Toronto poker pro Ari Engel picks up first gold + $427k at WSOP
At 35 years of age, Ari Engel has now seen it all. He’s dominated the online poker realm, captured a 7-figure crown in the live tournament sector, and after having already won 9 gold rings, finally claimed the most coveted piece of poker jewelry in the world – a WSOP bracelet.
found his way through a field of 996 players in the 50th Annual
World Series of Poker Event #48 on Thursday, a $2,500 No Limit
Hold’em tournament that he described as one of his greatest
accomplishments due to the intense competition involved. Coming into
the final table, his goal, in fact, was to squeak into heads-up play
against Pablo Melogno of Uruguay, then finish in second. But
one very opportune river card changed everything, giving him the lead
and, before long, the win over Melogno.
Countdown to Gold for the Toronto Poker Pro
the final table got underway, US poker pro Josh Arieh earned
the honor of being the first to greet the railbirds. He pushed his
stack against the kings of Ben Keeline, winner of the 2016 WSOP
Colossus II, and never recovered. Arieh cashed out in 9th for
American, Ryan Olisar was left the short stack, while Pablo
Melogno held a commanding lead. Ari kicked off back-to-back
eliminations, sending Olisar out in 8th for $39,980, followed by
Truyen Nguyen in 7th for $52,909. That double-kill put Ari
Engel on top going into 6-handed play.
out was James Hughes,
eliminated in 6th ($71,010) by Keeline. 2x WSOP bracelet winner David
Baker wasn’t far behind in 5th
($96,632) at the hand of Engel. Ben
Keeline lost the wind in his sails to
Wilbern Hoffman; his ship sunk soon after by Melogno. Keeline
collected $133,306 for the 4th place eviction. 3-handed play didn’t
last long before Wilbern Hoffman
was ousted in 3rd ($186,392) by Melogno, giving the Uruguayan back
the lead going into the final two.
decisive hand turned the tides back into Ari’s favor when he rivered
a straight to reclaim the lead and all but 7 big blinds worth of the
tournament’s chips. Melogno’s tournament life was ended soon after.
He collected a respectable $264,104 for runner up. Engel captured the
WOSP bracelet, adding $472,399 to his bank, and bringing his live
event career total to $6,652,926.
A Bit of Ari Engel History
the name isn’t familiar already, Ari Engel is one of the world’s
elite online and live poker pros. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, he calls the “world” his home. He got his start long ago
at Bodog Poker under the unassuming by soon-to-be infamous
moniker “BodogAri”, and never looked back.
turned to the live circuit in 2006, and although it was a slow start,
he’s averaged over two dozen tournament cashes per year since,
including 28 phenomenal 1st place routings and 12 runner up finishes,
not to mention earning the AU$1.6 million Crown of Australian poker
at the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.
The only thing holding Ari back is his own lack of self-confidence. Even after donning the bracelet on Thursday, the young Toronto poker pro told WSOP media:
“There’s no reason to think I should be able to play bigger, even if I won a $2,500. I’m not at all confident to play a $25K, every now and then I’ll take a shot But I don’t belong with those guys, not even close. They’re sick good, way better than any of us.”
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Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.