Aguiar Wins First Bracelet in Mixed Max, Cantu Rages

Jonathan Aguiar
Jon Aguiar after winning his first bracelet.

It took six days but Jonathan Aguiar won his first bracelet in one of the most contentious tournaments ever played at the WSOPE.

Aguiar defeated Brandon Cantu in the final heads-up match of the €10,450 No-Limit Hold’em Mixed Max to win €258,047.

“It’s taken longer than I thought but this is a dream come true for me,” said Aguiar who was on the verge of tears.

Originally scheduled to take place over four days, the Mixed Max had to be extended when the Cantu/Aguiar match went until 5 a.m. early Sunday morning.

Aguiar was playing the WSOPE Main Event on Sunday so the heads-up final had to be rescheduled to Monday.

Brandon Cantu
Brandon Cantu says he was "robbed."

Cantu Frustrated with Second Place Finish

The final heads-up match proved to be an epic battle with the chip lead being tossed back forth numerous times. Cantu seemed to have momentum on his side when the tournament was delayed on Saturday.

At one point today, after losing a pot, Cantu turned to Aguiar and said, “I’m not going to let you win. Just so you know.”

Suffice to say Cantu was not happy about the loss. He immediately took to Twitter saying he was “Robbed” and the delay gave Aguiar time to study with his “internet nerd friends.”

“God, I was f***ed.” he said, “That bracelet should have an asterisk next to it.”

Cantu played a controversy-filled marathon match against French player Roger Hairabedian in the semi-finals.

Hairabedian requested a seat change when he was on the verge of elimination and that seemed to change momentum. Later Hairabedian allegedly checked out of turn (which was later confirmed by audio-replay).

“I will never understand why I get ruled against in every single decision by the WSOP,” Cantu said. “It’s become almost comical when I am right every single time.”

Jon Aguiar
Jon Aguiar

Aguiar Wins After Bubbling Last Year

It was perhaps fitting that Aguiar, who is known as an instigator, won his first bracelet in a tournament that saw tempers flare on numerous occasions.

This summer Aguiar famously had a Twitter war with WSOP staff over a rule that forced players to verbalize their actions at the final table.

“What people perceive as me whining and complaining is just me seeing ways that things could be better,” he said. “I just love the game and I love the WSOP. I don’t hold any grudges about it.”

It was the ultimate redemption for Aguiar, who last year bubbled the Mixed Max event, after getting one-outed in a previous hand. He called it the worst day of his poker career.

Aguiar dedicated the victory to his grandfather.

“My first WSOP my grandfather passed away while I was in Las Vegas and I decided I was going to win a bracelet for him,” he said. “I’m not a religious person but I felt him with me there today.”

Here are the final four payouts for Event 5 €10,450 No-Limit Hold’em Mixed Max:

  • 1. Jonathan Aguiar – €258,047
  • 2. Brandon Cantu – €159,459
  • 3. Roger Hairabedian – €86,087
  • 4. Faraz Jaka – €86,087
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