Brian Altman Becomes the First Player in WPT History to Win the Same Event Twice at WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

Jan 22, 2020

Brian Altman

By Kevin Taylor

History has been made here at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. Five years after winning his first WPT title here, Brian Altman has become the first player to win the same WPT event twice, taking home $482,636, and a seat to the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions.

“This is incredibly special. It’s amazing to be the first person to win the same WPT event twice, and kind of cement myself in history with this event. Obviously it’s fantastic to get big wins, but playing these events I’m happy to put myself in a position to go deep, be chip leader, and make final tables,” said Altman.

He adds his name to the short list of players in WPT history to win at least two Main Event titles. Altman said that all of the close calls he has had over the recent years makes this second overall title even better for him.

“Winning a second WPT title feels amazing. It’s incredibly special. It doesn’t always work out. I’ve had maybe a dozen or so situations where I’ve gone deep and thought I was going to win and I didn’t. But that’s how tournaments go. To continually put myself in a position to win tournaments, it feels special,” said Altman.

Altman dominated this event, bagging the chip lead at the end of Day 2, and he never fell out of the top two in the counts the rest of the way. He and John “Jake” Dollinger came into the final table with most of the chips in play, and Altman said this situation reminded him of his first WPT win here, so he knew what his strategy was going in.

“Coming into the final table Jake and I had about 70% of the chips in play, which was actually similar to the dynamic that I had five years ago where me and another opponent were tied for the lead in chips, so I’ve been here before. My plan was to put a lot of pressure on the middling stacks, and put ICM pressure on people, and I think I executed that fairly well,” said Altman.

Altman started the heads-up battle with Dollinger at a disadvantage in chips, as Dollinger held 20 million to the 13 million of Altman. However, in just two hands, those chip counts were flipped, and Altman never looked back. Altman gave credit to a good friend of his, who also happens to be a WPT champion himself.

“In terms of heads up, my friend Jonathan Jaffe is a heads-up expert, so I had a chat with him about what strategy I was going to take, particularly against Jake if we got heads up. So I was pretty prepared about what I was going to do in certain hands and how I was going to proceed. So having him in my corner was instrumental,” said Altman.

With the win, Altman has vaulted over WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic champion Alex Foxen to take the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. Altman told us that he is going to take a few days off, and then get right back on the grind to try and keep his lead in that race.

“I’m probably going to spend a few days in Philadelphia with some friends, and then head to the WPT event in Borgata. I was already planning to play most of the events the rest of the season in regards to winning WPT Player of the Year. I was going to play them regardless of what happened here,” said Altman.

This win marks the sixth tournament victory for Altman here at the Seminole Hard Rock. When jokingly asked if he was moving to Florida because of this, Altman had a laugh, but said he’s not planning on a move anytime soon. “It’s a possibility, but I’m happy with my friends and family in Boston. That’s really important to me.”

Congratulations to Brian Altman on his historic victory, and thank you to everyone who came out to the Seminole Hard Rock for the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. See you guys at our next major event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open, which will be starting up on January 26th.

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