Four days ago, 606 players put up the $1,500 buyin to play this $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo event. It was supposed to be wrapped up within three days, but our final two players tangled up in a tug of war last night that couldn't be called one way or the other. They were summoned back to the ropes today, and it took just less than an hour for Mike Sexton and Chris Viox to settle the score.
The crowd was certainly pro-Sexton here today, but now that they've cleared out, we can see a pretty stout contingent of Chris' Viox cheerleaders still standing in a huddled mass. They're chanting something we can't quite make out at the stage, and flash bulbs are popping as Viox is holding tight to his first gold bracelet, posing for photos that will become WSOP history.
This event was the first event since the November Nine to see play halted heads-up as the hard stop forced the two players to return to the felt today to crown one of them champion. Mike Sexton held a significant chip disadvantage as they restarted, and he was whittled right down to the nubs early on. Viox had Sexton down to just 240,000 at one point but couldn't close it out as Sexton rivered two pair to double back to life. He doubled again to get close to a million chips a few hands later, but that's as close as he'd get. Just a few hands after that double, it was Viox rivering the two pair to crush Sexton's comeback bid.
So then, it's Chris "PiMaster" Viox who claims this 25th bracelet of the 2011 WSOP. Outlasting a field of 606 players is worth more than $200,000 and the bragging rights that have no price. Viox is a new bracelet winner, and we join Sexton in congratulating him on that achievement.
Here are the final table payouts: