When the final 18 players in Event #16 (USD 2,000 Omaha Eight-or-better) returned to the Amazon Room on Tuesday afternoon to play down to a champion there were number of storylines in play.
Scott Clements was looking to win a bracelet for the third year in a row. Jimmy Fricke, who turned 21 in April, was gunning for his first World Series of Poker bracelet and Ted Forrest was gunning for his sixth bracelet. But in the end it was the heads-up battle between Forrest and WSOP rookie Andrew Brown that people will remember most.
The most impressive run however came from eventual third-place finisher, Jim Pechac. Just as play was winding down on Day 2 Pechac was ready to pack it in as he had only one chip remaining. He doubled-up on the final hand of the night and started Day 3 with only 2,000 in chips. Through a series of all-ins which he won, Pechac was suddenly alive in the tournament. His third-place finish earned him USD 88,065.
After Pechac’s improbable run came to an end it was Forrest vs. Brown. The heads-up battle lasted 1 hour and 24 minutes with each player gaining, and relinquishing, the chip lead at least once. Down to his last 150,000 Forrest managed to double up and won three consecutive pots to get back to even with the 25-year-old Brown. But in a pivotal hand Brown three-quartered a pot to cripple Forrest for the final time.
On a board showing Jd 8d 3d Forrest led out and Brown called. The 5s on the turn solicited a check from Forrest and Brown took the opportunity to bet, Forrest called. After the 2d hit the river Forrest check-raised and Brown simply called. Forrest exposed Th 3d 4s As for the wheel but Brown showed Ac 2s 4h 6d for the nut low and a six-high straight.
It was only a few hands after that where Brown put the nail in the coffin and captured his first WSOP bracelet as well as the USD 226,483 first place prize. Forrest earned USD 143,420 as the runner-up.
“(Forrest) was the hardest player I faced the entire tournament. I played with Barry (Greenstein) and Men “the Master” (Nguyen),” said Brown. “I was just happy to get heads-up with Ted Forrest and test my skills a little bit. It was a see-saw match and a tough battle. He’s incredible. I think if we played ten times or a hundred times he’d have a decent edge against me.”