It’s only fitting that the masked man won the $2,200 Warm Up during the Series of Merit Poker Western, which celebrates an era of cowboys and highway robbers.
After a final marathon table at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino in North Cyprus, John Doe requested anonymity and covered his face with sunglasses, a hoodie, and a face mask triumphed and won 181,200 dollars and the title by winning heads-up against Turkey’s Recep Aydemir.
As part of his persona, Doe adopted his unique style. He raised large amounts before the flop. Bluffs like his were audacious. And he wasn’t afraid to take a risk. As it turned out, Doe held the chip lead for nearly a couple of full days before earning each chip within the tournament after becoming chip leader early on Day 3.
From a competition of 523 players, 19 players remained on Day 4. In the nine-handed play, Nikolay Fal, Arie Kliper, and Maxime Chilaud all failed to make the final table as Doe held the chip lead at 12,180,000.
As the first elimination of the final table, he flopped a set of fours to beat Evgenii Katymaev’s pair of tens. With ace-ten, Michele Guerrini moved all in for 1,510,000 but was eliminated by David Hu’s aces. Doe defeated Eli Saad in seventh place with two deuces against an ace.
At the final table, Ryan Mandara, one of two British pros, doubled up with jacks against Hu’s flush draws and straight draws but lost the race to Paul Browne.
The chip lead changed hands five-handed between Browne and Helmut Phung before Phung doubled up after catching a running straight. It would take more than two hours to play five-handed. Despite being an extremely short stack, Aydemir doubled up three times and took the chip lead after a heroic river call against Hu. Browne rivered a straight after Aydemir flopped a set.
Rather than taking a picture with the trophy after securing it, Doe allowed Aydemir to do so in order to protect his identity. Despite his identity, Doe left a lasting trademark on the game and the tournament. The tournament’s money was stolen by him like one of the old wild, wild west robbers.