Taylor Von Kriegenbergh's Long and Winding Road to Victory
Level 33: 100,000-200,000, 25,000 ante
When you come into a final table as the big chip leader, things can go a couple of ways. Sometimes, it is a steamroll straight through the competition and on to the title. Other times, the path to victory is a winding one, complete with ups, downs, surprises, and setbacks. Taylor Von Krienbergh’s final table story is one of the winding road type of stories. Or, more appropriately, a roller coaster ride. Von Kriegenbergh began the day at the top of the hill, looking to only climb higher as play unfolded. Instead, it was a long and crazy night of poker that took a lot of twists and turns, but ended just like it started—with Von Kriegenbergh on top.
The inaugural Seminole Hard Rock Showdown final table will be remembered for a lot of suckouts and short stacks surviving and it was Curt Kohlberg who kicked off that trend by doubling thru Tommy Vedes on just the 17th hand of play. Three hands later, it was Abbey Daniels’ turn to double when a cooler of a hand saw her set of sevens hold up against Von Kriegenbergh’s set of threes.
From there, there were plenty more double ups but no eliminations. The chip lead circled around the table as just about every player either doubled someone up or doubled up themselves. Someone had to go out at some point though and the first player to hit the rail was Tommy Vedes, whose hopes of picking up a second WPT title were cut short just two hands after he took the chip lead at the final table. Vedes lost most of his stack when he called Daniels’ river shove with a king-high straight only to run into her rivered flush. The very next hand he got it all-in with top pair and a flush draw to Curt Kohlberg’s two pair and bricked to go home in sixth.
Allen Bari was the next player to fall. Bari seemed pretty card dead all evening and his bad run of luck was capped off when his A10 couldn’t win a coinflip against Justin Zaki’s pocket fives. Daniels met her demise a few orbits later on the wrong end of a coinflip as well. Getting short on chips, Daniels moved in with A8 and Kohlberg called her with pocket sixes. The board ran out seven-high and the man who began the day as the shortest stack took the chip lead, while Daniels exited in fourth place.
After Daniels left, the action stalled as the final three sparred in pots for nearly 70 hands without a major all-in confrontation. During that time, the blinds kept climbing and Von Kriegenbergh needed to pick up some chips in order to stay alive. He took a stand with K10 and ran smack into Zaki’s pocket aces, but a ten on the flop and a king on the turn gave new life to Von Kriegenbergh.
The young pro credited a sick run of luck and a little help from a higher power in his victory. That luck was out in full force from that point forward as he doubled thru Kohlberg to take a big chip lead, then finished off Zaki with 67 to Zaki’s AJ. With the local grinder out, Von Kriegenbergh only needed to dispatch of one more opponent and victory was his.
Von Kriegenbergh came into heads up play with a more than 5-1 chip lead and Kohlberg was at quite a disadvantage with his less than ten big blind stack. Kohlberg sparred with the big stack for a few minutes, but it only took eight hands of heads-up play for Von Kriegenbergh to eliminate his fellow Bostonian and take the title.
On the final hand of play, Von Kriegenbergh got one last bit of luck as his Q8 made a full house to beat Kohlberg’s A10 and bring the twelve-hour and 220-hand final table to a close. The Seminole Hard Rock had the presidential suite waiting for Von Kriegenbergh after play ended. However, after this long and winding final table, Von Kriegenbergh was much more inclined to get some much deserved rest rather than rock hard celebrating his $1,122,340 victory.
Here are the results from the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown final table:
1st: Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - $1,122,340
2nd: Curt Kohlberg - $586,109
3rd: Justin Zaki - $415,680
4th: Abbey Daniels - $286,819
5th: Allen Bari - $211,997
6th: Tommy Vedes - $166,272
Hand #220: Taylor Von Kriegenbergh Wins the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown! ($1,122,340)
Level 33: 100,000-200,000, 25,000 ante
Taylor Von Kriegenbergh moves all in, and Curt Kohlberg calls with A10. Von Kriegenbergh turns over Q8, and Kohlberg needs his hand to hold to stay alive.
The board comes Q44KQ, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh wins the pot -- and the tournament -- with a full house, queens full of fours.
