It took an unscheduled extra day of play mostly from an extended heads-up battle against Venkata Tayi, but Vladimir Peck emerged victorious in the $2,500 mixed triple draw lowball event for his first World Series of Poker bracelet.
The Chicago-based software engineer isn’t a professional grinder but has been a serious recreational player for almost two decades. He has a handful of six-figure scores on his resume dating back to 2005 and told WSOP live reporters that he has been on the East Coast for the last 10 years playing mixed games at Borgata and Parx.
Peck defeated a 253-entry field to add another six-figure payday to his list of poker accomplishments. He netted $134,390 for his efforts, while Tayi left with $83,056 for his runner-up finish. Peck also added 612 points in the Card Player Player of the Year race, sponsored by Global Poker.
Though they were the last two players remaining, Peck and Tayi took very different routes to heads-up play. Tayi spent most of the final table at or near the top of the chip counts, while Peck was the short stack battling to stay alive on multiple occasions.
“I know I made a few folds that I would usually never make, but there were these big stacks and suddenly the bets were so big,” Peck told WSOP live reporters about being short on chips for much of the final table. “You pick a hand to get involved in and that’s your tournament right there.”
The final 12 players returned on Sunday, which was scheduled to be the last day of the event, which featured a mix of badugi, A-5 and 2-7 triple draw, and the field was trimmed to the final table after just a few hours of play.
Three-time bracelet winner Brian Yoon was leading the way while Portuguese online sensation Joao Vieira was the short stack. Vieira chipped up through the early stages of the final table, while Yoon slid on the leaderboard as stacks began to even out around the table for the most part.
Hal Rotholz, however, became the short stack after losing a non-showdown pot to Aaron Rogers in Badugi where there was a bet on every street. Rotholz was left with crumbs after calling a bet before the draw and after the first one in a three-way 2-7 triple draw pot against Rogers and Peck.
He was officially eliminated in sixth by Tayi in 2-7 when Tayi made an 8-6-5-3-2 against Rotholz’s 5-4-3-2 draw.
Five-handed play saw Peck battle to stay alive for a couple hours, clinging to just a handful of big bets. He ended up fighting long enough for Yoon to lose a couple pots and end up as the short stack. Yoon was eliminated in fifth by Vieira, who made a 7-6-4-2 badugi against Yoon, who only ended up with a two-card hand.
Once Yoon was gone, Peck showed signs of life. He doubled through Tayi and then notched Rogers with a 10-dugi against a Jack-dugi in a hand of badugi that saw betting on most streets.
Rogers hit the rail in fourth both he and Vieira made a 9-dugi, but Vieira’s 9-3-2-A notched Rogers 9-6-2-A. The elimination once again left Peck as the short stack with about four big bets, while Tayi held about two-thirds of the chips in play.
Over the next two hours, however, chips evened out among the three finalists with Peck eventually jumping Vieira, sitting second in chips behind only Tayi. Peck won a crucial pot against Vieira in A-5 when Peck picked off a river bluff with 7-6-5-3-A against Vieira’s pair of threes. The pot left Vieira with less than two big bets and was eliminated by Tayi after the limits were raised.
Tayi started heads-up play against Peck with slightly less than a 2-to-1 chip lead, but with limits getting bigger and stack sizes getting shallower, the final two levels of play for the night saw chips fly and the lead change several times. At about 3 a.m., the two players agreed to bag up for the night and come back on Monday with chips right about where they were two hours earlier, but with stacks significantly shallower and only about 14 big bets in play between both of them.
On Monday, Tayi won the first significant pot, but from there it was all Peck. After an hour into an unscheduled fourth day of action, Peck’s J-6-5-3-2 bested Tayi’s pair of nines in 2-7 to send the bracelet to Peck.
Final Table Results: