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Schutten wins WSOP $25,000 High Roller event

10 Jun 2024

Brek Schutten

Brek Schutten (photo by WSOP)

Call an ambulance. But not for Brek Schutten, because the ICU nurse and accomplished poker player won his first World Series of Poker bracelet by taking down Event #21: $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em (6-Handed) for $1,405,641.

The second-ever $25,000 six-handed event drew 272 runners, a nearly 30% increase from the 207 players who played last year's inaugural event, for a prize pool of $6,392,000. The field included many of poker's biggest names like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel.

But the last player standing inside Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas was Schutten, who has plenty of experience battling with poker's most accomplished in between hospital shifts. Schutten won a World Poker Tour (WPT) title in 2021 and finished runner-up in the WSOP $50,000 High Roller a year later.

This time around, Schutten defeated heads-up opponent Tyler Stafman, who had just $203,810 in live earnings before picking up the career-best score of $938,775.

The victory was redemption for Schutten, who told PokerNews he was "feeling vindicated."

"I got second to Jake Schindler and just had those regrets ever since," he said in a winner's interview. "Certain hands go through your mind all the time and you never know if you're going to get back to a high roller final table, let alone heads-up, let alone win the thing."

The final table also included Michael Rocco (3rd - $639,620), Taylor von Kriegenbergh (4th - $444,766), Brandon Wilson (5th - $315,771) and Masashi Oya (6th - $229,002), all of whom were looking for their maiden bracelet.

After spending most of Day 2 as one of the chip leaders but entering the final table on Day 3 as a short stack, Schutten's focus was solely on winning the tournament.

"I was more concerned about winning the bracelet than the ICM for pay jumps and stuff, so I think that helped to be able to put my chips in when I felt like I had the best hand and hope for the best."

Schutten said he's "focusing more on poker than nursing right now but still working a few shifts here and there."

"I love these fields. I love playing against the best in the world. It's just a great experience and it's good to know that I can win a tournament with this field."

Now that he has a bracelet and WSOP title, is Schutten thinking about going for the Triple Crown?

"I have not played an EPT before, I've actually never been to Europe. But maybe. Haven't thought about it yet, but it might be possible."

Much of the action took place yesterday on Day 2, including Dylan Destefano bubbling in painful fashion, Alex Foxen six-bet jamming with a non-premium holding and Paul Jager being three-outed by the same card in nearly back-to-back hands.

There were 12 players who advanced to Day 3 and Justin Saliba was quickly out the door as his king-queen couldn't hit against the pocket fives of Kevin Rabichow. It took several hours, but Rabichow was next out after running ace-jack into the pocket queens of Stafman.

The eighth-place elimination of Chongxian Yang, whose pocket tens were pipped by the fishhooks of von Kriegenbergh, set up an unofficial final table of seven inside the Horseshoe Event Center.

After a break to set up the stream, the seven players returned and battled for several hours before losing Ognyan Dimov as his king-nine couldn't hold up against the queen-jack of Schutten.

Next out was Oya, whose king-jack never pulled ahead of von Kriegenbergh's pocket nines as he fell in sixth place for $229,002.

Wilson, who maintained a chip lead throughout both Day 1 and Day 2, couldn't continue his domination and went out in fifth before the fourth-place elimination of von Kriegenbergh as he ran queen-ten into the ace-queen of Rocco.

Rocco was next to go as he jammed seven-three into the ace-seven of Stafman. The high-stakes pro was clearly disappointed after his close call of winning a bracelet and gave some emotional words to PokerGO's Jeff Platt after his elimination.

Schutten had the heads-up chip lead but Stafman managed to double multiple times to stay in contention. In the final blow, Stafman's ace-nine was dominated by Schutten's ace-queen and couldn't improve.

Schutten's wife supported him on the rail and posed for a winner's photo with the newly minted bracelet winner.

Final Table Results
1 Brek Schutten United States $1,405,641
2 Tyler Stafman United States $938,775
3 Michael Rocco United States $639,620
4 Taylor von Kriegenbergh United States $444,766
5 Brandon Wilson United States $315,771
6 Masashi Oya Japan $229,002

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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