The World Series of Poker first introduced the $1,000 no-limit hold’em tag team event in 2016, 34 years after ‘mixed doubles’ tournament last held in 1982. The fifth running of the modern version of this event was held at the 2021 WSOP. A total of 641 teams turned out for the event which kicked off with a fun and festive atmosphere on Halloween. The healthy turnout built a prize pool of $590,490, with the largest share ultimately awarded to ‘Team Ruter’. The team was made up of a pair of players from California: Mike Ruter and Samy Dighlawi. They both earned their first bracelets and their piece of the $113,366 top prize.
An even split of the prize money would result in a $55,683 payday for each of the champions, which would be the largest score for either player. The winning team told PokerNews’ live reporters that they had first tried their hand at this same event in 2019, but were quickly eliminated. This time around, they lasted through three full days of action to come away with the title.
The final day began with ‘Team Newman’ in the lead among the ten remaining pairs, with ‘Team Ruter’ in third position to start. A preflop cooler of pocket nines versus pocket kings sent Mike Lutz and Matt Krebs of ‘Team Lutz’ to the rail in 10th place ($6,882). Scott Johnston and Bob Fisher were the next to be eliminated when their top pair of aces with a queen kicker was unable to hold up against the flush and backdoor straight draw of ‘Team Botfeld’. The father-daughter duo of David and Amanda Botfeld hit a club on the river to knock out ‘Team Johnston’ in ninth place ($8,670).
‘Team Erdwurm’ (Zachary Erdwurm and Steven Jones) finished eighth for $14,494, while Holly Babbitt and Michael Babbitt’s run ended in seventh place ($14,494).
‘Team Ruter’ scored their first knockout at the final table when Dighlawi’s pocket threes won a race against the ace-king of ‘Team Miner’. Benjamin Miner and Dmitriy Uskach earned $19,226 for their sixth-place showing.
Alfie Adam and Vidur Sethi were the next to fall, with their A-6 ran into the A-K suited of Ruter, who flopped trip kings and held from there. ‘Team Adam’ cashed for $25,928.
Michael Newman and Robert Ormont of ‘Team Newman’ started the day with the chip lead, but ultimately hit the rail in fourth place when their K7 failed to beat out the 88 of ‘Team Wolf’, despite an action-packed flop of AQJ. Two bricks on the turn and river sent ‘Team Newman’ home with $35,542.
Amanda Botfeld, author of A Girl’s Guide To Poker, made it down to the final three teams alongside her father, David. She took to Twitter before the final day began to share a family photo of the pair playing together.
This is my dad teaching me how to play poker with lime green chips. 15 years later, we have made the final table together in the
wsop</a> Tag Team Tournament.<br><br>Love you dad, and couldn&#39;t have done it without you. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fatherdaughter?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fatherdaughter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/poker?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#poker</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/joinpokerpower?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">joinpokerpower pic.twitter.com/Mb04y3KaEJ
— Amanda Botfeld (@amandabotfeld) November 2, 2021
‘Team Botfeld’ got the last of their stack in peflop, three-bet shoving A-5 offsuit 5 over the open of ‘Team Ruter’s’ Dighlawi, who called with A6. The board brought four clubs to give Dighlawi an unbeatable flush heading into the river. ‘Team Botfeld’ was awarded $49,512 for their third-place finish.
Heads-up play was a back-and-forth affair, but a big hand with two pair saw ‘Team Ruter’ take what would be the decisive lead. Tomer Wolf of ‘Team Wolf’ shoved for his last 890,000 with 76 and Dighlawi called with Q7. The board ran out 842QJ to secure the pot and title for ‘Team Ruter’. Wolf and his teammate David Landell earned $70,074 as the runners-up.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
|1||Mike Ruter – Samy Dighlawi||$113,366|
|2||Tomer Wolf – David Landell||$70,074|
|3||Amanda Botfeld – David Botfeld||$49,512|
|4||Michael Newman – Robert Ormont||$35,542|
|5||Alfie Adam – Vidur Sethi||$25,928|
|6||Benjamin Miner – Dmitriy Uskach||$19,226|
|7||Holly Babbitt – Michael Babbitt||$14,494|
|8||Zachary Erdwurm – Steven Jones||$11,114|
|9||Scott Johnston – Bob Fisher||$8,670|
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti.