Austria's Stefan Lehner defeated a field of 1,240 players to win his first bracelet in Event #16: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em at the 2022 World Series of Poker at Bally's and Paris Las Vegas.
He triumphed at a final table featuring former bracelet winners David Miscikowski, Joey Weissman and Davide Suriano, before defeating Toby Boas heads-up to take home $558,616.
Meanwhile, Boas would have to settle for second place for $345,244, but can take solace in the fact he ladered from start-of-day short stack to record a new career-best cash.
Event #16: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|2||Toby Boas||United States||$345,244|
|3||Nathan Russler||United States||$248,298|
|4||David Miscikowski||United States||$180,795|
|5||Alex Foxen||United States||$133,300|
|6||Kevin Stevens||United States||$99,535|
|7||Joey Weissman||United States||$75,282|
|8||Nicholas Dolen||United States||$57,683|
"I don't have the words for it I think," he told PokerNews. "At the beginning I was second in chips but then I was short stacked all the time. SO I played very well and I'm very happy that I have this [bracelet] now."
Just three days after landing in Las Vegas for the 2022 WSOP, Lehner's victory came in his first tournament of the summer but said he felt no pressure playing for the bracelet.
"When you know that almost every time you need to do in this spot, then it's not so tough to play. I do a lot of theory, so it's just about staying calm."
The Austrian's previous best WSOP result was a fourth-place finish during the 2021 WSOP Online Fifty Stack for $105,507, but says that this was a completely different environment.
"It's totally different. Playing against real people is great, playing against people from different nations. You get to have reads on the players - and that's real poker."
Final Table Recap
David Miscikowski started the final table as chip leader, and he wasted no time extending it after making flush over flush against Lehner in a hand that knocked the Austrian down the chip counts having himself started second in chips.
Miscikowski then sent Davide Suriano to the rail in ninth before Nicholas Dolen was felted in eighth by Alex Foxen. Foxen now occupied second rung in the ladder, behind Miscikowski, and eventually moved ahead while former bracelet winner Joey Weissman was eliminated.
As the blinds continued to increase, so did the size of the pots. Kevin Stevens' elimination alone was enough for Nathan Russler to move into the chip lead with close to half the chips in play.
Foxen's time in the chip lead was short-lived as he was eliminated in fifth, before a third double of the final table saw Toby Boas took over as chip leader. This was Boas' third double of the final table, having started the day as the short stack, and increased his lead with the elimination of Miscikowski in fourth.
At this point, it looked like a race to the bottom for Boas' opponents Lehner and Russler as they looked to avoid finishing third against the overwhelming chip leader. Lehner had been nursing his short stack for some time now, and would double twice to stay afloat. He was then fortunate not to bust after the river saw him chop against Russler to stay alive.
Another double for Lehner saw Russler pushed to the brink, and he exited in third place. The early stages of heads-up were a back and forth affair, with Boas opening a 2:1 chip lead.
The turning point heads-up came where Boas had bet 4,500,000 on a board of and Lehner called. With around 16 million chips in the middle, Boas shoved the river and Lehner called for his last 11,450,000.
Boas showed for five-high while Lehner showed for two pair and moved into the lead
Following this, Lehner would push ahead in pursuit of victory, and despite a double from Boas, it wasn't enough to prevent Lehner from taking down the tournament, the bracelet and over half a million dollars in prize money.