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Trayner wins WSOP $1,000 Mystery Millions

6 Jun 2024

Malcolm Trayner

Malcolm Trayner (photo by WSOP)

Malcolm Trayner has captured his first WSOP bracelet after taking down Event #5: $1,000 Mystery Millions for a staggering first prize of $1,000,000 as the Australian player was the last man standing from a monstrous field of 18,409. Trayner got the better of Carson Richards in an entertaining heads-up duel that saw the American player pick up $536,080 for his runner-up finish.

A huge prize pool of $16,199,920 was generated with this Mystery Millions Event being the biggest-yet with its field size.

"A bit of mix, everything. Lots of excitement. Overwhelmed. I just I can't believe what's happened. A lot of happiness as well," remarked a jubilant Trayner after his momentous win.

Trayner was asked how he managed to keep his cool at such a young age of 24 and remain focused on the game.

"I mean, not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous going in, like, I made a few mistakes earlier on with falling out of turn and things like that," replied Trayner.

"But once I got used to it and settled, then it was just a matter of doing what I've done a few times or many times before, online and live as well. Just playing final table and just try to disassociate from the money and just think about the chips you have in front of you and just trying to win everyone else's chips. That was my goal,"

Finally, Trayner was asked what the first thing he would do with the money.

"Have a nice dinner. Get out all the boys. A really nice treat and I have no idea what to do next. Apart from a nice dinner and maybe fly my girlfriend to business class or something."

With this victory, Trayner climbs from 170th up to 35th on Australia's All-Time Money List and more than doubles his lifetime tournament cashes. Unbelievably, this is Trayner's first-ever WSOP tournament that he played and he managed to overcome the field and take it down — not many people can say they have a bracelet after just playing just one WSOP event.

The Mystery Millions event at the WSOP is always a spectacle and this year was no exception as two mega $1,000,000 bounties were up for grabs. Ukraine's Valentyn Shabelnyk bagged the first of the top prizes during Day 2 and was surprisingly unphased after landing the seven-figure payout as he seemed more concerned about missing a hand. The second of the jackpot bounties was also pulled on Day 2 and went the way of DJ Buckley who had an ecstatic reaction that was clearly visible by the gigantic smile on his face.

Day 3 of the tournament started with 18 hopefuls who were all looking to ladder up the payouts and find their way to the final table. Former bracelet winners Alex Ziskin and China's Pei Li were still in contention at the start of the final day but were stopped in their tracks and ultimately finished 18th & 15th, respectively.

The unofficial final table of ten saw the remaining players condense onto one table during Level 42 as Paul W Lee was eliminated in eleventh at the hands of Christopher Castellan. Not long after, Jefferson James made his way to the exit in tenth which prompted the remaining nine players to move to the feature table where the action would be streamed live on PokerGO.

When the final table got underway, it was Trayner who held the chip lead, but Richards made early progress after getting off to a flying start when he flopped top pair holding king-queen and got all the chips into the middle against Jake Brown, who held king-four. Brown never managed to recover after that hand and was soon eliminated in ninth when his ten-nine couldn't catch up to the king-ten of Junho Song. Brown picked up $89,411 for ninth but also managed to bag one of the top bounties of $250,000 on Day 2 which softened the blow of being the first player eliminated from the final table.

Moments later, Castellan would join Brown on the rail after he lost a crucial flip to Richards despite being a big favorite after the flop. Castellan had pocket eights and flopped a flush draw to leave the ace-king of Richards drawing to just four outs on the river, but a devastating offsuit ace meant Castellan had to make the walk to the payout desk to collect his $113,490 for eighth place.

Level 44 was certainly the level of knockouts as Michael Miller became the third player to be eliminated in a short space of time. Miller shoved from under the gun with just five big blinds holding eight-five but ran head-first into the pocket kings of Song. No help from the board meant Miller was out in seventh and he collected $144,900 for his efforts.

Amir Mirrasouli had been quietly going about his business on the final table but lost a vital flip with ace-ten against the pocket sixes of Trayner. A fantastic effort from Mirrasouli who picked up $186,080 for sixth.

Trayner picked up another bounty just a few hands later after he eliminated Oshri Azran, but had to come from behind in order to do so. Australia's Trayner started to apply maximum pressure to the shorter stacks around him and shoved with jack-eight but Azran took a stand with ace-queen. An eight on the turn gave Trayner the pot which meant Azran had to settle for fifth and the $240,350 payday that came with it.

The three shorter stacks at the table were blinding away as Trayner continued to add chips to his stack and it was Song who eventually succumbed to the pressure after he was priced into a pot with jack-eight but couldn't improve against the ace-king of Richards. Song bagged $312,250 for his run.

Richards then got a full double-up with pocket aces at the expense of Eugene Tito who held ace-six. Tito was left severely short-stacked and despite winning a pot to claw back some chips, he couldn't gain any momentum and was eliminated in third place by Trayner for a career-best score of $407,970.

Trayner started heads-up play with an almost four-to-one chip advantage and was on the brink of bagging his first bracelet in the first hand of heads-up play after he called the three-bet shove of Richards holding ace-king. Richards held seven-six suited and managed to find a double-up when he completed his flush on the river, which evened out the stacks and put Trayner's celebrations on hold.

The two battled during the two-level-long heads-up match and Richards did take the chip lead after four-bet shoving with jack-seven.

As the match played out, the edge seemed to be in Trayner's favor as he continually chipped away at his opponent's stack and once again found himself with a four-to-one chip lead.

In the last hand of the tournament, Trayner limped in with king-jack and called the sixteen-big-blind shove of Richards who held queen-ten. It was all over by the turn as a king gave Trayner an unbeatable top pair which clinched his first bracelet. A brilliant effort from both players but it was Richards that had to settle for second and the hefty $536,080 payout that was attached to it.

Final Table Results
1 Malcolm Trayner Australia $1,000,000
2 Carson Richards United States $536,080
3 Eugene Tito United States $407,970
4 Junho Song United States $312,250
5 Oshri Azran United States $240,350
6 Amir Mirrasouli United States $186,080
7 Michael Miller United States $144,900
8 Christopher Castellan United States $113,490
9 Jake Brown United States $89,411

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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