It took 121 hands of heads-up play, but we finally have a winner in Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold'em, Brent Wheeler. Wheeler bested Mark Mierkalns to earn $191,605 and his first career gold bracelet. The Chicagoan now has over three quarters of a million dollars in career tournament earnings and 14 World Series of Poker cashes.
The third and final day began with 19 players, and leading the way was the only bracelet winner remaining; Eric Froehlich. Jeff Shulman, who entered the day with just a few big bets, was the first to bust, and from there we lost Brandon Guss, Thomas Blizniak, Melanie Banfield , and Binh Ly.
Ly was one of the leaders on the money bubble, but fell down the counts during the latter stages of the evening. On Day 3 he busted to Grayson Scoggin, who turned a pair of kings against Ly's ace-high. The river was a blank, and Ly was eliminated.
Following Ly out the door were Morgan Newman, John Zipperer, Jack Jiang, and Aaron Ogus.
The unofficial final table lasted for longer than an hour, until finally Ahmed Mohamed busted in 10th place. Mohamed got into a flip with ace-king against Malissia Zapata's pocket queens, and the queens held up.
The first player to bust at the official final table was Froehlich. After taking a few hits, including one hand where Chiduziem Obi ran down a wheel, Froehlich was in for less than a big blind. Unfortunately, he was unable to survive against two opponents, busting in ninth place.
Alex Queen, Brian Nichols, and William James were the next three players to hit the rail. Queen and Nichols were very short stacked when they exited, while James lost a series of pots at the start of Level 24. Finally, James was all in against two opponents, and lost to Mierkalns who rivered a pair of tens.
Grayson Scoggin, who was playing in his first WSOP event, finished in fifth, Obi busted in fourth, and Zapata took her leave in third place.
Wheeler, who entered the final table seventh in chips, started heads-up play with a small lead, and began to run away with it. Then suddenly, in Level 27, the pendulum swung. Mierkalns built a more than 2:1 chip lead, but Wheeler came storming back. In the end, Wheeler finished the deed in Level 28, and you can read that hand below.
Congratulations to Wheeler for shipping the 10th bracelet awarded this summer. There are still 52 more up for grabs, so be sure to check back to PokerNews for all of your exclusive live tournament updates from the 44th annual WSOP!