Lindgren wins six-max bracelet

Editor's note: A replay of this final table can be found on demand at ESPN3.com.

The past year has been filled with tough times for Erick Lindgren, but on Thursday in Las Vegas, staying focused on the cards in front of him was all that mattered. As reported in January's Bluff magazine, Lindgren was in a rehab facility trying to address his gambling problems. Rehabbing a poker player for gambling isn't easy as a fine line needs to be drawn between Lindgren's profession and his other sports-betting related activities that resulted in massive losses.

"I owed people a bunch of money, and it's something that I've been working on for a long time, but I definitely slipped up, made some really bad mistakes and I needed to address that," he said in the article.

Out of rehab and back at the WSOP, Lindgren proved that he's still extremely sharp on the felt as he defeated one of the toughest fields we'll see all WSOP in the $5,000 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold 'em Event 32. He earned $606,317 and his first bracelet since 2008. This was his fifth cash of the Series and his third final table over the past three years.

According to the WSOP, Lindgren defeated a final table that included Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo, Vasile Buboi, Connor Drinan, Jonathan Little and Lee Markholt, all established tournament players. Lindgren was the only player at the final table to have previously won a bracelet and defeated Markholt heads-up for the title.

"I was at the top of the game once and took some things for granted," said Lindgren to the WSOP. "I had to rebuild from the bottom. It was that kind of hard work - like playing in small games or smaller tournaments. I just worked as hard as I could. I got my game back to where it needed to be and that's why I am here today."

Lindgren began the final table with the chip lead and maintained that position easily for most of the night. D'Angelo, at his second career WSOP final table, ran K-10 into Drinan's A-K and was eliminated in sixth. Lindgren continued to build his stack, but Drinan continued the eliminations, knocking out Buboi in fifth by winning a big race with 8-8 against A-K. Unfortunately Drinan's streak ended as he was the next casualty and was sent to the rail in fourth at the hands of Little.

As evidenced on the ESPN3 broadcast, Lindgren's reads were right on through most of the night and that allowed him to pick up key pots, especially during three-handed play. Of course, having the cards at the right time didn't hurt either. Little's two final table appearances have both resulted in third-place finishes as his A-5 was no match for Lindgren's J-J. He has $5.1 million in lifetime earnings, but only $440,682 from the WSOP.

Lindgren began heads-up with a 4:1 edge, but the veteran Markholt wouldn't go away easily and eventually evened the stacks. Just when the momentum seemed to swing in his direction, Lindgren pushed him off of some pots and began the upward surge once again. On the final hand, Lindgren limped on the button and Marholt checked to a flop of As-Js-9d. Markholt led out, Lindgren raised and Markholt moved all-in. Lindgren called instantly with A-A and essentially had Markholt drawing dead with J-9. Lindgren walked over to Markholt, shook his hand, gave him a hug, thanked the dealer then headed over to his rail to celebrate.

Markholt is considered by some to be at the top of the best without a bracelet list. He has $3.7 million in lifetime earnings.

"I don't think people understand how great a player Lee is, and how much respect I have for his game," said Lindgren. "He's one of my poker heroes. … Everybody respects Lee. He will get his (gold bracelet). And I'll be on the rail to sweat that victory."

Other notable finishers include Andrew Robl (seventh), Allen Bari (ninth), Dan Smith (12th) and Max Steinberg (14th). Daniel Negreanu added to his Player of the Year lead with a 39th-place finish in this event.

Below are the complete results of Event 32 at the 2013 World Series of Poker:

Event 32: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $5,000
Entries: 516
Prize pool: $2,425,200
Players in the money: 54

1. Erick Lindgren ($606,317)
2. Lee Markholt ($374,960)
3. Jonathan Little ($238,833)
4. Connor Drinan ($157,274)
5. Vasile Buboi ($106,830)
6. Ryan D'Angelo ($74,768)
7. Andrew Robl ($53,863)
8. Craig Fishman ($53,863)
9. Allen Bari ($39,918)
10. Dario Sammartino ($39,918)
11. Dan Smith ($30,412)
12. Kyle White ($30,412)
13. Jonathan Aguiar ($23,791)
14. Harry Bienenfeld ($23,791)
15. Max Steinberg ($23,791)
16. James Miller ($23,791)
17. Benjamin Reinhart ($23,791)
18. Massimo Mosele ($23,791)
19. Mike Sowers ($19,110)
20. Matt Waxman ($19,110)
21. Luke Staudenmaier ($19,110)
22. Justin Smith ($19,110)
23. Inigo Rodriguez ($19,110)
24. Nicolas Cardyn ($19,110)
25. Luke Vrabel ($15,739)
26. Andy Hwang ($15,739)
27. Petr Bartagov ($15,739)
28. Hans Bosman ($15,739)
29. Raymond Iskander ($15,739)
30. Tony Gargano ($15,739)
31. Jordan Cristos ($13,290)
32. Ludovic Riehl ($13,290)
33. Elton Beebe ($13,290)
34. Steve Sung ($13,290)
35. Barry Hutter ($13,290)
36. Richard Lyndaker ($13,290)
37. Amit Makhija ($11,495)
38. Marvin Rettenmaier ($11,495)
39. Daniel Negreanu ($11,495)
40. Anthony Moses ($11,495)
41. Andrey Gulyy ($11,495)
42. Gerardo Godinez ($11,495)
43. John Miner ($10,307)
44. Leandro Vlastaris ($10,307)
45. Dan O'Brien ($10,307)
46. Phillippe Ktorza ($10,307)
47. Pim de Goede ($10,307)
48. Brock Parker ($10,307)
49. Eric Froehlich ($9,240)
50. Matt Glantz ($9,240)
51. Olivier Busquet ($9,240)
52. Stanislav Barshak ($9,240)
53. Ryan Eriquezzo ($9,240)
54. Brian Rast ($9,240)