After taking more than 14 hours to play down from 28 players to six on Day 3, today’s WPT bestbet Fall Poker Scramble finished in near record time with Noah Schwartz putting on a big-stack clinic on his way to his first-ever World Poker Tour title.
Schwartz, a 26-year-old pro from Miami, came into the final table with 6.2 million chips, which represented more than 45% of the total chips in play. Hans Winzeler, the eventual fourth-place finisher, started the day in second chip position with just over 1.9 million in his stack.
After a grueling Day 3, the final table players wasted no getting their chips in the middle when today’s final table started and Lee Markholt, who was seeking his second WPT title, was eliminated on the day’s first hand when he moved all in with Ad-KC and couldn’t improve against Schwartz’s pocket queens. It took nearly an hour to lose the next player, 26-year-old Brian Senie, who pushed his short stack with Qc-10h, only to find himself dominated by Schwartz who called Ks-10c. A board that ran out Ah-Kc-8s-4h-8c gave Schwartz two pair and a nearly insurmountable lead.
Byron Kaverman dispatched the next two players, in short order when his pocket 3s out-raced Winzeler’s As-Jc to send him home in fourth position and then caught a runner-runner straight while holding pocket 8s to run down Ryan Hartmann’s pair of queens on a board of Qh-7h-5c-6s-9h.
Schwartz and Kraverman entered heads-up play on hand 69 with nearly equal stacks. Schwartz pulled away after winning the first five hands of heads-up play, and the tournament would end on hand 80 when Kraverman moved all in on a board of 10h-9s-3h-4s and was called by Schwartz, who held Qs-10s for top pair and flush draw, but found himself behind Kraverman’s top two pair. Schwartz wouldn’t be denied, however, spiking the Qc on the river for a higher two pair and the victory.
For Schwartz, who has made three previous WPT final tables, including last season’s televised L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino, today’s win marks his first tour championship and first major title. He collects nearly $403,000 for his victory, including a $25,500 entry into the WPT World Championship at Bellagio, along with having his name etched onto the prestigious WPT Champions Cup.
- Noah Schwartz – $402,970, including a $25,500 entry to the WPT World Championship
- Byron Kaverman – $236,592
- Ryan Hartzmann – $153,403
- Hans Winzeler – $106,848
- Brian Senie – $77,083
- Lee Markholt – $61,819