Justin Young Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

Apr 20, 2016

Champion Justin Young

By Ryan Lucchesi (@Luccrazy)
Photos by Joe Giron

The final 10 players returned for an early start time of 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday at Paradise Live to start the long march down to a champion in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event. The $3,500 buy-in re-entry event attracted a field of 1,222 players.

The final two players to emerge from this field had made it to the final match in a WPT tournament before. Both Justin Young and Garrett Greer have advanced to the final two at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas. Young fell against Moshin Charania, and Greer was the runner-up against Chino Rheem. Both were experienced and hungry when they faced off tonight in South Florida, but only one could earn his first WPT title.

Greer started with the lead, but Young scored a key double to survive and pulled in front. The second time they clashed all-in, Young won his first WPT title, surrounded by a joyous rail of his wife and close friends in the poker world. This Young’s first WPT title, and he increased his career tournament earnings to $4,327,588.

Here is a look at the seating chart and chip counts when cards got into the air today.

Seat 1. Cate Hall – 1,140,000 (19 bb)
Seat 2. Andrey Plotnikov – 3,240,000 (54 bb)
Seat 3. Hyoung Chae – 6,225,000 (104 bb)
Seat 4. Ben Tarzia – 4,540,000 (76 bb)
Seat 5. Matt Haugen – 4,425,000 (74 bb)
Seat 6. William Foxen – 880,000 (15 bb)
Seat 7. Tim Reilly – 5,795,000 (97 bb)
Seat 8. Justin Young – 3,660,000 (61 bb)
Seat 9. Garrett Greer – 2,035,000 (34 bb)
Seat 10. Sam Soverel – 4,715,000 (79 bb)

The first order of business was to play down to the WPT final table of six, and it took just under four hours to make that happen. William Foxen fell in 10th place (49,627), and he was followed to the rail by Cate Hall, who took home $65,404 for her ninth-place finish. Hall’s elimination meant that Mike Shariati captured the Season XIV Hublot WPT Player of the Year award today. The next two players to fall were Andrey Plotnikov in eighth place ($87,880), and Sam Soverel in seventh place ($110,357).

The final six players then took a break before the WPT final table began at 3:15 p.m. It took 49 hands and over two hours of play before we lost a player among the final six. Ben Tarzia was all in with A-10 suited and he was behind the pocket eights of Hyoung Chae preflop. The board changed nothing and Tarzia was eliminated in sixth place, good for $132,560.

The next bustout came much quick, as Tim Reilly was all-in five hands later holding pocket sevens on K-Q-3-4 board. Chae held pocket jacks and they held on the river to win the hand. Reilly was out in fifth place, good for $164,113 in prize money.

It took another 70 hands after that to bust another player. Matt Haugen was the unlucky one when he decided to risk his tournament life with A-J. Justin Young woke up with pocket jacks and quickly called. The board brought no help, and Haugen was eliminated in fourth place, good for $220,207.

Three-handed play was a little more cooperative, and we lost Chae 26 hands later after Greer scored a huge double against Chae before his final shove. Chae held A-Q against Young, who woke up with another pocket pair (fives this time around). Another board bricked for the player at risk, and Chae was out in third place, good for $297,336.

The chip counts at the start of heads-up play had Greer in the lead with 22.45 million against the 14.2 million of Young. A dozen hands into heads-up play, Young was all in preflop with A-9 suited against the pocket fours of Greer. Help arrived in the form of an ace, and Young took a slight lead in the final match.

The final hand came 11 hands later. It started when Young raised to 900,000 preflop. Greer moved all in for 10,300,000, and Young quickly called with Heart KClub Q. Greer turned over Spade ADiamond 8, and needed his hand to hold to stay alive.

The board came Heart ASpade KClub 4Diamond JHeart Q — Greer paired his ace on the flop, but Young rivered two pair to win the pot — and the WPT title — with kings and queens. Greer finished as the runner-up, earning $458,722.

Justin Young won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, earning $669,161, a WPT Champions Trophy, and a Seminole Hard Rock trophy. Young’s name will be added to the one-and-only WPT Champions Cup, and his first prize amount includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, which begins here on Friday. Congratulations to Justin Young!

Final Table Results

1st: Justin Young – $669,161
2nd: Garrett Greer – $458,722
3rd: Hyoung Chae – $297,336
4th: Matt Haugen – $220,207
5th: Tim Reilly – $164,113
6th: Ben Tarzia – $132,560
7th: Sam Soverel – $110,357
8th: Andrey Plotnikov – $87,880
9th: Cate Hall – $65,404
10th: William Foxen – $49,627

That concludes our coverage from the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Starting on Thursday at Noon ET, we will have hand-for-hand live updates, real-time chip counts, photos, and a WPT live stream from the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock $10k Poker Finale.

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