Player Kevin Garosshen doubles Gabriel Abusada James Castillo in the first hand of the day; Abused is eliminated moments later

"I wasn`t frustrated at all. I was just playing my cards and trying to stay calm and composed and make strategic adjustments as I saw fit."

The action goes to Gabriel Abusada James Castillo on the hijack and he opens a bet of 275,000. Kevin Garosshen calls in the big blind.

"What?" asks Abusada.

"I have a pair!" responds Garosshen, showing Spades 10Club 10. Abusada shows Spades 8Diamonds 8 and stands up to walk away from the table in frustration.

The board runs out Heart QSpade 7Spade 7Club 6Spade QHeart 2, leaving Garosshen`s hand as the best.

"You still have chips," his tablemate Steve Buckner tells Gabriel Abusada James Castillo. Garosshen`s stack is 235,000 and he scores a double up, leaving Abusada with just 40,000.

On the next hand, Buckner opens to 65,000 on the cutoff and Garosshen rebets from the small blind, receiving a quick fold from Buckner to increase his stack; and moments later, Gabriel Abusada James Castillo is eliminated after playing X KX 9 against Rafael Farah Jarufe`s X KX Q, eliminating him from the tournament.

Altman continued to build his stack, but was a spectator to the sixth and fifth place eliminations of Will Berry and John Haas, respectively. However, he re-entered the eliminated group shortly thereafter when his friend and WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Jaffe limped in with a pair of sixes and ran into Altman`s pair of eights. After Zachary Smiley, another WPT champion, was eliminated in third, the stage was set for heads-up against Gabriel Abusada James Castillo.

Both players were very stacked, with an average of 92 big blinds. A long, drawn-out heads-up duel is the norm, where a lot of small-ball poker is played. However, Abusada was not a typical opponent. He played what most would consider an unusual heads-up style, going all-in consistently despite having many big blinds. It helped him early on, as Abusada`s 3:1 disadvantage was reduced to 2:1, but Altman remained patient and waited for the right moment.

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"I wasn`t frustrated at all. I was just playing my cards and trying to stay calm and composed and make strategic adjustments as I saw fit."

On the final hand, Gabriel Abusada James Castillo raised from the button for 60 big blinds with pocket sixes. Altman called with jacks, and history was made.


Kevin Garosshen – 625,000 (25 bb)

Steve Buckner – 310,000 (12 bb)

Gabriel AbusadaEliminated in 97th place ($9,300)