Davidi Kitai and Chris Bell then went one-on-one, and it took a full five hours before all the chips were piled on the felt in front of Kitai. When the winner photos were done and his crew was finished with the congratulations the media corps pulled Kitai aside for a press-conference style interview, PokerListings' participation in which is documented here.
In addition to the cash and the title, Davidi Kitai also has the honor of being the first player from Belgium to win a WSOP bracelet.
Congratulations Davidi. We heard you had your father here with you, watching the event. Tell us about what it meant to have him here with you for such a big victory.
It was really great. He was supposed to go back home today but he decided to stay for an extra night. I was a little worried. If I had gone all-in and lost with 7-2 or something I don't think he would have been too happy [laughs]. In the end it worked out though.
You're the first player from Belgium to win a bracelet. Tell us what that's like.
Yes, it's amazing. It's such a small country and not many poker players. It seemed impossible for someone [Belgian] to win. There's only a few players but I had a lot of support. It's really amazing.
The heads-up match went really long and you had a big lead toward the end. It seemed like you were playing a little passively. You gave him a few walks and limped a few times. Take us through your strategy at that point in the match.
I was really afraid he would double up again and come back. I made one mistake when I moved in with J-7 and he called with pocket jacks. Once he had some chips and the blinds were so high I didn't want to gamble as much.
I tried to just call on the button and see some flops. I wanted to take some pots after the flop and get in a good spot. It was hard to raise because he was short and if he moved in I would have to call. That was my strategy at the end.
The final table really had two big parts for you. It seemed like at the beginning you were just waiting; then once it got short-handed you became much more aggressive. Were you card-dead at the start or was it part of your strategy to wait for some of the short stacks to bust?
First of all, the table was really tight at the start. I didn't have a lot of chips and I lost a big pot right at the beginning. After that I moved in like four times in a row and I was able to double up. I really wanted to wait until we were down to like seven before I really started to play.
After that I took some more risks and I guess it paid off.
You're new to the Winamax team, which has a lot of really great players on it. How much support do you get from them and how much did you have to prove, being the new kid on the block?
It's really nice. They all gave me a lot of advice during the tournament and it makes such a big difference. This is the third year I've played in this tournament and for the last two I've pretty much been by myself.
So I think it was the support that kept me awake until the end. [Laughs]
Thanks so much and congratulations again.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Team Winamax has had an unbelievable year and, between them, they have an impressive record. Arnaud Mattern was victorious on the EPT, Ludovic Lacay came within inches of a win on the WPT, and now Davidi Kitai has done it at the World Series.
It was a battle for the record books and Chris Bell didn't make it easy on his opponent. Keep an eye out for any player with a Winamax logo on their shirt - we certainly will.