Photo by PokerNews
Caption: Matthew Mendez is the first poker player in history to win a WSOP bracelet while playing in New Jersey.
(CNBNewsnet)(July 3, 2018)--Matthew ‘mendey’ Mendez made history when he became the first player ever to win a WSOP bracelet while playing outside of the state of Nevada. Mendez won the WSOP Event #47. The Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed tournament had a buy-in of $565 and attracted 1,233 entries from 657 players for a total prize pool of $635,960. Mendez walked away with $135,077 after a grueling 15 hours of online play.
First Bracelet Outside of Nevada
The WSOP events are usually held live in Vegas, but this year, four tournaments were held online, each offering a prolific gold bracelet as well as life-changing sums of money to the eventual winner. Mendez earned himself a bracelet, the first in his career, but also the first to ever have been won outside of Nevada.
Online poker players can already play poker in New Jersey using legitimate sites like PokerStars and WSOP. However, this year, poker sites were given permission to merge player pools so that players from Nevada and New Jersey can play together. Meaning, larger tournaments and prize pools and that players like Mendez could take part in the WSOP online events from within New Jersey.
The Final Table
Mendez came to the final table with an average stack, with a couple of shorties also hovering. Ao ‘Maimai1 990’ Chen busted first soon after the final table bubble had burst, taking home a decent $20,000 in the process. After a few blind levels 5-handed, ‘rickrosstheb’ was the next shorty to leave the table after having his KK busted by AQ by big stack Marton ‘GS.GURU’ Czuczor. A few levels later, ‘3shotwonder’ also felt the wrath of the big stack and was eliminated by Czuczor.
Up until this point, Mendez needed only to sit tight, with players dropping left, right and centre to the heated run of Czuczor, and this was how the story continued. Czuczor took out Anthony ‘heheh’ Zinno next, hitting his draw to crack Zinno’s set of 10s. It was all down to heads-up.
By this point, Mendez had been up all night. His partner was getting up to go to work in the morning at around 9:15 a.m. and Mendez was lagging Czuczor’s big chip lead. A couple of huge double-ups later, as can often be the case in Omaha tournaments, and Mendez had reversed the situation — taking a 3:1 chip lead back in a matter of moments.
Mendez finished the job by laying the trap for Czuczor — he checked and let the already vulnerable Czuczor shove all-in before quickly calling with his straight. The hand held, and Mendez walked away with $135,077 and a WSOP bracelet! In the process, he became the first to do so while playing from New Jersey. This is positive news for poker in NJ following recent events.
Matthew ‘mendey’ Mendez
It may have been Mendez’s first WSOP bracelet, but he is already an accomplished professional poker player who plays four or five nights a week as well as studying the game extensively outside of that.
The WSOP Event #47 win is one of the most significant moments in his career so far but is not his most cash. Mendez earned $213,192 for coming first in the $560 NLHE event at the Borgata Spring Poker Open in Atlantic City back in 2016. Other major cash wins include the WPTDeepstacks $2,500 buy-in event, which Mendez won for over $100,000.