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Bradley Gafford makes big comeback to lock up WSOP victory

4 Jul 2023

Bradley Gafford wins at WSOP

Bradley Gafford wins at WSOP (photo by WSOP)

Start of the day low-stack Bradley Gafford has won Event #74 $1,000 Mini Main Event No Limit Hold'em for $549,555. Gafford from San Diego, California came into the day with only six big blinds and made the biggest comeback since Lazarus to take the top prize and the coveted World Series of Poker Gold Bracelet.

Gafford, who outlasted 5,257 players over three days of play, secured their biggest recorded cash despite coming into Day 3 with only six big blinds. In the first significant hand of the day, Gafford doubled up against Jennifer Abad when his pocket threes bested Abad's ace-king.

The power shift came when Gafford doubled through Josh Reichard twice in the space of three hands. Firstly, Gafford flopped quad threes, then shortly after his pair of aces beat Reichard's kings which spearheaded a chain of momentum that Gafford did not surrender.

The winning moment was when Gafford in the small blind forced Reichard all in with only three big blinds. Gafford hit a three on the turn to make two pair to knockout Reichard to win their first-ever bracelet.

PokerNews asked Gafford if he believed he could win the bracelet despite being short-stacked coming into the final day.

"I knew that there would be a possibility if I could win the first flip of the day,” said Gafford. “I just thought everything would go my way today and it did!"

Gafford was asked how it felt to win his first bracelet.
"It has come way earlier than I thought, and I haven't really processed it yet and I am sure there will be a lot of deeper thinking over the next couple of days,” said Gafford.

And finally, Gafford was asked if he was planning on jumping into the Main Event.

"Absolutely I was planning on playing tomorrow (Day 1c), but we will see what happens tonight and I might jump in the final flight (Day 1d).

It looked like Reichard would steamroll his opponents throughout the two hours of play. Starting the day fourth in chips Reichard soon amassed a huge chip lead thanks to an aggressive style of play. He knocked out Oliver Berens after flopping a set of tens against their ace-queen.

Jennifer Abad had the most eccentric rail at the final table, one member of her squad was giving out t-shirts with 'Jenny for the Mini' printed on them and tried to coax members of her rivals' rails to join them. Unfortunately, this exuberance didn't help Abad out who finished fourth after getting it in with king-jack and running into Reichard's ace-high which held.

The overnight chip leader Jeremy Oleon could not get going on the final day. The Frenchman struggled to make any hands and was knocked out in third place after Reichard made a flush against their pair of kings.

Despite knocking out Berens, Abad, and Oleon, Reichard could not find the knockout moment on Gafford, and the start-of-day short-stack was not going to be denied their first WSOP Gold Bracelet.

Final table results:
Place Winner Country Prize
1 Bradley Gafford United States $549,555
2 Josh Reichard United States $339,646
3 Jeremy Oleon France $255,215
4 Jennifer Abad United States $193,103
5 Oliver Berens United States $147,129

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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