Aubin Cazals traveled from Malta all the way to Las Vegas for the 2012 World Series of Poker, and, thanks to winning Event 6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed-Max, he's not going to leave empty handed.
Cazals finished Day 1 with an average stack of 63,600 chips. On Day 2, he finished fifth in chips with 340,000, making him the No. 5 seed heading into heads-up play. His first opponent was Eric Froehlich, who finished fourth in last year's $25,000 heads-up event. Cazals finished off E-Fro in less than two levels however - Froehlich moved all in with middle pair on a king-high flop, and Cazals held ace-king. The Frenchman held, and was off to the round of 16 to face Toby Lewis.
Cazals began with a slight chip advantage, and never looked back. In the end, on a board of , Cazals moved all in, and Lewis called, putting his tournament life on the line. Cazals tabled for aces and queens, and Lewis mucked his hand.
Adam Geyer was Cazal's third heads-up opponent, and Geyer took an early lead in the match. Cazals battled back however, and then the two played a massive pot in which Cazals had two kings and Geyer had ace-king. Cazals' kings held, crippling Geyer, and he eliminated him a few hands later.
In the semi-finals, Cazals battled Warwick Mirzikinian for over nine hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Over nine hours. The chip lead changed hands several times, until Level 26, where Mirzikinian was all in preflop with . Cazals' held, and his next opponent was 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong.
The problem is, nobody knew when they were going to play. Initially, they decided to play on Tuesday, but the tournament staff informed them that they must play today. The two then agreed to play at 9 a.m. - which would've been the earliest final table in WSOP history - but Cheong busted from Event 9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry, and they rescheduled to noon.
Today's match looked like it was going to be another marathon - both players were trading blows, and no one jumped out to a substantial lead. Finally, towards the end of Level 24, the fireworks went off. Cheong six-bet shoved for nearly 3 million chips, and Cazals snapped it off, holding two kings. Cheong's fours were crushed, and did not improve.
Congratulations to Mr. Aubin Cazals for winning Event 6, earning him a shiny new bracelet and nearly half a million dollars. Thanks for sticking with us here at PokerNews.com. Until next time, good night from Las Vegas!