Daniel Willis Wins WSOP $500 Kickoff, Event #3, for $175,578

Daniel Willis won the $500 kickoff no-limit hold’em freezeout, event # 3 at the 2024 World Series of Poker. He outplayed 3,485 entries, earning $175,578 and his first gold bracelet.

Willis, the Founder & CEO of Amplifyd, described his company as “a premier auction house for influential artists and music brands to sell their collections, unique collectibles, and experiences” on its website.

The event saw a strong turnout, building a prize pool of $1,442,960, distributed among the top 523 finishers. Notable players who went deep included 2013 WSOP main event champion Ryan Riess (63rd), two-time bracelet winner Marco Johnson (47th), and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (16th).

In the heads-up play, Willis and Michael Wang started nearly even in chips, with Wang holding 45,000,000 and Willis 42,300,000. Wang initially extended his lead but soon lost a big pot to Willis’ turned flush. This hand shifted the momentum, giving Willis a nearly 4:1 chip lead.

The final hand began with Willis raising from the button with J♥9♥, and Wang called with A♦5♠. The flop came A♣J♣10♥, and both players checked. The turn brought the 7♣, and Wang bet two-thirds of the pot, which Willis called. The river J♠ gave Willis trips. Wang checked, Willis moved all-in, and after several minutes, Wang called with his top pair. Willis revealed his trips, winning the pot and the title.

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This victory marked Willis’ largest live tournament score, surpassing the $10,756 he won for a seventh-place finish in a $600 event at the 2019 Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza.

Michael Wang, the runner-up, earned $117,046, increasing his career earnings to over $6.4 million, just short of his third career bracelet.

Final Table Results $500 WSOP Kickoff No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout

Result Player Prize
1 Daniel Willis $175,578
2 Michael Wang $117,046
3 Shawn Smith $86,820
4 Steven Borella $64,920
5 Yoshinori Funayama $48,938
6 Daniel Sherer $37,194
7 John Marino $28,501
8 David Niedringhaus $22,022
9 Aaron Aldy $17,159

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