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Welch Takes Down $3k Triple Chance
He has plenty of big finishes online, but Ryan Welch had never experienced anything quite like the $3k Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em final table, late Thursday night.
The heads-up finale was home to a WSOP final table party, with Welch riding a wave of vocal support to outlast Jon Eaton and take down his first bracelet and $559,371.
The scene around the heads-up finale was rowdy, with the animated rail supporting Welch and Eaton, both regulars in the online tournament scene.
"Obviously he's a great player," said Welch from the final table after the win.
"We know a lot about each other. We play a lot online together."
Known as "gutshtallin" online, Welch has an impressive resume, with major tournament wins in both the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl and PokerStars Sunday Warmup.
Welch has netted more than $1 million in winnings each on both Full Tilt and PokerStars, and now the 27-year-old has made his mark at the WSOP.
The party around the final table was so loud after the win that Welch's interview session was hard to hear at times, but the account-executive-turned-poker-pro loved the live tournament atmosphere.
"It's entirely different," said Welch. "The whole ambiance of being at the World Series of Poker is tremendous. It's the biggest stage for poker."
Welch had to ride the rollercoaster of emotions against Eaton, at one point coming one card away from taking the championship before a river straight gave Eaton new life and evened the stacks.
The spectator section went crazy for the big hand, and Welch had to continue his bracelet bid after taking the hit.
"Any time you're one card away from winning a bracelet and you don't, it crushes you for a second," Welch said. "But that's part of poker. You have to be able to rebound."
Eaton takes home $344,830 for second place, while other notable cash finishers include Will "The Thrill" Failla (Fourth), Tommy Vedes (Seventh) and James Akenhead (17th).