Tyler Brown Hero-Call to victory in the 2023 World Series of Poker Mystery Millions event


Tyler Brown topped the biggest field ever in a World Series of Poker event with a buy-in of $1,000 or more, topping a field of 18,188 in 2023 WSOP Mystery Millions. While that fact is dramatic enough in itself, the Illinois resident’s victory was made all the more impressive thanks to the huge hero call he made moments before earning his first gold bracelet and grand prize of $1,000,000.

Brown was heads-up against Guang Chen, who covered him with just five big blinds. Brown raised on button with AClub dress5Suit in spades. Chen called with KClub dress9Heart dress from the big blind and the two saw a flop of 3Suit in spades3Heart dress2Diamond dress. Chen checked and Brown made a continuation bet with his overcards and gutshot straight draw. Chen quickly check-raised, four times Brown’s initial bet. Brown called and QSuit in spades rolled out on the turn. Chen moved all-in for Brown’s remaining 19 big blinds and, after some thinking, Brown called all-in with only ace-high. He was ahead, but had to lose six outs on the river. The QHeart dress he completed the board, however, holding Brown’s hand well.

Watch a replay of the hand from by PokerGO Exclusive live streaming coverage of the final table:

Not long after dragging that big pot, Brown wrapped up the winnings to secure the seven-figure top prize. He also earned 1,440 Card player Player of the Year aims as champion. This was his third final table of the year, with a runner-up finishing in a PGT extension Pot Limit Omaha $10,000 buy-in event and a sixth-place finish in the recent WSOP $5,000 no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha mixed event. With $1,238,562 to date POY extension earnings and 2,400 total points, Brown now sits in 29th place in 2023 POY extension race classification presented by Global Poker.

Shant MarashlianBrown wasn’t the only player to leave this event with a seven-figure payday. $300 from every $1,000 buy-in was set aside for the mysterious bounty prize pool, which could only be accessed by players who made it through day 2 and then secured a knockout. Each bounty earned for eliminating a player on Day 2 would give them one shot at a bounty, with available prizes ranging from $1,000 all the way up to $1,000,000. The huge turnout this year resulted in two million dollar bounties, which were eventually collected by Shant Marashlian and Patrick Liang. Klint Teveraei took home the one and only $500,000 bounty, while two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin took home the $250,000 prize.

This event took six days to complete, with four initial flights and then another two action-packed days. The Day 2 bounty excitement ended with just 30 players left and Chen in the lead. Brown was fifth in chips going into the final day, and ended up in the middle of the pack when the final table was set.

Raymond Taylor (9th – $96,100) and Tam Ho (8th – $121,683) were both eliminated by Steven Thompson, who moved close to the top spot with two early eliminations.

Dan Shak was eliminated when his pocket eights ran into Chen’s pocket jacks. All the chips went all-in preflop with Shak far behind, but he hit a flush draw when three hearts were revealed on the flop. The turn and river didn’t help Shak, however, and he busted in seventh place. The $154,940 he secured for his deep run was enough to grow his career tournament earnings to more than $13.1 million. He also collected a $100,000 bounty earlier in the day to further boost his loot for the event.

Tauan De Oliveira Naves was next to fall. The Brazilian called all-in from the big blind with AJ suited in front of the small blind all-in from Thompson, who held 10-9. De Oliveira Naves flopped top pair, but Thompson turned over a straight and canceled out De Oliveira Naves’ backdoor flush draw to narrow it down to five. De Oliveira Naves earned $198,320 as the sixth-place finisher. He now has more than $1.7 million in earnings registered in his name.

A classic race marked the end of Rhian Fineis’ run in this event. She moved all-in with AJ against Brown’s pocket tens. The pocket pair held and Fineis was eliminated in fifth place ($255,210). This was her first six-figure tournament score.

With that, Brown overtook the chip lead into four-handed action. On the other end of the spectrum, Steven Thompson’s stack was reduced during short-handed play. He managed to double up from about five big blinds to over ten, but was soon back in the danger zone. Finally he moved all-in with Q-6, moving all-in for just under 6.5 big blind from the small blind. Chen called from the big blind with A-5. Neither player connected and Chen’s ace high was enough to earn him the pot and knockout. Thompson earned $330,150 for his fourth-place finish, just topping the $328,487 he earned as a runner-up in 2016 WSOP $3,000 six-max event to set a new “high score” in the circuit.

Another battle of the blinds saw the elimination of Ryan McKnight in third place. There were other similarities between this hand and the previous elimination as both saw the small blind all-in nearly 6.5 big blind with Q-6. McKnight was sought out by Chen, who had Q-10. The board brought three jacks and two low cards other than sixes to send the pot to Chen. McKnight received $429,360 for his third-place finish, boosting his career earnings to just under $1.7 million in the process.

Heads-up play began with Chen holding 471,000,000 to Brown’s 258,000,000. However, it didn’t take long for the ranking to change drastically. Chen lost a bit early on, calling with bottom pair against Brown’s top pair on the first hand of the showdown.

The next deal saw the previously discussed hero call that changed everything. Brown almost took an 11:1 chip lead after the hand. Shortly thereafter, Chen moved all-in with AJ suited. Brown called five big blinds all-in with Q-7. He flopped a seven to take the lead, and rivered trips to take down the pot and the title. Chen took home $561,320 as runner-up.

Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY extension Points
1 Tyler Brown $1,000,000 1440
2 Guang Chen $561,320 1200
3 Ryan McKnight $429,360 960
4 Steven Thompson $330,150 720
5 Rhian Fineis $255,210 600
6 Tauan De Oliveira aisles $198,320 480
7 Dan Shak $154,940 360
8 Tam Ho $121,683 240
9 Raymond Taylor $96,100 120

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest results from the event.

Winning photo credit: WSOP / Danny Maxwell.

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