Winning the World Series of Poker National Championship is a huge accomplishment for any American player, but the stakes were increased this year. Jonathan Hilton was not only a proud victor in a prestigious WSOP event but also a golden bracelet winner, the first to be awarded outside Las Vegas. He bought in for the main event hosted by a casino in New Orleans and competed for the first prize worth $365,000. He made it to the final table and then bested a field of eight players including Brock Parker, Max Steinberg, Jeremy Ausmus, Robert “Uncle Krunk” Panitch and Nicolas Vaca-Rondon.
He didn’t have the largest stack but he made the most of his chips, staying off the radar in the first few hours of play. Jeremy Ausmus was the first to be eliminated despite having the second largest amount of chips at the beginning of the final table. Max Steinberg was very active in the first hours of play, going all in against Panitch and Joe Tehan and saw his pocket tens improved to a set. He defeated Tehan’s pocket Kings while stripping Panitch of a sizable amount of his chips, then locked his sights on Parker.
Bauman’s inability of doubling up caused him to succumb to the fast rising blinds and nobody was surprised when he was eliminated in the sixth place. Steinberg then eliminated both Parker and Panitch but by this time their opponents didn’t have a lot of chips in front of them so Max’s own stack was not greatly boosted. Even so he had the upper hand against Jonathan Hilton when heads-up began, which explains why both players were overly cautious in the first minutes.
Hilton patiently waited and eventually Steinberg fell into his trap by going all in with an open ended straight against two pairs. Although the odds were not crushing, neither the turn or the River improved his hand and Max had to settle for the second place. Jonathan received $355,000 for winning the World Series of Poker National Championship and the prestigious WSOP Golden bracelet.