Jared Ward Wins WPTDeepStacks Choctaw

Nov 8, 2021

WPTDeepStacks Choctaw Champion Jared Ward
Photo:  WPTDeepStacks Choctaw Champion Jared Ward

WPTDeepStacks Choctaw attracted a field of 545 entries to create a prizepool worth $528,650, and the last player standing was Jared Ward, who won $102,200 to nearly double his career earnings.

It wasn’t an easy road for Ward, who was one of the last entries in the tournament, registering during the dinner break on Day 1B. Ward began the final table as one of the short stacks with just 22 big blinds.

“I was trying to wait and let some of the shorter stacks bust out,” said Ward. “That happened and then I just caught cards at the right time.”

It only took 19 hands to lose the first three players. Ward was the short stack at that point, but then he doubled up two hands in a row (Hand #24 and Hand #25), and then 18 hands later he won a big pot against Marc Maxey to take a substantial lead with 94 big blinds (Hand #43).

Five-handed play lasted for more than two hours until Andreas Halikias was eliminated in Hand #91, and then Mo Khan was knocked out about 45 minutes later in Hand #122.

Nick Pupillo
Photo:  Third-place finisher Nick Pupillo has more than $3.7 million in career live tournament earnings.

The final three players were fairly even in chips and fairly deep in big blinds. The favorite at that point had to be Nick Pupillo, who has more than $3.7 million in live tournament earnings.

But the very next hand after Khan’s elimination (Hand #123), Ward four-bet all in with Spade 9Club 9, and Pupillo called with Diamond ASpade Q. Pupillo flopped a queen, but Ward rivered a nine to win the biggest pot of the tournament with a set of nines, doubling to a massive lead and knocking Pupillo down to just nine big blinds.

Pupillo was eliminated by Ward two hands later in Hand #125, when his Club QHeart 8 was dominated by Ward’s Diamond QDiamond 10.

Runner-Up Marc Maxey
Photo:  Runner-Up Marc Maxey

Ward increased his heads-up lead against Maxey over the next 33 hands, until Hand #158, when Maxey three-bet all in with Diamond ADiamond 9, only to run into Ward’s Spade AClub J. The best hand held up, and Ward had become the WPTDeepStacks Choctaw champion.

“I love this place,” said Ward about Choctaw Casino & Resort. “They have a great hotel with three large towers, and the Spa Tower is right over the Poker Room so I love that. They have bowling, and movies, and a way to escape the grind.”

“I’ve been coming here for about ten years,” said Ward, “though I’ve never left feeling this good.”

The next stop on the tour is the WPTDeepStacks Championship, which runs December 4th-7th at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in California. Ward’s first prize included a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Ward about the WPTDeepStacks Championship. “Hopefully I run as well there as I did today.”

Jared Ward
Photo:  WPTDeepStacks Choctaw Champion Jared Ward

1st:  Jared Ward  –  $102,200*
2nd:  Marc Maxey  –  $66,100
3rd:  Nick Pupillo  –  $48,660
4th:  Mo Khan  –  $36,240
5th:  Andreas Halikias  –  $27,305
6th:  Shawn Ramsey  –  $20,815
7th:  Tony Nguyen  –  $16,060
8th:  Patrick Lenihan  –  $12,540

* First-prize amount includes the winner’s $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package.

Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com

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