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California local dominates WSOP $10K NL 2-7 Lowball Final

14 Jun 2017

John Monnette

John Monnette (photo by WSOP)

Name: John Monnette
Nationality: American
Birthplace: San Diego, California
Current Residence: Palmdale, California
Age: 44
Profession: Self-employed
Number of WSOP Cashes: 54
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 15
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 3
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st – 2011 WSOP Event #23: $2,500 8-Game Mix ($278,144); 1st – 2012 WSOP Event #10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud ($190,286)
Largest Prior WSOP Cash: $279,206 – 2012 WSOP Event #32: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
Personal Facts: Goes by @angryjmonnett on Twitter. Specializes in non-hold'em games.

Eight players returned to finish out play in Event #22: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, and leading them at the start of the day was John Monnette. Monnette carried that lead for most of the day and applied relentless pressure, made the right decisions, and ran good as well, all culminating in the capturing of his third World Series of Poker bracelet.

It looked like Mike Leah would be able to challenge Monnette. Leah quickly dispatched of Paul Volpe. Both players had draws to a seventy-six low, but Leah made a better ninety-six. and Volpe hit the rail. Unfortunately, immediately after that, Leah doubled up Xavier Kyablue when Kyablue hit his draw against Leah's pat jack-low. Kyablue finished him off just a few hands later and moved into the chip lead for a short time.

Mike Gorodinsky fell next. He seemed to always be on the wrong end of a cooler. It was Monnette who finished him off. Both players stood pat with a ninety-six low, but Monnette had him just pipped and Gorodinsky hit the rail. It was then that Kyablue quickly lost the chip lead. He tried to run a bluff against Monnette, but Monnette called him down with a ninety-seven low and was good.

James Chen fell next to the eventual runner-up, Per Hildebrand. Chen got it in drawing dead against Hildebrand's pat ninety-six. Hildebrand played tight most of the day, avoiding big spots and hardly getting it in without the best of it. "I don't bluff," Hildebrand said at one point. "I tried that yesterday."

Kyablue was the next to go in fourth. He was eliminated by Darren Elias when Elias stood pat with a ninety-eight and Kyablue's draw bricked out.

The final three players then hit a stalemate. Chips were traded back and forth between the players, but it was Elias who fell short first. He lost a couple pots to Monnette and eventually got it all in against Monnette for the rest of it. He couldn't catch up and hit the rail in third. This was a relief to Monnette, who considered Elias to be one of his toughest opponents.

"There were some really tough players," Monnette said about the field. "Paul, who won this tournament before, busted right away, so that was nice. Then I played with Darren on my left, who is awesome at this game. When I finally busted him, it was a big relief, because he's tough, and having someone like that to your left can put you in a lot of weird spots."

Monnette held a monster chip lead coming into heads-up play, and it didn't take too long to finish off Hildebrand. Hildebrand was able to double up once, but eventually, he ran out of chips when Monnette was dealt a pat eighty-six and Hildebrand was only drawing to an eighty-seven.

Monnette took home $256,610 for his victory and locked up his third bracelet, with his first coming in 2011 in the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix, and his second coming in 2012 in the $5,000 Seven-Card Stud. But, for Monnette, this bracelet was different for him.

"I just want to say, this has been my first bracelet with my wife," Monnette said. "She's been awesome for me. All of them are special, but it was super cool with her being here. She's always been supportive of me in everything I do. She's always rooted for me, and there's been some disappointment. She deals with me being gone thirteen hours a day, and coming home angry, but luckily, I'm not so angry anymore."

1. John Monnette, U.S. - $256,610
2. Per Hildebrand, Sweden - $158,596
3. Darren Elias, U.S. - $110,944
4. Xavier Kyablue, U.S. - $79,016
5. James Chen, Taiwan - $57,316
6. Mike Gorodinsky, U.S. - $42,357
7. Mike Leah, Canada - $31,903
8. Paul Volpe, U.S. - $24,498

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)
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