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sabato 17 giugno 2023

Jans Arends defeats PokerGO president for WSOP title

credits: WSOP

A businessman and a Dutch poker professional went heads up for the title, and it was the pro who emerged victorious. Jans Arends defeated Cary Katz on Day 3 to take down the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #29: $100,000 High Roller. Arends secured a $2,576,729 top prize and his second career gold bracelet. Katz, the President of PokerGO affectionately known as "El Jefe," collected $1,592,000 as the runner-up. Arends' win is accentuated by the competition he faced among the final six players at the featured table, which began with four WSOP bracelet winners. 

Not only did he have to go through Katz, he overcame a star-studded cast with Adrian Mateos, Jeremy Ausmus, Chance Kornuth and Biao Ding. And then there was the field, which boasted a pair of Poker Hall of Famers in Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu. Other notable participants included Justin Bonomo, Koray Aldemir, Espen Jorstad, Brian Rast and Seth Davies, among others. Arends; however, got hot when it mattered down the stretch. A good starting hand matters in poker, of course, but Arends knew when to take down pots with aggression, showing a willingness to check-raise in spots. The style helped him build momentum. 

"First of all, I enjoy the game a lot, especially when I'm running hot and this year has been absolutely crazy," Arends told PokerNews after winning the tournament. "I've never run this hot in my life." He went on to ride a hot streak to his second career WSOP bracelet. Event #29 saw 93 total entrants, which surpassed last year's entry pool of 62 participants, to generate a prize pool worth $8,997,750. Arends, who hails from the Netherlands, isn't new to winning a WSOP bracelet. He secured his first bracelet during an online event in 2022. The second time around securing gold, though, provided a much different feeling. 

"It's completely different live," Arends said. "Live is more pressure, there's people around, there's cameras, live-streamed final table. There's added pressure. The first one was just an online tourney and basically, all that people saw in the end was who won. So, this is very different. Way more special, I would say." Wednesday's win also represented Arends' biggest cash, and he almost doubled his $2,900,000 career earnings before taking down this tournament. But the financial gain isn't the sole reason why Arends chooses to compete with world-class poker players. "I always enjoy the game," he said. 

"I love the challenge, I love to compete, I love to try to improve, so that's the first reason. Then, obviously, the money side of it is nice as well. I think if there was no money to be won, I probably wouldn't be playing as much, but those two things. I don't really care about this legacy stuff or a number of bracelets or total cashes or something like that. That's not what I'm doing it for." Arends entered Day 3 as the chip leader, but then saw Mateos, who was to his immediate left, emerge to seize the chip lead with close to 28,000,000. Mateos gained momentum when he doubled up through Ausmus early on Day 3, much to Arends' dismay. "I play against him a lot online and he's an absolute sicko," said Arends of Mateos with a chuckle. 

"When he doubled up, I was crying inside because I'm not going to lie – I was rooting for Jeremy Ausmus there. First of all, he was one seat over. Having Adrian to your direct left with a bunch of chips is just not a very fun thing." The situation changed when Arends and Mateos got involved in a massive 19,025,000 pot minutes before the first break, and Arends' flopped full house beat Mateos' straight. It was at that moment Arends, who once again assumed the chip lead, knew winning the tournament became a real possibility. "After the hand against Adrian, I was like, 'OK, Adrian is short, Cary Katz has like 25, 30 bigs (blinds) and he's not going to want to play any hands,' this is a dream spot to finish it off," said Arends. 

"At that point, I really started to believe it." The faith paid off in a handsome way for Arends, who plans to spend the rest of the summer in Las Vegas. He's eying more bracelet-qualifying tournaments, including Event #35: $10,000 Secret Bounty and the Main Event. But first, he wants to quickly celebrate Wednesday's win. "I could also use some rest, but I think what's next is I'll drink one or two beers," said Arends with a smile. "And then I'll go play the 10K."


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