Online poker legend Taylor Paur wins first bracelet
With over $4 million in lifetime winnings playing online poker, Taylor Paur is already a well-respected player in the poker world, but his lack of a big score in the live arena has kept the perennial Online Poker Player of the Year candidate off the radar of the mainstream poker world… that was until his WSOP bracelet win in Event #18, a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Holdem on Tuesday.
The tournament drew a field of 2,071 players, including big names like Phil Ivey, who made a very deep-run in the tournament before bowing out in 14th place. Paur was the chip-leader heading into Day 3 of the tournament, and by the time the official final table rolled around Paur was still the chip-leader, but just barely, holding a 1.3 million to 1.1 million chip lead over Tai Nguyen.
Two other “known” players were also hunting for a bracelet at the final table of Event #18, WSOP Circuit star Kyle Cartwright, and Daniel Idema, who is having a fantastic 2013 WSOP up to this point. But on Tuesday the spotlight would belong to Paur, who took a commanding 4.8 million to 1.5 million chip lead into heads-up play with Roy Weiss, at which point the match turned into the Theater of the Strange.
After playing passively Weiss pulled even with Paur before the poker pro retook the lead. By the time the dinner break rolled around Weiss was down to just 750k in chips. But Weiss came back from dinner with a new strategy; push all-in every hand.
Paur managed to beat Weiss, but the all-in shove-fest clearly frustrated him. After the match Paur talked about his opponent’s strategy:
“I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t imagine anyone has ever gone all in every hand while heads-up for a bracelet… I honestly think he disrespected the game, it’s not poker. It’s not everyday that you get to play heads-up for a bracelet. I’m trying to play for a bracelet not flip coins for a bracelet. I feel it was disrespectful to everyone else that played in the event. They were trying to win, not to see who can get the luckiest.”
Here is a look at the final table results from Event #18 at the WSOP:
1. Taylor Paur – $340,260
2. Roy Weiss – $211,794
3. Tai Nguyen – $147,220
4. Kevin Barlow – $106,027
5. DJ MacKinnon – $77,491
6. Phillip Hui – $57,324
7. Daniel Idema – $42,962
8. Ryan Austin – $32,608
9. Kyle Cartwright – $25,041
Paur has also been an annual member of my “Ones to Watch” columns, the latest of which I wrote back in Decmeber of 2012, saying the following about Paur:
[Paur] made the switch to live poker in 2011, and Paur has eight cashes in the last two years at the WSOP, including two final tables in 2011, and a 33rd place finish in the 2012 WSOP Main Event.
Considering his achievements on the virtual felt, it’s really only a matter of time before Paur breaks through in live poker.
Here is a look at Paur’s lifetime winnings in the online arena from the PocketFives.com database:
* PokerStars “tramp$d0pray” — $1,783,272
* Full Tilt Poker “ambiguosity” — $1,738,623
* Absolute Poker: “tazed1spurr” — $447,002
* UB.com: “gr8pkrplaya” — $31,711
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