The final table of the WPT World Championship at Bellagio was filled with big names and big story lines, providing players and viewers alike with one of the most dramatic season-closing events in World Poker Tour history. When all was said and done, David “Chino” Rheem put on a final-table master class to capture the tour’s biggest title while Matt Salsberg could do nothing more than watch the action on his way to claiming World Poker Tour Season XI Player of the Year honors.
The impressive final table got off to a quick start when David Peters, who started the day on the short stack, became the first player eliminated on hand 14 after he moved all in on a flop of Js-6s-2. Peters was called by WPT Montreal winner Jonathan Roy who turned over Jd-9d for top pair, which put him in front of Peters’ 10s-10d. The Ah-Qc on the turn and river failed to help Peters, and he went home in sixth place with nearly $174,000.
Roy provided the night’s next knock out when he called Brand Stevens’ preflop shove with Ah-4h. He was well behind Stevens who tabled 10d-10h, but quickly took the lead on a flop of Ad-5s-3s. When the board completed 5c-4s, Stevens was eliminated while Roy moved into the second place. Roy played executioner yet again on hand 92 when got his money in good preflop with pocket Aces against the pocket Kings of Matt Hyman. Roy’s Aces held and Hyman left in fourth place with nearly $290,000.
Now virtually tied with Chino Rheem, Roy needed to take over – and maintain – the chip lead in order to snatch WPT Player of the Year honors away from Matt Salsberg. It wasn’t to be for the Canadian pro, however when, after a protracted three-handed battle, he finally fell to Chino Rheem when his set of 8s turned out to be no good against Rheem’s rivered flush. Roy finished in third place and collected more than $421,000 for his efforts.
Rheem started heads-up play with a 3-1 chip lead over Erick Lindgren and never fell behind in the nearly 100-hand battle. In the night’s final hand, Rheem moved all in with Kd-9c and found himself dominating Lindgren who called with Qd-9d. Neither player connected on the board of Ac-Jc-4h-3h-8s, and Rheem’s King-high was enough to give him the title and the first-place prize of more than $1 million.
- Chino Rheem – $1,150,297
- Erick Lindgren – $650,275
- Jonathan Roy – $421,800
- Matt Hyman – $289,988
- Brandon Steven – $223,203
- David Peters – $173,993