This week a very busy one for Neil Willerson as he not only won his first ever World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,500 No-limit Hold’em, but immediately registered for another $10,000 No-limit Hold’em Six-Max event that was due to start. In the $1,500 event that Willerson played in, he won a whopping $737,248 in prize money. Willerson certainly got some press attention; since he decided to sprint off soon after he won, to late register for the $10,000 event. The man barely gave his mind the chance the grasp the fact that he won.
On Monday night, Willerson was heads-up in the final table, which rolled on into the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Unable to go any further, due to the hard-stop rule enforced by the Tournament committee, Willerson had to return again to finish off the match in afternoon. On the break he was forced to take, Willerson said,
I definitely didn’t want to take it. But it was more because I just wanted to try to finish it last night. It wasn’t because there was some advantage one way or the other.
Willerson had two goals as far as his poker career was concerned. His first goal was to win a WSOP bracelet and his second was to make a deep run in the main event. With his first WSOP win he certainly was able to strike out his first goal from his wish list.
Willerson went head on into a match with a 3,000-player field. The first player to leave the tournament at the final table was Ryan Hughes. Hughes lost almost half his stack to Hugh Henderson. Henderson found himself facing Vladimir Mefodichev next. Henderson got the best hand here, but was quick to have his fortune turned around when Mefodichev knocked him off with his queen.
After Hughes’ elimination, Willerson scored his big double against Hai Chu. On a flop, Chu called a bet from Willerson and raised all his chips. Willerson with his best hand doubled up 4.5 million in chips and raced ahead with a chip-lead. Few hours later, everyone except Willerson and Mefodichev were eliminated. Willerson went heads-up with Mefodichev, who at this point owned more than 9 million in chips. After several hands, they were asked to stop and resume the following day due to the hard-stop rule. On Tuesday, Willerson resumed the game with just fewer than 9 million chips, while Mefodichev came in with 5.3 million. After many bets and raises, Willerson found his way to the top and took home his first bracelet.