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No Chainsaw Massacre as Kassela Wins First WSOP Bracelet
Frank Kassela held off stiff competition in the $10k 7-Stud/8 Championship to pick up his first World Series Of Poker bracelet and $447,446 early Wednesday at the Rio.
"I feel terrific," said Kassela following his win. "I couldn't feel better."
A final table rich in talent had gathered to play to the winner and Player of the Year candidate Vladimir Schmelev was joined by Dario Minieri, John Juanda, Steve Zolotow, Jennifer Harman and Allen "The Chainsaw" Kessler creating a formidable line-up.
Amongst these marquee names, Kassela was not strongly fancied to collect the WSOP bracelet, but he defied the odds to hold off the challenge from Allen Kessler heads-up.
High-stakes cash player Jennifer Harman is often mooted as the best female player in the world, playing the biggest stakes cash games with great success over the years.
Harman has two bracelets in her trophy cabinet but the last was in 2002 and she will have had high hopes of adding a third to her collection here. It looked for some time like she may be making a run at winning number three but ultimately she fell just short, running out third.
The Chainsaw was the man to do the damage, sawing through her stack, and Harman was upset at the manner of her departure, throwing a water bottle at a chair, heard saying that she "misplayed the hand and is going to be thinking about it a long time."
Kessler was unable to use the knockout as as a springboard to build momentum however. With a chip deficit to the similarly-named Kassela, Kessler never turned it round, succumbing in 2nd place for $276,486.
Kassela meanwhile shot his way through to his first bracelet and suggested patience was at the heart of the strategy that led to his Championship win.
"Stud Hi-Lo is just a lot about the slow accumulation of chips," he said. "You're not going to make the kind of swing that you would in PLO or No-Limit Hold'em. It's more of a building process and patience."
With files from Geoff Fisk