Commentary

Allen Bari quiets critics with WSOP win

Updated: June 9, 2011, 4:36 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

Remember this article on staking just a few months ago from ESPN The Magazine? In short, Jason Mercier had been backing Allen Bari and things weren't as profitable as either had planned. Skip forward to Sunday night and Mercier was one of the first people to celebrate with Bari after he won his first bracelet and $874,116 in Event 4, $5,000 no-limit hold 'em. The field, which had the largest prize pool of any event through the first nine at the 2011 WSOP, featured 865 players, an increase of eight percent from the same event in 2010.

[+] EnlargeAllen Bari
WSOP Allen Bari won his first bracelet in Event 4, $5,000 no-limit hold 'em.

No matter what the event or situation at the table, Bari speaks with confidence, and after winning the tournament, he quieted any critics for the moment.

"I was expecting to win a bracelet," he said after the victory. "Seriously, I thought that if I did not win a bracelet it would like be a joke. I do not think my swagger is undeserved. I've been playing poker a long time and have been working hard at it. I've been putting in the hours and learning. I am not arrogant in terms of everything. Just poker, because -- I'm really good at poker. I do not lie. I am just better than most people. Everyone else thinks they are good, but they're not. They all stink [laughing]. I'm the best."

To emerge victorious from this final table, he had to be on top of his game and was just that. Bari entered the final table late on Day 3 with one of the top stacks, and right off the bat, he was putting the pressure on all of his opponents. After Farzad Bonyadi was eliminated in ninth place, Bari found himself in a bad spot with Mikhail Lakhitov, who held K-K to Bari's A-10. Fortunately for Bari, two 10s peeled off and he would grab a huge chip lead. After that, he became aggressor and separated himself from the pack.

Play would end on Day 3 on Saturday with four players remaining. Bari had 9.1 million in chips and his other three competitors had less than 1.4 million. When action reached heads-up on Sunday, Bari had a nearly 10-to-1 edge on Maria Ho. While she put up a fight and doubled up early to get back in contention, this was Bari's tournament and the bracelet would shortly find its way to his wrist.

"The bracelet means a lot," he said. "But I do not really think the bracelet should validate you as a player … All that matters is that good players know you are good. And when you sit at a table, they are like scared of you. And they respect your game. That's the most important thing."

Ho's second-place payday of $540,020 is the second-largest for any woman in WSOP history (behind Annette Obrestad's win at the 2007 WSOPE main event).

"This is my sixth year as a professional poker player," Ho said. "I am getting kind of choked up here. You visualize moments like these and all you want to do is win. It's a disappointment and I feel bad for saying that, because I won a lot of money and I should be proud. But there is a point in every poker player's career where you want that bracelet. It's so tough to get here."

Other notable finishers included the 2009 champion in this event, Brian Lemke (14th), Carlos Mortensen (17th), Jonathan Little (19th) and Bernard Lee (42nd).

Below are the complete results of Event 4 at the 2011 World Series of Poker:

Event 4: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $5,000
Entries: 865
Prize pool: $4,065,500
Players in the money: 81

1. Allen Bari ($874,116)
2. Maria Ho ($540,020)
3. Sean LeFort ($348,128)
4. Eddie Blumenthal ($255,028)
5. Thomas Ross ($189,574)
6. Ricky Fohrenbach ($142,821)
7. Jesse Chinni ($108,914)
8. Mikhail Lakhitov ($84,033)
9. Farzad Bonyadi ($65,535)
10. Joseph Kuether ($51,713)
11. Frank Rusnak ($51,713)
12. Cary Katz ($51,713)
13. Richard Lyndaker ($41,712)
14. Brian Lemke ($41,712)
15. Markus Gonsalves ($41,712)
16. Simon Charette ($33,540)
17. Carlos Mortensen ($33,540)
18. Peter Gilmore ($33,540)
19. Jonathan Little ($27,442)
20. Konstantin Bucherl ($27,442)
21. Greg Dyer ($27,442)
22. Jonathan Durand ($27,442)
23. Michael Hahn ($27,442)
24. Dmitry Gromov ($27,442)
25. Osmin Dardon ($27,442)
26 Judd Halenza ($27,442)
27. Marc-David Delimal ($27,442)
28. Andrew Rosskamm ($22,563)
29. J.C. Tran ($22,563)
30. Kirill Rabtsov ($22,563)
31. Dana Gill ($22,563)
32. Balazs Botond ($22,563)
33. Brian Schmidt ($22,563)
34. Sergey Rybachenko ($22,563)
35. Tim West ($22,563)
36. Steven Levy ($22,563)
37. Kyle Bowker ($18,863)
38. Matt Glantz ($18,863)
39. Jesse Yaginuma ($18,863)
40. Gavin Cochrane ($18,863)
41. Marton Czuczor ($18,863)
42. Bernard Lee ($18,863)
43. Jason Potter ($18,863)
44. Jamie Rosen ($18,863)
45. Tony Ahn ($18,863)
46. James Mackey ($15,814)
47. John Dolan ($15,814)
48. Luke Staudenmaier ($15,814)
49. Don Todd ($15,814)
50. Brian Sechrist ($15,814)
51. Matt Giannetti ($15,814)
52. Sachin Modi ($15,814)
53. Patricio Jimenez ($15,814)
54. Will Molson ($15,814)
55. Lee Cox ($13,375)
56. Seth Fischer ($13,375)
57. Eric Blair ($13,375)
58. Dave Sands ($13,375)
59. Steve Merrifield ($13,375)
60. Kevin Saul ($13,375)
61. Michael McClain ($13,375)
62. Kory Kilpatrick ($13,375)
63. John Zentner ($13,375)
64. Martin Kabrhel ($11,424)
65. Shawn Busse ($11,424)
66. Justin Zaki ($11,424)
67. Orueta Carracedo ($11,424)
68. Scott Montgomery ($11,424)
69. Paul Paris ($11,424)
70. Nikita Lebedev ($11,424)
71. Seth Berger ($11,424)
72. Rainier Reyes ($11,424)
73. Neil Willerson ($10,123)
74. Mark Busch ($10,123)
75. Mike Wattel ($10,123)
76. Shelly Teague ($10,123)
77. Mikhail Aleksandrov ($10,123)
78. Edward Pham ($10,123)
79. Justin Gardenhire ($10,123)
80. Steven Mcnally ($10,123)
81. Erich Moir ($10,123)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

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