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2013 WSOP Europe - Event 6
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Noah Schwartz wins 2013 WSOPE Event #6, Finally gets his Bracelet

Earlier this year, in a 2013 WSOP $1,500 PLO tournament, Noah Schwartz felt pretty confident about his chances of winning a bracelet. After all, he held a big chip lead over his final opponent, Josh Pollock, and had the experience advantage. But, unfortunately, the cards didn't go Schwartz's way and he settled for a runner-up finish.

In the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe, he's had two chances to redeem himself. The first was in the Event #2 €5,000 NL Hold'em Mixed Max tourney, where he fell just short of another win after taking fourth place (€62,770). However, the third time would be a charm as Schwartz recently took down the Event #6 €3,000 PLO Mixed Max tournament (€104,580). Let's discuss his big win as well as some of the outstanding players he had to beat along the way.

The Road to a Bracelet

The Event #6 €3,000 PLO Mixed Max tourney featured 127 players and a €373,380 prize pool. Only 16 players would share in this wealth, including notables like Konstantin Puchkov (16th, €6,700), Dan Shak (14th, €6,700), Padraig Parkinson (11th, €6,700), Matthew Ashton (9th, €10,500), Stephen Chidwick (8th, €16,000), Phil Laak (7th, €16,000) and Vitaly Lunkin (3rd, €34,500).

After surviving all of these tough pros, Schwartz squared off against France's Ludovic Lacay for the title. Seeing as how he was in yet another position to win a WSOP gold bracelet, one might think that Schwartz was feeling the pressure. But interestingly enough, he felt more relaxed because his opponent had a 2:1 chip advantage.

"I knew coming into this final match that he had a 2-1 lead, so I felt like the pressure was sort of off me." Schwartz added, "I wasn't the big favorite." Lacay's chip advantage wouldn't last for long because, with the pressure off, Schwartz played very well and won a number of big pots to eventually take the lead.

On the final hand, a short-stacked Lacay shoved with Qd-8d-6s-5c on a flop of 5h-6c-Ks. Schwartz called with Ac-Ks-8h-7d, and was behind the Frenchman's two pair. However, an As turn card gave Schwartz the better two pair, and a harmless 3d river card sealed his victory.

Realizing a Dream

Shortly after beating Lacay heads-up to win his first gold bracelet, Schwartz discussed how the victory meant realizing a dream.

"(A bracelet) is something that's eluded me for a very long time, so to be able to actually hold the bracelet in my hands and know that it is mine is mind-boggling," he described. "I never envisioned...I remember growing up and seeing all these guys on TV winning bracelets and it has always been a dream of mine. To hold it and know it is mine, is one of the best feelings ever."

Schwartz also described what he thinks it takes to win a WSOP bracelet, beyond just skill. "A little bit of luck, some good table draws - I don't know. I think it boils down to poker is very streaky. When you're playing well and you're confident, things just seem to come in bunches, you know?"

Good things have certainly come in bunches over the past two years for Schwartz. He's made over $2 million in tournaments during this span, won a WSOPE event, won a 2012 PCA side event ($85,250) and won the 2012 WPT Jacksonville Main Event ($402,972).

2013 WSOPE Final Four

1st - Noah Schwartz (USA) - €104,580
2nd - Ludovic Lacay (France) - €64,600
3rd - Vitaly Lunkin (Russia) - €34,500
4th - Jyri Merivirta (Finland) - €34,500

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