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Eric Afriat Wins WPT #SHRPO Main Event in Florida

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

WPT SHR Poker Showdown Champion Eric Afriat_WPT Seminole HR Poker Showdown_Giron_8JG3865 Climbing to the top of the largest World Poker Tour field in history (1,795 entries) would be considered an achievement for any poker player, but considering the talented final table that emerged from this large field, the victory of Eric Afriat tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is even more impressive. Afriat had to contend with a tough collection of players including Chance Kornuth, Matt Stout, Jacob Bazeley, James Mackey, and Season XII WPT Player of the Year leader Mukul Pahuja.

Afriat took home his first WPT title at his second final table on tour (his first was a sixth-place finish at Festa al Lago in Season IX) and he also scored a million-dollar payday. Afriat now has $1,548,433 in career earnings according to the Hendon Mob poker database.

Here is a look at the final table seating chart with chip counts when the final table began today:

Seat 1.  Eric Afriat  -  6,760,000  (42 bb)
Seat 2.  Jacob Bazeley  -  7,305,000  (45 bb)
Seat 3.  James Mackey  -  11,680,000  (73 bb)
Seat 4.  Chance Kornuth  -  5,315,000  (33 bb)
Seat 5.  Matt Stout  -  3,665,000  (22 bb)
Seat 6.  Mukul Pahuja  -  18,895,000  (118 bb)

The eliminations at the final table began promptly when Chance Kornuth moved all in for 2,625,000 from the button in Hand #14 after James Mackey opened the action with a raise to 300,000. Mackey called with Aheart10spade and Kornuth revealed KdiamondQspade. The board was dealt Qdiamond4club3clubAspade8club and Kornuth was eliminated in sixth place, good for $247,954.

Matt Stout was the next player to find himself all in on Hand #30. Stout shoved for 3,325,000 on the button and Mukul Pahuja tanked for a few moments before calling on the small blind. Stout held Qdiamond10spade and he was behind the Aspade8heart of Pahuja. The board ran out Jclub8diamond2club4club6spade and Stout was eliminated in fifth place, good for $308,501.

Things kept rolling right along when Jacob Bazeley made his last stand on Hand #62. Bazeley raised to 525,000 under the gun and Eric Afriat called on the big blind. The flop fell Jheart8heart4spade and Afriat bet 300,000. Bazeley raised to 1.3 million and Afriat reraised to 2.8 million. Bazeley tanked for a bit and then shoved all in for 6,125,000. Afriat quickly called with Jspade8spade and Bazeley tabled AclubAspade. The turn and river were dealt 9spadeQdiamond and that was it for Bazeley, who was eliminated in fourth place ($371,931).

The battle for third place was the stubborn one at the final table. Mackey doubled thru Pahuja on Hand #90, and then Pahuja doubled thru Afriat on Hand #92. Mackey doubled thru Afriat next on Hand #124 before the merry-go-round ride of doubles came to an end on Hand #148. That was when Pahuja raised to 800,000 on the button preflop and Mackey reraised all in for 6.8 million on the big blind. Pahuja called with 9club9spade and Mackey flipped over Kclub7club. The board ran out 10heart6heart2diamondQdiamondJclub and Mackey busted in third place ($441,128).

The chip counts at the start of heads-up play stood at 38,575,000 for Afriat and 15,050,000 for Pahuja. It took just seven hands for the heads-up final to come to a close. Afriat raised to 1 million and Pahuja reraised all in for 10.8 million. Afriat called with 8diamond8heart and Pahuja showed down Kheart9spade. The final board was dealt 5club5spade2diamond10diamond6heart and Afriat won the pot and the tournament with two pair , eights and fives. Afriat took home the top prize worth $1,081,184 and his first WPT title. Afriat was also awarded a WPT Champions Trophy, a pair of gold Monster 24K Headphones, and a $15,400 seat into the WPT World Championship.

Pahuja was eliminated in second place for the second time during Season XII and he took home $691,965 in prize money. Pahuja can take solace in the fact that he now holds 3,450 WPT POY points and has a commanding lead to win Season XII POY honors. Shaun Suller and Dylan Wilkerson are the only two players with an outside chance to catch him going into the WPT World Championship, but they would have to win the event to pass Pahuja. That is matter to settle next week though, but tonight congratulations are in order for the newest WPT champion, Eric Afriat.

Final Table Results
1: Eric Afriat - $1,081,184
2: Mukul Pahuja - $691,965
3: James Mackey - $441,128
4: Jacob Bazely - $371,931
5: Matt Stout - $308,501
6: Chance Kornuth - $247,954

That concludes our coverage from the WPT #SHRPO Main Event. Thanks goes to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for hosting another fantastic event and thanks to Joe Giron Photography for the marvelous shots from the final table tonight. The next WPT event will be the season-ending WPT World Championship at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which runs from April 21-26 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

We'll leave you with a highlights package from the final table, including an emotional interview with the new Champ:

Sorted In: Featured Blog, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
11:00 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #155: Eric Afriat Wins the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown! ($1,081,184)

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

WPT SHR Poker Showdown Champion Eric Afriat_WPT Seminole HR Poker Showdown_Giron_8JG3886 Eric Afriat min-raises to 1,000,000, Mukul Pahuja moves all in for 10,800,000, and Afriat quickly calls with 8diamond8heart. Pahuja turns over Kheart9spade, and he needs to improve to stay alive.

