Chad Himmelspach

The 2021 World Series of Poker $1,500 no-limit hold’em freezeout event attracted a total of 1,191 players, with no re-entries available in this throwback one-and-done tournament. After three days of action, only one player remained: Chad Himmelspach. The North Dakota resident earned $270,877 and his first WSOP gold bracelet for the win, defeating Germany’s Stefan Reiser heads-up to secure the title.

This is the largest tournament score on Himmelspach’s poker resume, blowing away the $30,730 he earned as the runner-up finisher in the 2013 Midwest Poker Classic $1,100 buy-in main event.

The final day of this event began with Renmei Liu leading the final eight players, while Himmelspach sat in the middle of the pack. He was able to climb during the early action, while also outlasting Seth Evans (8th – $29,416) and Nicholas Hubers (7th – $38,121). He took down a sizable pot preflop after five betting, and then earned his first knockout of the final day. Tarun Gulati had three-bet shoved all-in with ASpade Suit9Spade Suit in a squeeze spot, and Himmelspach called as the initial raiser with 10Heart Suit10Club Suit. Himmelspach made tens full of sevens by the end to secure the pot, while Gulati earned $50,021 as the sixth-place finisher.

Ori Hasson lost a preflop race against Kaue De Souza to hit the rail in fifth place ($66,447). Despite that win, De Souza soon followed when his A-9 was outrun by the A-2 of Liu. He was awarded $89,344 as the fourth-place finisher.

Liu was the short stack as three-handed play continued. He eventually got all-in preflop with QDiamond SuitJDiamond Suit in a coinflip against the Diamond Suit5Club Suit of Himmelspach. The board brought no help for Liu and he was knocked out in third place ($121,580).

Himmelspach entered heads-up play with the lead, but he and Stefan Reiser had a back-and-forth battle that lasted three hours. Himmelspach was able to overtake the lead for the last time and then extend it in time for the final hand of the event. Reiser was down to less than four big blinds. He moved all-in from the button with 9Diamond Suit3Heart Suit and Himmelspach called with 8Diamond Suit8[[suit:club]. The board ran out 10Heart Suit10Club Suit4Spade Suit10Spade SuitADiamond Suit and Himmelspach locked up the pot and the title. Reiser earned $167,418 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Chad Himmelspach $270,877 960
2 Stefan Reiser $167,418 800
3 Renmei Liu $121,580 640
4 Kaue De Souza $89,344 480
5 Ori Hasson $66,447 400
6 Tarun Gulati $50,021 320
7 Nicholas Hubers $38,121 240
8 Seth Evans $29,416 160
9 Louison Vincent $22,986 80

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Alec Rome.

 

 

 





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