One of the frustrations in Las Vegas poker pro Jean-Robert Bellande’s otherwise successful career has been his inability to corral a World Series of Poker winner’s bracelet, but he finally managed to lift that monkey off his back over the weekend with a win in the $5,000 buy-in NLHE Six-Handed event.
In addition to finally claiming his first bracelet, the 47-year-old professional player picked up the $616,302 main prize; it was his second biggest career WSOP cash, and it was executed in style.
Bellande started final table action with a 5 million chip lead which he retained, other than for a brief period in which his last opponent managed to snatch it during the heads up, only to lose it again to a determined Bellande.
The Las Vegas pro started heads up play with a strong chip lead, facing Scots player Dean Lyall (30) but ran into a two-hour string of poor cards in which Lyall was able to close the chip gap and then briefly seize the lead before Bellande managed a recovery and eliminated Lyall at second place for $380,895.
621 entries were recorded for the event, creating a prize pool of $2,887,650 from which 94 players cashed.
Other final table cashes included:
3rd: Andrew Graham, $254,684
4th: Tay Nguyen, $173,598
5th: Eric Blair, $120,669
6th: Kacper Pyzara, $85,570
In related news, 38-year-old US player Jeremy Perrin earned his first WSOP bracelet and $250,000 after besting a massive field in the $365 buy-in Giant NLHE event, which attracted 8,920 entries, creating a prize pool of $2,676,000 that meant 527 players made money.
Perrin beat Puerto Rico amateur player Luis Vazquez (39) in the heads, leaving him with a runner up prize worth $154,512.
Today (Monday July 2) will see the start of the first flight of this year’s $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Main Event, which is expected as always to draw thousands of entries.
The first starting flight is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Las Vegas time with players holding 50,000 in chips. Levels will be 120 minutes long throughout, and after each level players enjoy a 20 minute break.