The 2021 World Series of Poker $1,500 no-limit hold’em freezeout event attracted a total of 1,191 players, with no re-entries available in this throwback one-and-done tournament. After three days of action, only one player remained: Chad Himmelspach. The North Dakota resident earned $270,877 and his first WSOP gold bracelet for the win, defeating Germany’s Stefan Reiser heads-up to secure the title.
This is the largest tournament score on Himmelspach’s poker resume, blowing away the $30,730 he earned as the runner-up finisher in the 2013 Midwest Poker Classic $1,100 buy-in main event.
The final day of this event began with Renmei Liu leading the final eight players, while Himmelspach sat in the middle of the pack. He was able to climb during the early action, while also outlasting Seth Evans (8th – $29,416) and Nicholas Hubers (7th – $38,121). He took down a sizable pot preflop after five betting, and then earned his first knockout of the final day. Tarun Gulati had three-bet shoved all-in with A9 in a squeeze spot, and Himmelspach called as the initial raiser with 1010. Himmelspach made tens full of sevens by the end to secure the pot, while Gulati earned $50,021 as the sixth-place finisher.
Ori Hasson lost a preflop race against Kaue De Souza to hit the rail in fifth place ($66,447). Despite that win, De Souza soon followed when his A-9 was outrun by the A-2 of Liu. He was awarded $89,344 as the fourth-place finisher.
Liu was the short stack as three-handed play continued. He eventually got all-in preflop with QJ in a coinflip against the 5 of Himmelspach. The board brought no help for Liu and he was knocked out in third place ($121,580).
Himmelspach entered heads-up play with the lead, but he and Stefan Reiser had a back-and-forth battle that lasted three hours. Himmelspach was able to overtake the lead for the last time and then extend it in time for the final hand of the event. Reiser was down to less than four big blinds. He moved all-in from the button with 93 and Himmelspach called with 88[[suit:club]. The board ran out 1010410A and Himmelspach locked up the pot and the title. Reiser earned $167,418 as the runner-up.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
|4||Kaue De Souza||$89,344||480|
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Alec Rome.