Rank Amateur Hays Wins WSOP $1,500 NLHE For $735,400June 17, 2011 9:33 am
A rank amateur by the name of Foster Hays enjoyed the best possible start to his debut at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, after winning Event #18 $1,500 NLHE for a massive payout of $735,400.
The 25 year old medical researcher from Dallas said it was the first time he had entered a WSOP tournament and that although he had played some poker in the past, his only previous result was 16 months ago at the Venetian in Las Vegas where he finished 15th for $1,861.
The WSOP rookie said it was always a goal of his to play in the World Series of Poker and that he chose the $1,500 event as it would allow him to play on the weekend.
As it turned out, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Event ended up attracting a huge field of 3,157 players creating a prize pool worth $4,261,590.
Playing up to 12 hours a day over four days, Foster Hays then managed to outlast all of the amateurs and pros alike to reach the final table of nine where at least two of the players had previously won WSOP bracelets. As Hays explains:
“I got very lucky. I don’t think I was a top-five in skill. There were a lot of good players. All the young guys were very tough. Tristan Wade and Jordan Young were the toughest opponents and they were on my left and I was really sweating that. I know they probably feel really bad about busting, but I was glad to see them go.”
Eventually Foster Hays got heads-up against Casey Kelton and after a long, drawn out affair the duo finally got all their money in on a 9d-7d-4c flop with Hays’s Jh-9s way ahead of his opponent’s Ac-Jc. With no further help from the board Casey Kelton was eliminated in 2nd place for $454,920, while Foster Hays went down in WSOP history.
Despite his enormous win, Hays said he has no immediated plans to change his day job as a medical researcher. As the WSOP bracelet winner explains:
“I am on the red eye flight tonight. I believe I should keep my commitments. I have a meeting at 8 am on Wednesday morning. Well life-changing — yes and no. I’m not going to change any of my plans for the fall. But I’m going to buy a new car.”