Poker news | Oct 26, 2021
Chad Norton Wins His First Ever WSOP Event
By RTR Alex
The 2021 WSOP has delivered a multitude of first-time winners - with Ryan Hansen winning Event #44, and Carlos Chang taking the victory in Event #41 - in just the last few days. We've also seen many three-peat champs this year with Bradley Ruben, Kevin Gerhart, Josh Arieh and Michael Addamo all cashing in a first-place prize for the third time, in just the last week.
As we enter the second half of the series, with the WSOP main event just around the corner, champions are continuing to be crowned left, right and centre. The most recent of which, is Chad Norton, becoming a first-time WSOP bracelet winner in Event #46. But, not only is this his first victory in the World Series of Poker, it's the first-ever event in which he's competed and he's leaving victorious.
Event #46: $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack, held over 2,000 entrants, which was whittled all the way down to just 120 on Day 2. After 8 hours of play, Chad Norton came out victorious - walking away with a prestigious gold bracelet and $214,830.
"This is surreal..." Norton said in a post-win interview. "It was a quick tournament with a lot of ups and downs like always but it was a lot of fun and I'm just really grateful to come out with the win."
Norton used to be a car salesman and quit to pursue online poker, but this tournament is his first-ever live WSOP event. Is this beginner's luck, or will he be looking to join the likes of Phil Hellmuth in the history books and aim to rack up win-after-win? With such a promising start and his old job left far behind, we expect to see much more of Norton in the coming years.
Norton commented: "To be honest I've only played in one WPT event and this was my first ever live WSOP tournament... I play mostly online but I came in on such a downswing so to be able to come in and win my first ever WSOP tournament feels amazing."
But, it wasn't an easy road to victory - the usual tale of big chip-leader bullying the short-stacks was far from true for Norton:
"In one of the final hands of Day 1 I lost pocket kings against ace-queen for 1.2 million" he said. "It would have been nice coming into today with a nice chip stack but instead I came in with 380k and fought my way back somehow."
Heading into Day 2, Norton was set to make an impact and give himself good chip position for the final table. Luckily for him, Day 2 was a knock-out fest full of all-in shoves from the 120 players still alive. All players had secured a guaranteed $1,956 simply for making it that far, which unsurprisingly encouraged more reckless playstyles to seep through. Many players began pushing all-in with hopes of gaining the chip lead for the final day, but with overconfident, impulsive decisions, eliminations were plentiful.
The Final Table Run
Norton entered the unofficial final table third in chips, and quickly made an impact. In one hand, he landed a full house and shot his stack straight to the top after taking most of Kevin Wang's chips.
Chad then went on to knockout Joshua Herman in 9th place with a simple ace-high hand. After which he held a cooler against William Blais, who at the time was second in chips, with aces over kings. From there Norton took a commanding chip lead.
Jordyn Miller was then eliminated by Andres Jeckeln, who found an ace-eight off-suit on the river,to top Miller making a hand of tens.
Norton then returned to the action, and knocked out Kevin Wang with another ace and kept form in sending Narimaan Ahmadi home in similar style.
Norton had great standing at this point, holding over half the chips with just 3 players left. Steve Lemma then stepped in to eliminate Jeckeln and send Norton into a heads up battle.
Heads-Up Battle and The Final Hand
As the pair kicked-off Norton had a 3:1 chip lead and with such a long road ahead for Lemma, the victor was already clear at this point. Not long into the face-off, Lemma was sent packing with Norton landing a dead man's hand:
After Norton raised from the button, Lemma jammed from the big blind and Norton called. Lemma was dealt queen-nine off suit and Norton held ace-eight off suit. The flop came jack, ace, three, to pair Norton's hand with aces and drastically slim Lemma's chances to come out alive. The turn was a five, and it was all over.
Lemma was eliminated in second place, cashing in for a prize of $132,802, as he saw all the celebrations unfold for Norton.
Aces seemed to be Chad's best friends throughout Day 2, and they returned in style to settle the win and put over $200,000 in Chad Norton's pocket, along with a priceless WSOP gold bracelet.
Event #46: Final Table Payout
It's clear Norton didn't have a smooth road to victory when we see who he was up against, not to mention the sheer amount of competition. He managed to outlast the likes of Maurice Hawkins - the all-time record holder for Gold Ring wins in WSOPC - and two-time WSOP champions, Eric Baldwin and James Moore, who were knocked out in 62nd and 70th position respectively.
Other notable players to fall short of the title were Marc Masino in 10th place, winning $15,417, Day 1 chip leader Alejandro Andion in 36th place, winning $5,463,
Norton must feel on top of the world - beating some of the best pros in the game and a total field of 2,053 players to win his first WSOP event he's ever played. And with a start like this in live tournaments, he may well be an up and coming poker player to watch out for in the future. So, be sure to check back in to RakeTheRake for the latest Poker News and WSOP round-ups.