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Bill Boyd and Doyle Brunson had been the only players in World Series of Poker (WSOP) history who had won bracelets in four consecutive years. Loren Klein has now joined the two legends, adding number four to his résumé as he prevailed in the 2019 WSOP Event #43: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet.
Klein came back from the shortest stack at the final table to conquer a 218-entry contest for $127,808 and his fourth bracelet, following previous wins over the past three years.
While Boyd and Brunson accomplished their streaks back in the 1970s, Klein is the first player to make it four-in-a-row in the modern era with large attendances. The 218-entry field in the Mixed Big Bet is, in fact, the smallest player field among his triumphant runs.
That, however, didn't make it any easier for him. Sitting at the bottom of the standings ahead of the final day, Klein knew that the only way to bounce back would lead by risking elimination.
He made his first move only minutes into play, drawing with a one-pair hand against Phil Hui's two pair in no-limit five-card draw. Klein peeled a higher two pair, survived, and took off from there.
Final table Results
|1||Loren Klein||United States||$127,808|
|2||Ryan Hughes||United States||$78,985|
|3||Phil Hui||United States||$51,346|
|4||Arthur Morris||United States||$34,328|
|5||Joey Couden||United States||$23,622|
|6||Jonathan Depa||United States||$16,746|
|7||Mike Sexton||United States||$12,240|
While Ryan Hughes held onto a commanding lead, Klein was the other star at the table. He kept grinding his stack up, assuring the remaining players that they couldn't dismiss his bid for the title. After all, he was the only one who had emerged victorious three times, more than any other player at the table.
But it was Hughes pulling the strings before the first break, magnetizing two-thirds of the chips in play with five players left. The first break, however, was a turning point. Even Hughes could suddenly be wounded, and Hui and Klein both bit into his stack.
The three started to profile as the contenders for the bracelet, and the eliminations of Joey Couden and Arthur Morris confirmed that it would be Hughes, Klein, and Hui who'd battle it out.
The chances were fairly even, but a key hand in pot-limit deuce propelled Klein to the chip lead. Hui was again on the unlucky side, having his pat nine outdrawn by Klein's one-card draw in a predraw all-in clash.
Hui soon busted to Hughes, paving the way for the heads-up match. Again, the chip-spread was relatively fair, and a reasonably deep-stacked play offered room for a potentially strenuous encounter.
There wouldn't be one, though as Klein showed a decisive dominance and dragged the majority of the pots, quickly seizing a 2-to-1 advantage.
The final strike came in pot-limit Omaha hi-lo, and Klein was as tough an opponent as anyone in the four-card flop game. He made a second-nut flush while Hughes held the nut blocker. Hughes showed multiple times during this tournament—and in many previous ones—that he isn't scared to put his chips into the middle, and he went for it. He raised all in, Klein picked him off, and that was it. Hughes had to settle for second place, just like he did in the same tournament in 2018.
This year's WSOP is virtually at its halfway point, so there are still dozens of bracelets up for grabs. While Klein has already met his yearly quota, he would undoubtedly prefer to snag his fifth by the end of the summer. Keep following the PokerNews live coverage to find out whether he'll double down or if he'll have to wait until 2020.
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Ryan Hughes raised his button to 45,000, Loren Klein called and they checked the flop.
The turn filled the flush draw and Klein led out 100,000. Hughes called.
The completed the board and Klein fired 250,000. Hughes didn't spend much time before announcing he was all in and Klein wasn't particularly happy to see that.
Nonetheless, Klein called within a few seconds. Hughes turned up for a nut blocker and Klein showed second nuts with to end the tournament.
Hughes repeated his runner-up finish from last year while Loren Klein walks away as a champion, winning his fourth career bracelet. Klein has been decorated every year since 2016, extending his streak to four consecutive years today.
No-Limit 2-7 Draw
Ryan Hughes sat on the button and he raised to 55,000. Loren Klein called. Klein drew two and Hughes only drew one.
Klein led out after the draw when he bet 210,000 and that was too much for Hughes.
Klein won the two hands after that as well and Hughes is getting shorter and shorter.
Loren Klein got the better of the Big O round and he's kept adding chips to his stack after the game changed to no-limit hold'em.
Klein raised to 50,000 on his button, Hughes called and they went to flop where Hughes check-called 75,000.
The appeared on the turn and Hughes check-called 165,000.
Hughes checked again on the river and Klein cut out the third barrel, making it 300,000. Hughes let his cards go, allowing Klein to scoop the pot without showing his hole cards.
Pot-Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
Phil Hui lost a big pot against Loren Klein and was left short and he just lost the remaining chips to Ryan Hughes. Hui got his chips in after the first draw.
Hughes stood pat while Hui drew one and they repeated on the third draw. Hughes showed and Hui tabled and he was drawing to a perfect eight.
His last card turned out to be the and Hui was eliminated in third, banking $51,346.
Pot-Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
Phil Hui raised to 60,000 on the button, Loren Klein three-bet to 200,000 out of the small blind and he called off for 691,000 total when Hui moved all in.
Hui started with a pat hand while Klein had a one-card draw. He still needed to change one on the second draw and they both patted the final round.
Hui had a nine-six perfect but his finished second as Klein made . The gigantic pot gravitated to Klein who took over the chip lead from Ryan Hughes.
Loren Klein raised from the button to 50,000 and Ryan Hughes called from the small blind. Big blind Phil Hui got out of the way.
The flop was dealt and both players checked. The turn was the and Hughes check-called a bet of 80,000 from Klein to see the river card complete the board.
They both checked on the river and Hughes took the pot down with .
No-Limit 5-Card Draw
The round of no-limit five-card draw didn't see any significant chip swings. The most significant action came on Ryan Hughes' button as Loren Klein three-bet shoved over his raise. Klein repeated that when the button rotated back to Hughes, but Hughes couldn't peel a calling hand on either of the occasions.