2024 WSOP: Ben Collins Wins Salute to Warriors for $207,486 while Warriors Net $180,680

Ben Collins is overwhelmed after winning the Salute to Warriors at the 2024 WSOP
Ben Collins is overwhelmed after winning the Salute to Warriors at the 2024 WSOP

UK grinder Ben Collins could only take off his hat and look on in disbelief as he secured his first WSOP Gold Bracelet on Saturday in Event #67: Salute to Warriors. Not only was it Collins’ first bracelet, according to WSOP.com, but it also looks to be his very first cash in a WSOP event.

The Salute to Warriors is a somewhat unique event at the WSOP as it’s about more than just poker. $40 from every buy-in goes into a fund to be donated to United Service Organizations. With 4,517 entries for this one, more than $180k was donated to help US veterans from the game.

Those 4,500+ entries also generated a healthy prize pool to play for with $1,851,970 in total, of which the winner was set to pocket $207,486.

Final Table Results from Event #67: Salute to Warriors

PlacePlayerHomePrize ($USD)
1 Ben CollinsUnited Kingdom$207,486
2 (Honorary) US Veterans$180,680 in Donations
2 Stavros PetychakisGreece$138,423
3 Tolga GesliUnited States$105,360
4 Paul SerrateBolivia$76,338
5 Rami HammoudCanada$57,420
6 Dane HarnettNew Zealand$43,564
7 Ben SnodgrassUnited States$33,341
8 Siavash BahriUnited States$25,742
9 Gerald SchniererUnited States$20,052
10 Richard JulianoUnited States$15,759

Veterans Win as Bracelet Goes to UK’s Collins

Ben Collins after winning the 2024 Salute to Warriors
Ben Collins after winning the 2024 Salute to Warriors

While Ben Collins was the last player standing in this event to win his first WSOP Bracelet (in what astonishingly appears to be his first WSOP cash), perhaps an equal winner from this game were 1000s of American service veterans who will benefit from more than $180k in donations generated from the more than 4,500 runners.

In fact, while Collins was the one to win the most money from the Salute to Warriors, the veterans themselves look to have taken the clear second place. Runner-up at the tables, Greece’s Stavros Petychakis pocketed $138,423 for his efforts, while the final tally for donations to US veterans came in at $180,680.

16 players returned for the final day of play with Paul Serrate leading the chip counts. Collins came into the day mid-field, sitting on 15 million, or a bit more than half of Serrate’s leading stack.

It took about two hours to play down to the final table of ten players with Rafael Takeda bubbling the final table in 11th. Runner-up Petychakis held the lead going into the final 10 with almost 55 million while #2 Paul Serrate wasn’t even on 40 million. Ben Collins was the 4th stack coming in with Rami Hammoud about 1 million in front for 3rd place.

Collins started to climb the ranks after dispatching Siavash Bahri in 8th place for a stack of 52 million, good for second place at the time behind Petychakis. A string of quick busts helped Collins grow into the chip-leading stack with 84 million after busting Hammoud in 5th place.

Collins was over 115 million less than 10 minutes later. Third-place finisher Tolga Gesli made a run at Collins’ stack with play three-handed and had him chipped down to about 83 million, only 10 million ahead of Gesli at one point. That was as close as Gesli would get however, as shortly after Collins sent him to the rail in a huge hand that saw the Brit turn an underset with sevens against the kings of Gesli.

That sent the American to the rail for third place and gave Collins almost 155 million chips going into heads-up play against Petychakis. The final phase took about 90 minutes to play out with the lead flipping a few times. Petychakis grabbed an early lead with a double when he hit a cooler two-pair over two-pair, but it wouldn’t last as a few hands later, Collins’ two-pair returned him to the chip lead.

It still wasn’t smooth sailing for the Brit as heads-up continued to be topsy-turvy. Collins was down to 55 million at one point, needing to fade a deuce with his best king to stay alive. He managed that, then doubled back to the lead and finally closed it out. In the final hand, Petychakis’ dominated ace couldn’t get there to send the bracelet over to Collins.

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