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Gregg wins WSOP One Drop High Roller title, $4.8 million

29 June 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Tony Gregg, a poker pro from Columbia, Md., beat Philadelphia pro Chris Klodnicki to claim $4.8 million and the $111,111 One Drop High Roller title at the World Series of Poker on Saturday afternoon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Four players started the day's action, and Gregg won in less than an hour of play, more than doubling his lifetime tournament earnings to $8.6 million. Klodnicki took home more than $2.9 million as a consolation prize.

After a Day 3 that made the event feel like a repeat of last year's $1 million Big One for One Drop, Saturday's Day 4 action at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino felt nothing like last year's event.

Most notably, Antonio Esfandiari's One Drop run-good ran out, as last year's champion was eliminated on the fifth hand of the day when his pocket eights fell to Chris Klodnicki's ace-nine when an ace fell on the river.

The moment of victory was also almost a complete opposite of last year's event, which featured Esfandiari leaping into his group of supporters and standing barefoot on the final table holding stacks of cash.

Tony Gregg was a short stack for most of Day 2, but came back to win the $111,111 One Drop High Roller.

Tony Gregg was a short stack for most of Day 2, but came back to win the $111,111 One Drop High Roller. (photo by Aaron Todd)

Gregg showed much less emotion. He simply stood up, pulled the hood from his sweatshirt off his head, and shook Klodnicki's hand. Then, when offered the opportunity to speak to the hundreds assembled in the Amazon Room to watch the action, Gregg said, "No thanks" and refused the microphone.

The crowd reaction was also much more demure. There was applause to be sure, but nothing compared to the wild reaction and champagne toasts that marked Esfandiari's win.

"We have the same exact group of friends," Gregg said of Klodnicki. "He and I lived in the same house last year when we were in Vegas. That's why no one was really cheering for either of us because it's like, 'Whatever.'"

Gregg said he likes the tournament dynamic, where top pros face businessmen with deep pockets who want to take their shot against the best.

"There are going to be businessmen who are going to be making mistakes, so you want to leave yourself in the tournament as long as possible to be able to take advantage of those mistakes," Gregg said.

And that's exactly what he did. Once the tournament was three-handed, he started limping his button, which he had when Bill Perkins was in the big blind. Perkins, who runs a private equity and venture capital company in Houston, had adopted a shove or fold strategy, and he walked right into Gregg's trap when he shoved with ace-five offsuit only to be snap called by Gregg, who held ace-queen suited.

It looked like Perkins would survive and double up when a five hit the flop, but a queen on the river sent him packing and gave Gregg 31.2 million chips to Klodnicki's 18.6 million.

Does this guy look like he just won $4.8 million? Thirty minutes after winning, Gregg sat down in the $25,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event.

Does this guy look like he just won $4.8 million? Thirty minutes after winning, Gregg sat down in the $25,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event. (photo by Aaron Todd)

Try as he might, Klodnicki was never able to get momentum in the heads up match, which lasted just 20 hands. Gregg seized the title holding nine-deuce against Klodnicki's seven-five, which he bet all in on the flop with a gutshot draw, while Gregg had paired his nine. Klodnicki hit a five on the turn but failed to improve on the river.

The title gives Gregg his first WSOP bracelet, while Klodnicki is still searching for his first WSOP bracelet after his fourth career runner-up finish.

Oh, and as for how Gregg plans to celebrate? He jumped right back into the action, playing Day 2 of the $25,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event, which he registered for last night and was playing during breaks in action in the One Drop High Roller.

"(I) could (have been) out in a matter of minutes," said Gregg. "I just figured if I end up staying in (the One Drop High Roller), the more I end up getting blinded off (in the six-max event), the better. And if I bust this then I want to have a Plan B, you know? I just like playing no-limit."
Gregg wins WSOP One Drop High Roller title, $4.8 million is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Aaron Todd
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.