Jan 26, 2022
Alexander Yen came into the final table with the chip lead and did not let it go to waste as he eliminated three of his five opponents to etch his name onto the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, take home the $975,240 first-place prize and win the 2022-2023 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. Before today, Yen had two runner-up finishes under his belt but had never walked away with a trophy.
“My friends make fun of me all the time, saying you must have chopped it with your [heads-up] opponent both times cause I played so bad,” Yen says. “I had that monkey on my back and had to get it off, really prove myself.”
Prove himself he did as he defeated long-time Sweedish tournament crusher Anton Wigg heads-up to walk away with the trophy. The final hand saw Yenn limp on the button, and Wigg raised the big blind to two million. Yen called, and the flop fell , and Wigg continued for 4.5 million. Yen called. The turn hit the felt, and Wigg used a time extension before announcing all-in, Yen snap-called. Wigg tabled for an overpair of queens, but Yen tabled for the nut straight with a re-draw to a flush. The river 4d[/px] completed the board, and Yen held sending Wigg out the door in second place for $650,180.
“He is an incredible player. I really felt like the king-queen vs. ace-ten hand, I was going to give it away to him.” Yen said. “I felt like at that moment he hand a lot of momentum and was out playing me, but I hit the dream flop and won.”
Daniel Lazrus came into the day fourth in chips and managed to maneuver himself into a third-place finish when he ran his pocket sixes into the king-jack of Yen. The online tournament crusher walks away with $482,380 for his efforts and scores his first main tour WPT cash in the process.
Forth Place finisher Nicholas Verderamo came into the day as the short stack in the field, but after finding an early double through Josh Kay in hand, #37 Verderamo parlayed his newly found chips into the $361,130 fourth place prize.
On the flip side of the coin, Kay came into the day second in chips behind Yen, but after losing a cooler to Wigg on hand #40 Kay found himself with nearly an identical stack to Verdermao. Six hands later Kay was out the door in fifth place for $372,830.
WPT Deepstacks Champion Omar Lakdhari entered the day the short stack with just over 20 big blinds and found himself all-in on hand #27 holding king-queen of spades against Lazrus’s pocket nines. Lakdhari couldn’t crack the nines and walked out the door in sixth place for $208,025.
With that, the 2022-2023 Lucky Hearts Poker Open comes to a close, and all eyes move to the 2022-2023 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open right back here at the Seminole Hard Rock in April. The Main Event runs from April 8th-12th, with two-day ones on April 8th and 9th.
1st: Alexander Yen – $975,240
2nd: Anton Wigg – $650,180
3rd: Daniel Lazrus – $482,380
4th: Nicholas Verderamo – $361,130
5th: Josh Kay – $272,830
6th: Omar Lakhdari – $208,025
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com