $189,555
6. Matthew Waxman — $138,394

Here are the elimination hands as they were reported on’s live updates:

Matthew Waxman Eliminated In Sixth Place($138,394)

Sean Keeton raised to 150,000 from early position and action folded to Matthew Waxman in the cutoff. He shoved for 605,000 total and Josh Brikis then moved over the top all in from the big blind. Keeton mucked and the players showed down their cards.

Waxman: ADiamond Suit10Spade Suit
Brikis: KSpade SuitKClub Suit

Board: JSpade Suit7Heart Suit3Club Suit8Club Suit7Diamond Suit

Waxman was in deep trouble and never received any help from the board. He was the first player eliminated from the official final table and took home $138,394.

Jonas Wexler Eliminated In Fifth Place($189,555)

Faraz Jaka raised to 150,000 preflop from the button and the action was on Jonas Wexler in the small blind. He moved in for over 700,000 and Josh Brikis came right back over the top from the big blind, moving all in. Jaka mucked his hand and both players tabled their hands.

Wexler: KDiamond SuitQHeart Suit
Brikis: ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit

Board: 8Diamond Suit5Spade Suit4Club SuitQSpade Suit7Club Suit

Wexler was dominated and could not connect on any street and he was eliminated.

Sean Keeton Eliminated In Fourth Place($269,983)

Faraz Jaka raised to 200,000 from under the gun and the action was on Sean Keeton. He moved all in for over 2 million and the action was on Matt Hawrilenko. He then came over the top all in for over 4 million. Jaka mucked and the players turned over their cards.

Keeton: ASpade SuitQDiamond Suit
Hawrilenko: JDiamond SuitJClub Suit

Board: 10Heart Suit4Heart Suit2Spade Suit10Spade Suit3Heart Suit

Hawrilenko’s pair held up against the two over cards of his opponent and Keeton was sent to the rail.

Faraz Jaka Eliminated In Third Place($400,526)

Faraz Jaka raised preflop and Matt Hawrilenko came back over the top. Jaka then moved all in and Hawrilenko made the call.

Jaka: QHeart SuitQClub Suit
Hawrilenko: ADiamond SuitKClub Suit

Board: AClub SuitJSpade Suit10Spade SuitJDiamond Suit5Spade Suit

It was the classic race situation and Hawrilenko took the lead on the flop when an ace fell. Jaka still had a gutshot straight draw but it never materialized and he was eliminated, leaving Hawrilenko and Josh Brikis to do battle for the bracelet.

Matt Hawrilenko Wins Event No. 56($1,003,163), Josh Brikis Eliminated In Second Place ($619,609)

It only took four hands of heads-up play before the final WSOP event before the main event came to an end.

Josh Brikis raised to 300,000 preflop and the action was on Matt Hawrilenko. He made it a cool 1,000,000 straight. Brikis then came over the top for all of his chips and Hawrilenko made the call.

Hawrilenko: JHeart SuitJDiamond Suit
Brikis: ADiamond Suit9Diamond Suit

Board: 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit2Heart Suit3Spade Suit10Club Suit

Hawrilenko’s pair remained in the lead on the flop and the final two streets offered no help to his opponent, giving Hawrilenko the hand and the final gold bracelet of the 2009 World Series of Poker. Hawrilenko took home $1,003,163 for the win and a ton of momentum heading into the main event.