Adam Friedman wrote his name in the poker history books in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 21. The 39-year-old defeated all-time World Series of Poker title leader Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win the $10,000 buy-in Dealer’s Choice championship for the third consecutive series.
With a winning 9-6 badugi hand, Friedman took down the final pot of the tournament to deny Hellmuth his record-furthering 17th gold bracelet and secure his fourth overall. Friedman now has the distinction of being the first-ever back-to-back-to-back winner of a tournament at the WSOP in its 52-year history.
Friedman first won this event in the summer of 2018. He successfully defended his title in 2019 and was set to try for the threepeat in 2020, but the in-person WSOP was postponed and eventually canceled due to the live poker shutdown that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. The WSOP returned to Las Vegas this year, but began later in the fall rather than the summer.
“I’ve waited 28 months to play this tournament, with the pandemic and the delay this year,” Friedman said moments after achieving his historic victory. “All I kept saying was, ‘just get me to day 2, I just want a chance.’ I don’t need to win this tournament. I’ve got nothing to prove. I’ve got literally nothing to prove. It was just a pure challenge, to see if I could do it.”
“This event is so much different from every other $10,000 event [at the series],” said the Indiana University graduate, who also finished fifth in the Dealer’s Choice event 2015. “People that play this tournament, they want to play it again and again. It’s so addicting. There are so many games that we don’t usually get to play in tournaments. There are so many different thought processes and strategies that don’t exist in any other event. You have to be thinking about so many things from the moment you sit down on day 1, all the way through the end. It’s just such a unique tournament.”
|1||Adam Friedman||United States||$248,350|
|2||Phil Hellmuth||United States||$153,493|
|3||Jake Schwartz||United States||$107,861|
|4||Carol Fuchs||United States||$77,437|
|5||Mike Matusow||United States||$56,826|
|6||Andrew Kelsall||United States||$42,646|
|7||Matt Glantz||United States||$32,746|
|8||Mike Gorodinsky||United States||$25,741|