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WSOP: Vitch knocks off multiple-bracelet winners to join the club

One of the reasons poker pros prefer world championship-level events at the World Series of Poker is the caliber of competition, as the $10,000 buy-in tournaments across each discipline tend to attract top-tier talent.

And that was certainly the case on Monday, when the final table of Event #48: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better world championship kicked off at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Among the final nine, five players had already won multiple gold bracelets – including Phil Hellmuth and his all-time record of 14, along with Brock Parker (3), Jonathan Duhamel (3), Abe Mosseri (2), and Benny Glaser (2).

Then there was Chris Vitch, a pro since 2008 who broke through for his first bracelet win last year in the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball event. The $136,854 he pocketed for that win was the largest cash of his career, but seated alongside the Poker Brat and a pack of bracelet hunters at his second final table of the summer, Vitch found himself in position to reach new heights.

Per the live updates provided by PokerNews, Vitch held 1.2 million chips when nine-handed play began, second only to Mosseri at just under 1.4 million. Hellmuth and his short stack quickly bowed out in ninth place ($26,938), followed by Alex Luneau (eighth place - $33,265).

A big pot played out between Vitch and Andrew Kelsall, with the former filling up on the river to best the latter’s trips. That put Vitch over the 2.1 million plateau, and at that point, only Glaser joined him in that regard – with the rest of the field sitting on 600,000 or less.

Parker was sent home in the interim (seventh place - $42,146), before Kelsall (sixth place - $54,748) joined him on the rail a few minutes later.

Vitch helped to bust Duhamel (fifth place - $72,876), Mosseri dispatched Jameson Painter (fourth place - $99,342), and Vitch proceeded to go on a heater to take firm control of three-handed play.

Glaser eliminated Mosseri (third place - $138,608) to set up a heads-up duel for the bracelet, but he held just under 2 million chips to Vitch’s 4.2 million. A few hands saw Glaser (second place - $197,838) briefly close the gap, but Vitch finished him off to claim his second bracelet – and by far the largest cash of his career with a $320,193 payout.

See poker reviews and WSOP qualifier specials here.

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