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Mike Cordell wins 2016 WSOP No-Limit Hold’em

Dark horse Mike Cordell bagged first prize at the 2016 World Series of Poker $1,500 six-max no-limit hold’em event, outclassing a field of nearly 1,500 players to snag the top spot, his first gold bracelet and a tasty prize of $346,088.

Patience is a virtue, apparently…

‘I’ve been playing for a long time’, Cordell told the WSOP after an intense battle to number one. ‘This has always been the dream. This is what we dream about when we start playing poker’.

Dedicating the win to his mother who passed away just a week before the tournament began; Cordell had acted as her caretaker, proving to be a solid rock in her final months. The two bonded throughout the last moments of her life, strengthening their relationship and her memory was evident as he tore down pro after pro to get to the final.

‘She was really proud of anything I ever did’, said the emotional champion.

He came into the final day in third position out of 21 players that remained. The table was jam-packed with stars as you would expect, with pros Fedor Holz, Hanz Winzeler and Danier Strelitz all crashing out in quick succession.

Reaching the final table tied for second place, it was the disposing of third, fourth and fifth that rocketed Cordell into first place — with a heavy chip advantage. In the end, he went heads-up with Pierre Neuville, the 73 year-old Belgian who came seventh in last year’s proceedings.

Holding a 19-1 lead against Neuville, it seemed that Cordell was destined to be the winner. The elderly poker star managed to double up twice, but after a third all-in, Cordell’s KQ decimated Neuville’s pocket 4s and the job was done.

In the end Cordell took $346,088, Neuville took $213,837 and Robert Hankins, who finished third, took home a nice $148,885.

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