Event #35: $10000 Secret Bounty No-Limit Hold'em

Toppling Aram Oganyan heads-up, Chris Klodnicki got the better of a final table of eight that included stars of the felt such as Angel Guillen, Jeremy Ausmus and Barak Wisbrod to win the $10,000-entry Secret Bounty event. It was the latest big win in a seriously successful career to date for the American.

WSOP 2023 Event #35 $10,000 Secret Bounty Results:

1stChris KlodnickiUnited States$733,317
2ndAram OganyanUnited States$453,226
3rdBarak WisbrodIsrael$323,181
4thJeremy AusmusUnited States$233,690
5thTracy NguyenUnited Kingdom$171,389
6thAngel GuillenMexico$127,515
7thDaniel RezaeiCanada$96,265
8thEric YanovskyUnited States$73,756

Following the Leader

As the final table of eight began, Klodnicki was the chip leader, with Jeremy Ausmus hot on his heels. It was Klodnicki’s fellow American Eric Yanovsky who busted first in the final, cashing for $73,756 when his pocket jacks couldn’t hold against the ace-queen of Jeremy Ausmus. A flop of A-Q-3 was a killer for Yanovsky, who failed to hit a jack or running cards and made his way to the rail.

Ausmus was crushing, and the five-time WSOP bracelet winner showed no signs of slowing up as he bullied his way up the leaderboard. Taking out the Austrian player Daniel Rezaei in seventh place for $96,265, Ausmus made the right move with ace-four of diamonds, raising to isolate Rezaei all-in.

The Austrian player had already committed two-thirds of his stack and tipped the rest over the line with queen-nine off-suit. Ausmus held with ease, another ace arriving on the flop to deny Rezaei even a sweat on the river, his exit already confirmed by then. Ausmus has started second in chips but took the lead from Klodnicki with those two early eliminations.

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth cashed in the Secret Bounty event but the Poker Brat couldn’t make the final table.

Ausmus Goes from Hero to Zero

On the rail, the interest in the final six was growing. World Poker Tour presenter and poker broadcasting legend Lynn Gilmartin (pictured below) was on hand to lend moral support to her husband, Mexican player Angel Guillen. Sadly for her – and him – he would be the next player to depart, losing out in sixth place for a score of $127,515.

Klodnicki doubled through Guillen first, his pocket tens doing the business when Guillen only had ace-ten. Then Guillen shoved with pocket nines and ran into two players with ace-king. Barak Wisbrod and Jeremy Ausmus both called with ‘Big Slick’, and despite there only being two cards of each to chase instead of three, an ace jumped up on the river to send a crestfallen Guillen – and Gilmartin – home.

Tracy Nguyen was the short-stack and couldn’t hold with her own pocket tens when Klodnicki’s ace-queen spiked an ace on the flop. That sent her home in fifth place for $171,389, and moments later, Ausmus was following her to the cash desk. Short-stacked with king-deuce, his shove couldn’t have been timed worse as he ran into Klodnicki’s pocket aces. Ausmus, dead by the turn, cashed for $233,690 to give Klodnicki a big lead going into three-handed play.

Lynn Gilmartin
Aussie poker presenter Lynn Gilmartin supports her husband, Angel Guillen, as he fires for WSOP gold in the Thunderdome.

The End is Nigh

The next elimination was the most pivotal. With the stacks as they were, either Aram Oganyan or Barak Wisbrod needed to win it in order to stand any chance of overhauling the dominant Klodnicki heads-up. The Israeli player Wisbrod, whose record in online events such as the weekly $10,300-entry GGPoker Super MILLiON$ events is very strong, took his chances with ten-nine off-suit. Klodnicki was priced in to call with king-six and neither player hit a pair, meaning the American’s king kicker played.

Wisbrod had departed for $323,181 and left Oganyan to take on a Herculean task – stopping Klodnicki. The latter had a 10:1 chip lead and although Oganyan gained a desperately needed double-up, it was only a stay of execution. Soon all-in again, this time with nine-eight, Klodnicki had the simplest call in the world with pocket aces again. The flop of Q-T-T gave Oganyan an improbable straight draw to a jack and to gasps in the auditorium, that jack landed on the turn. Oganyan, two cards from defeat, had turned a miraculous straight.

Devastation was to follow on the river for the man whose tournament life was at risk. There was still one card to come and just as Oganyan’s rail were getting their hopes up, they were snuffed out. An ace landed on the river, giving Klodnicki a full house, and in turn, the title. The bracelet and top prize of over $733,000 was his, with the American celebrating his first WSOP cash since 2019 in style.

The Champion in His Own Words

After completing his superb victory, Klodnicki, who is also known as ‘SLOPPYKLOD’ when playing online poker, celebrated going past the $11 million mark in live tournament earnings, pushing him into the top 120 players of all time.

“It was very shallow,” he said. “I’m happy I won. I was down super short, I think I was in last place with eight people left but just hung around. Obviously, I ran good in the spots I needed to and [I’m] happy to be here right now.”

Klodnicki hasn’t played a tonne of poker since COVID, so this latest success in a career full of achievement, could signpost something of a consistent return to the live felt for the professional player.

“I think I’ll play a little more next year,” Klodnicki confirmed. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to playing full schedules – maybe when my kids are off in college – but I’ll definitely be here more than the past few years, which was not at all.”

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Paul seaton

Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He's not just a spectator; he's been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul's poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he's interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton's expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.
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