The board comes 5club5spade2diamond10diamond6heart, and Eric Afriat wins the pot — and the WPT title — with two pair, eights and fives.

Mukul Pahuja finishes as the runner-up, earning $691,965.

Eric Afriat wins the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, earning $1,081,184, a WPT Champions Trophy, and a pair of gold Monster 24K Headphones. Part of Afriat’s prize money includes a $15,400 seat into the WPT World Championship, held next week at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.

Afriat’s name will be engraved on the one-and-only WPT Champions Cup, along with all the previous WPT winners over 12 seasons.

Congratulations to Eric Afriat!

1st:  Eric Afriat  -  $1,081,184
2nd:  Mukul Pahuja  -  $691,965
3rd:  James Mackey  -  $441,128
4th:  Jacob Bazeley  -  $371,931
5th:  Matt Stout  -  $308,501
6th:  Chance Kornuth  -  $247,954

Sorted In: Featured Blog, Eric Afriat, Mukul Pahuja, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:33 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #154: Eric Afriat

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Mukul Pahuja limps for 500,000, Eric Afriat raises to 1,500,000, and Pahuja calls.

The flop comes Jclub8club7heart, Afriat bets 1,000,000, and Pahuja calls.

The turn card is the Aclub, Afriat bets 1,400,000, and Pahuja folds. Afriat shows AheartJheart for two pair as he takes the pot.

Eric Afriat  -  42,775,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  10,850,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:26 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #153: Eric Afriat

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Eric Afriat min-raises to 1,000,000, and Mukul Pahuja folds.

Eric Afriat  -  40,225,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  13,400,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:25 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #152: Eric Afriat

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Mukul Pahuja min-raises to 1,000,000, and Eric Afriat calls.

The flop comes Jdiamond8club3club, Afriat checks, Pahuja bets 950,000, and Afriat calls.

The turn card is the Kspade, and both players check.

The river card is the 5spade, Afriat bets 1,400,000, and Pahuja folds. Afriat takes the pot.

Eric Afriat  -  39,675,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  13,950,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:24 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #151: Eric Afriat

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Eric Afriat limps for 500,000, and Mukul Pahuja checks his option.

The flop comes AdiamondAheart10heart, Pahuja checks, Afriat bets 500,000, and Pahuja folds. Afriat takes the pot.

Eric Afriat  -  37,675,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  15,950,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:22 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #150: Mukul Pahuja

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Mukul Pahuja min-raises to 1,000,000, and Eric Afriat calls.

The flop comes 10heart7club7spade, Afriat checks, Pahuja bets 500,000, and Afriat calls.

The turn card double-pairs the board with the 10club, and both players check.

The river card is the 4spade, Afriat checks, Pahuja bets 950,000, and Afriat quickly calls. Pahuja shows Aspade6club for the two pair on the board with an ace kicker, and Afriat mucks. Pahuja wins the pot.

Eric Afriat  -  37,125,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  16,500,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:20 PM, 04/16/14

Hand #149: Eric Afriat

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Eric Afriat min-raises to 1,000,000, and Mukul Pahuja calls.

The flop comes Jspade6diamond4heart, Pahuja checks, Afriat bets 600,000, and Pahuja folds. Afriat takes the pot.

Eric Afriat  -  39,625,000
Mukul Pahuja  -  14,000,000

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:18 PM, 04/16/14

Level 38 Begins Heads-Up

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

Heads Up_Eric Afriat_ Mukul Pahuja_WPT Seminole HR Poker Showdown_Giron_7JG2862 The players have been interviewed, and the Royal Flush Girls have brought the money (more than $1 million) to the table. The final two players are seated and ready to go, so it's time to shuffle up and deal!

Level 38 begins with increased blinds of 250,000-500,000 and a 50,000 ante.

Eric Afriat  -  38,575,000  (77 bb)
Mukul Pahuja  -  15,050,000  (30 bb)

Reminder:  In heads-up play, the button has the small blind and acts first before the flop.

Sorted In: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
10:17 PM, 04/16/14

Official Chip Counts Before Heads-Up Play

Level 38: 250,000-500,000, 50,000 ante

That last hand was the final hand of Level 37, so when play resumes for heads-up play, Level 38 will begin with increased blinds of 250,000-500,000 and a 50,000 ante.

Here are the official chip counts from the table, along with the final table prizepool:

Eric Afriat  -  38,575,000  (77 bb)
Mukul Pahuja  -  15,050,000  (30 bb)

1st:  $1,081,184
2nd:  $691,965

3rd:  James Mackey  -  $441,128
4th:  Jacob Bazeley  -  $371,931
5th:  Matt Stout  -  $308,501
6th:  Chance Kornuth  -  $247,954

While the final table is reset for the heads-up final you can check out this video about the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table:

Sorted In: Featured Blog, Mukul Pahuja, Eric Afriat, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Season XII
09:47 PM, 04/16/14
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