Outpacing a field that was larger than all but the last five World Series of Poker Main Events, Sun City, Florida’s Harold Angle won the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP Monday morning, earning $487,994 in the process.  With 3,142 players, the tournament was by far the largest Seniors event in the history of the World Series of Poker, besting last year’s field by more than 400.  At 78-years old, Angle was the oldest player in the tournament.
Beyond the sheer difficulty of beating a field so large – not even eleven-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth has won a tournament that big – Angle had the rough task of trying to make up a lot of ground early on in the tournament.  He told WSOP officials, “The first two hours of this tournament, I did not win a hand.  It took me that long to win a hand.  I had to have patience before I got started.  I was down to four $100 chips (starting stacks were $3,000).  Four $100 chips.  I was holding up the chips and (my son-in-law) got a picture of me.  Then, I started to come back.”
To put that in perspective, starting stacks were 3,000 chips and after those first two hours, the blinds were 25/50, meaning that Angle only had about five orbits left.  He even told his son-in-law that he would be knocked out soon.
When Angle made it heads-up with Las Vegas resident Michael Minetti, he had a whopping 7-to-1 chip lead.  About 45 minutes into the one-on-one match, Angle was able to suckout with K-J versus J-J when a King flopped, giving him the pot and not only his first-ever WSOP bracelet, but his first-ever cash, as well.  In addition to the bracelet and the prize money, Angle will also get to keep the Golden Eagle trophy for a year, after which it will stay with the next Seniors champion at the WSOP.
Angle was cheered on by his wife of 60 years, Fern, and their daughters, who were driven to tears as he clinched the victory.  All told, Angle has three children, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren and plans to split his prize money with all of them.  It is family that is most important to him.  “Anything they are doing, that’s where I want to be,” he said.
Perhaps fittingly, the winner of the Seniors event has never played a hand of online poker in his life.  He actually said (maybe hyperbolically), “I don’t even know how to turn a computer on.”
That’s not to say that he shies away from playing with the young players of the online generation.  He plays many tournaments at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, Florida.  “What I like,” he said, “is that I am often sitting next to 21-year olds.  I am like a grandfather to the whole table.”
And even at in the Seniors event, at 78-years old, Harold Angle was old enough to be the father of many of his opponents.  As for his future at the WSOP, he does not plan to compete in the Main Event, but he will return next year to defend his Seniors title.

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