Only one person had managed the feat this year, but those odds didn’t stop Ian Johns. Johns became just the second two-time winner during the 2016 World Series of Poker by taking his second bracelet at the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. The Seattle native topped 110 entrants, won $290,635, and joined Jason Mercier in the two-time winners’ circle. Johns is now third in the WSOP Player of the Year standings.
“When I won the bracelet last time, and now this time, I was so focused,” Johns told Poker News after the win. “It was at a level I’ve never reached. I was just so in tune with what was going on, not making mistakes. It’s kind of surreal. A lot of times you play poker your mind can kind of drift. The last couple of days, and when I won the bracelet two weeks ago, my mind wasn’t drifting at all.”
When the final table started, Johns was second in chips. He kept himself near the top of the board by eliminating Brian Rast in eighth. He also scored big late in the game by ousting Alexander Balynskiy in third. That takedown allowed him to enter heads-up play with Sean Berrios roughly even in chips. The parity didn’t last for long. The two traded leads for a bit before a decisive hand that put Johns in full control.
Just before the limits reached 100,000/200,000, Johns (A♤, 9♧) scored big with a full house on a board that showed 9♡, 6♤, 5♧, A♡, A♢. Berrios bet away all but four big blinds on the hand, effectively sealing his fate.
The last hand saw an 8♤, 4♢, 3♢, J♡ board before the two went all-in – Berrios with A♤, 10♡ and Johns holding K♢, 8♢. The river didn’t come through for Berrios (2♤) and Johns managed to swipe the win with his pair of eights. Berrios walked away with $179,625 for second place.
Final table results:
Johns is a limit hold’em guest instructor at Rep Porter’s The Poker Academy. The win sent his’ career live tournament earnings over $1.15 million and, thanks to his recent big wins, he is considering a run at this year’s WSOP Main Event.
“I’m an awful, awful, awful no limit player,” he said. “I just couldn’t be any worse at it. So my desire to play the $1,500 or $2,000 no-limit tournaments is just not there. I’ll probably play the Main Event this year now, and I wasn’t planning it originally.”
(Photo credit: slgckgc, Flickr, Creative Commons)
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