UK poker pro John Kabbaj brings home the cabbage in Event 25

wsop 2014British professional John Kabbaj has won his second career World Series of Poker bracelet, taking down Event #25, a $2,500 mixed-game event with alternating rounds of Limit Omaha/8 and Stud Hi/Low. Like most non-Hold’em events, the tournament attracted a relatively small and tough field. Alongside Kabbaj at final table were Erik Seidel and Mike Leah, while other big names like Matt Glantz and Robert Mizrachi made the cash but fell short of the final table.

The final day began with 18 players, of which Kabbaj had the third-largest stack, behind Seidel and Leah. Both of these veterans ran badly in the final 9, however, and busted in 6th and 7th respectively. Seidel was crippled when he got most of his stack into the pot against two all-in opponents with a relatively monstrous [65]346 with three Diamonds on 5th street, but bricked out. Leah busted out in the following round of Omaha H/L with a pair of Aces and reasonable low draw against a turned full house, and Seidel lost his last chips once the game switched back to Stud, being too short-stacked to get away from a rather feeble [76]7J5.

With his two strongest adversaries taken care of for him, Kabbaj began to run good and came into heads-up play with a 2-1 chip advantage over Thomas Keller. Keller is no slouch, holding a bracelet of his own, having won a No Limit Hold’em event back in 2004, but Kabbaj finished him off in just a few hands, without Keller so much as splitting a pot.

Although the $267,327 payday is relatively modest by WSOP standards, both the bracelet and the money are extremely meaningful to Kabbaj, who is coming off what he describes as “the worst two years of my life.” Before this, Kabbaj’s last major score was a 6th place finish in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship at the 2011 WSOP. Given the stakes involved in being a professional tournament player, two cold years back-to-back could devastate almost anyone’s finances, so it’s good to see Kabbaj bounce back in a significant way.

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