The 2021 World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em ‘Double Stack’ event attracted a massive field of 3,991 total entries, building a prize pool of $3,551,990 that was paid out among the top 599 finishers. The tournament kicked off with the first of two starting flights on Friday, Oct. 22. Five days later the sea of entrants was finally narrowed down to a single player: California’s Anthony Denove. The Toluca Lake resident earned $449,983 and his first WSOP gold bracelet for the win.
This was by far the largest live tournament score of Denove’s career, blowing away the $6,330 he earned for a 137th-place finish in the WSOP ‘Millionaire Maker’ event just a few weeks earlier. He now has more than $520,000 in total tournament earnings to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Denove also locked up 1,320 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to move him into a three-way tie for 121st place in the overall standings.
The final day of this event began with 17 players remaining and bracelet winner Michael Wang in the lead. Wang was ultimately knocked out in ninth place, losing a three-way all-in with his pocket nines running into the pocket kings of Denove and the A10 of Matthew Raffoul. Denove flopped top set and held from there to eliminate Raffoul (10th – $36,949) and Wang (9th – $46,430).
Denove entered the final table as the chip leader, with nearly ten times as many chips as the shortest stack at the table. Joshua Harrison was the first to fall, with his A-8 failing to beat out the K-Q of Frank Lagodich. Harrison earned $58,735 as the eighth-place finisher while Lagodich climbed closer to the top few spots on the leaderboard.
Kenneth Inouye’s run in this event came to an end when he open-shoved from middle position with Q10 for just shy of 7 big blinds. David Guay called with A8 and made aces full of eights by the turn to leave Inouye (7th – $74,769) drawing dead.
The next bustout came when Steven Stolzenfeld’s pocket eights lost facing the A5 of Timothy Little. The flop gave Little a pair of aces. He added a flush draw on the turn to leave Stolzenfeld with just one out. The 8 on the river gave Stolzenfeld a set, but it also filled Little’s flush. Stolzenfeld was eliminated in sixth place, earning $95,878 for his strong showing in this event.
Two very strong holdings clashed to result in the elimination of Ladogich. With a board of Q75105, Ladogich moved all-in holding AQ. His queens and fives with an ace kicker was bested by the 1010 of David Guay, who called with his full house to take down the massive pot to move into the chip lead. Ladogich was awarded $123,710 as the fifth-place finisher.
PokerGO commentator Jeff Platt was left as the short stack when four-handed play began. Platt had already guaranteed himself the largest score of his career, topping the $113,764 he had earned for a 60th-place finish in the 2015 WSOP main event. Platt’s final hand in this event began with him shoving for 8,400,000 (just shy of 8.5 big blinds) with A9 as the first to act preflop. Guay called with KJ and the board ran out J74109. Guay flopped top pair and held from there to knock Platt out in fourth place ($160,662).
Guay remained atop the chip counts to start three-handed play. He added to that advantage when he called the shove of just shy of ten big blinds made by Timothy Little. Guay called with A8, which was ahead of Little’s A3. Guay made kings and eights with an ace kicker by the river to take down the pot. Little was sent home in third place with $210,004.
Heads-up play began with Guay holding 83,200,000 to Denove’s 76,570,000. Denove was able to quickly take over the lead, though, and built a 2:1 chip advantage of his own within 45 minutes of the final showdown getting underway. The final hand of the event was a preflop cooler, with Guay running pocket nines into the pocket tens of Denove. Guay three-bet the button open of Denove and called his four-bet shove. Neither player improved on a J55K8 runout and the pot and the title were shipped to Denove. Guay earned $276,269 as the runner-up.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti.