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Michael Prendergast Wins First World Series of Poker Bracelet In $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack

Despite entering the final table as one of the shortest stacks in remaining and staring at a massive chip deficit at the outset of heads-up play, Michael Prendergast staged multiple comebacks to win his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $600 pot-limit Omaha deepstack eight-max event.

The Chicago-based family man defeated Jeffrey Barnes heads-up to best the 1,572-entry field and earn $127,428, the first outright victory of his career and first six-figure score. Although given his responsibilities at home, it’s not hard to understand why these are firsts.

“I don’t play a lot of tournaments,” said Prendergast to WSOP live reporters. “I’ve got a wife and kids.”

The quicker two-day event allowed Prendergast to play the tournament and pick up 540 Card Player Player of the Year points.

Prendergast started the eight-handed final table as the short stack, but tripled up early on when he was all in preflop for his last eight big blinds with 9Heart Suit7Heart Suit6Spade Suit4Club Suit against Joao Simao and https://www.cardplayer.com/poker-players/187522-daniel-wasserberg. Wasserberg bet the 5Heart Suit4Spade Suit2Heart Suit flop and forced Simao to fold.

Wasserberg showed AClub SuitQClub Suit4Diamond Suit2Club Suit and was in the lead with two pair, but the 6Heart Suit came on the turn to give Prendergast a flush. After a brick river, Prendergast tripled up and was right back in the thick of the things.

After securing the triple up, he continued his hot streak by eliminating John Bunch in eighth. Bunch, who made his second final table of the 2021 WSOP, was all in preflop with AClub SuitKHeart SuitJDiamond Suit9Spade Suit, but couldn’t overcome Prendergast’s AHeart SuitQHeart SuitQDiamond Suit10Club Suit.

Shortly after Bunch’s elimination, the blinds went up again, the chip stacks got shallower and eliminations quickly piled up. Eric Polirer busted in seventh after getting all in preflop with QSpade SuitQHeart Suit10Heart Suit5Spade Suit against Donnie Phan’s ASpade SuitAHeart SuitKHeart SuitJClub Suit and couldn’t improve.

Phan followed him to the cashier’s cage in sixth after a big bluff attempt was picked off by Barnes and then ran KSpade SuitQHeart SuitJSpade Suit5Heart Suit into Prendergast’s ASpade SuitAClub SuitQSpade Suit6Heart Suit.

Wasserberg was next to hit the rail as he also ran into pocket aces. He got into a preflop battle on the button against Simao in the big blind. All the chips got in the middle before the flop with Wasserberg’s QSpade SuitQHeart Suit5Club Suit3Diamond Suit all in against Simao’s ADiamond SuitAHeart SuitKHeart Suit6Heart Suit.

The final four players went on a dinner break and then Barnes dispatched of Simao right after play resumed. On a flop of QSpade Suit7Diamond Suit6Spade Suit, Simao was all in with ADiamond SuitJSpade Suit10Heart Suit8Spade Suit against Barnes’ KClub SuitQHeart Suit7Club Suit5Spade Suit. The turn was the 9Spade Suit and the river was the 7Spade Suit. Simao turned a flush, but Barnes filled up on the river to eliminate the Brazilian pro.

There was some slight chip movement three-handed as Prendergast briefly took the chip lead, but it all came back to Barnes, who eventually eliminated Jungwoong Park in third to take a more than 4-to-1 chip lead heads-up against Prendergast.

Once there were two remaining, Prendergast gained a ton of momentum and won every meaningful pot. Just 30 minutes into the match, Prendergast took a small lead and then finished off the tournament in just under an hour of heads-up play.

Ultimately, it was a flop of QSpade Suit8Spade Suit6Diamond Suit that led to the completion of the event. All the money went in with Barnes showing KSpade SuitJSpade Suit8Club Suit5Spade Suit and Prendergast turning over AClub Suit6Spade Suit4Spade Suit4Heart Suit.

Both players flopped a pair and a flush draw, but Barnes had the better pair and the better flush draw. While Barnes was technically the player at risk, the difference in chip stacks was so small that this was basically for the entire tournament.

The turn was the 5Diamond Suit, improving Barnes to two pair, but the river was the ADiamond Suit. It gave Prednergast a better two pair to secure the pot and the title.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Michael Prendergast $127,348 540
2 Jeffrey Barnes $78,705 450
3 Jungwoong Park $57,349 360
4 Joao Simao $42,246 270
5 Daniel Wasserberg $31,465 225
6 Donnie Phan $23,698 180
7 Eric Polirer $18,051 135
8 John Bunch $13,907 90

Photo Credit: WSOP/Melissa Haereiti