Curt Kohlberg finishes as the runner-up, earning $586,109 for second place.
Taylor Von Kriegenbergh wins the inaugural televised WPT event in the state of Florida, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, earning $1,122,340, a WPT bracelet, a Seminole Hard Rock Showdown trophy. Von Kriegenbergh's prize includes his $25,500 entry into the WPT World Championship at Bellagio later this month.
Hand #206: Taylor Von Kriegenbergh Doubles Thru Curt Kohlberg
Level 32: 75,000-150,000, 25,000 ante
Taylor Von Kriegenbergh limps from the button for 150,000, Curt Kohlberg completes the small blind, and Justin Zaki checks his option. The flop comes K74, Kohlberg bets 400,000, Zaki folds, and Von Kriegenbergh thinks for a while before he min-raises to 800,000.
Kohlberg moves all in, and Von Kriegenbergh thinks for a full minute before he calls with K10 (pair of kings). Kohlberg turns over K5 (pair of kings, lower kicker), and he'll need to improve to bust Von Kriegenbergh here.
The turn is the 2, the river is the Q, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh wins the pot with a pair of kings and a ten kicker to double up in chips.
Seat 4. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - 7,525,000
Seat 5. Curt Kohlberg - 1,100,000
Seat 6. Justin Zaki - 4,350,000
Hand #185: Taylor Von Kriegenbergh Cracks Aces to Double Thru Justin Zaki
Level 31: 60,000-120,000, 20,000 ante
Justin Zaki raises from the button to 280,000, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh moves all in from the small blind. Zaki quickly calls with AA, and Von Kriegenbergh turns over K10. Von Kriegenbergh needs to improve to stay alive.
The flop comes Q105, and Von Kriegenbergh improves to a pair of tens. The turn card is -- the K, and Von Kriegenbergh takes the lead with two pair, kings and tens.
The river card is the 4, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh cracks aces to double up in chips.
Seat 4. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - 5,310,000
Seat 5. Curt Kohlberg - 3,615,000
Seat 6. Justin Zaki - 4,000,000
Hand #102: Taylor Von Kriegenbergh Takes a 1.7 Million Pot
Level 28: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Taylor Von Kriegenbergh raises under the gun to 150,000, and Abbey Daniels calls from the big blind. Both players check to the turn on a board of AA2J, Daniels bets 185,000, Von Kriegenbergh raises to 400,000, and Daniels thinks for a bit before she calls.
The river card is the 9, Daniels bets 275,000, and Von Kriegenbergh thinks for nearly a minute before raises to 1,000,000. Daniels quickly folds, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh takes the pot worth 1.7 million.
The cocktail waitress arrives to the table with a seltzer with lime for Allen Bari and a beer for Taylor Von Kriegenbergh. Each hands the player a bill and someone in the audience is quick to call Bari out on the difference.
"Allen tipped the girl a dollar and Taylor gave her a fifty."
Hand #95: Justin Zaki Doubles Thru Taylor Von Kriegenbergh
Level 28: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Justin Zaki moves all in under the gun for 985,000, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh asks for an exact count before he calls from the small blind with AQ. Zaki turns over AK, and he's a dominant favorite to double up here.
The board comes 9745K, and Justin Zaki wins the pot with a pair of kings to double up in chips.
Seat 1. Abbey Daniels - 2,380,000
Seat 3. Allen Bari - 1,165,000
Seat 4. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - 3,130,000
Seat 5. Curt Kohlberg - 4,220,000
Seat 6. Justin Zaki - 2,080,000
Allen Bari raises from the small blind to 125,000, and Taylor Von Kriegenbergh calls from the big blind. The flop comes 642, Bari bets 130,000, and Von Kriegenbergh calls. The turn card is the 5, Bari bets 260,000, and Von Kriegenbergh calls.
The river card is the J, Bari checks, and Von Kriegenbergh thinks for a while before betting 290,000. Bari thinks for more than a minute before he folds, and Von Kriegenbergh takes the pot.
Seat 1. Abbey Daniels - 2,915,000
Seat 3. Allen Bari - 1,385,000
Seat 4. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - 3,235,000
Seat 5. Curt Kohlberg - 4,005,000
Seat 6. Justin Zaki - 1,440,000