There were a number of interesting storylines in play at the start of the final table for the inaugural WPT Choctaw Main Event in Durant, Oklahoma. Darren Elias was attempting to win his third WPT title in a year, after victories at WPT Borgata in September and WPT Caribbean in November. In addition, WPT Champions Club member Andy Hwang was trying to win his second WPT title, and Mina Greco was attempting to make history by becoming the first female to win an open buy-in WPT Main Tour event.
But there could only be one winner crowned from the large field of 1,175 players, and after a long night of poker, Jason Brin emerged as the inaugural WPT Choctaw champion. The unlikely champion took home $682,975 in prize money and a luxurious Hublot Oceanographic 4000 Watch after coming on strong during the late stages of play. He was rarely the first player to act in a hand, but when he chose to play a hand Brin most often won the pot. That wise selection process made him the big winner tonight in the first WPT event he ever played.
Here is a look at the chip counts when cards got into the air at 4 pm CT:
Seat 1. Alex Lynskey – 5,925,000 (74 bb)
Seat 2. Andy Hwang – 10,935,000 (137 bb)
Seat 3. Darren Elias – 8,130,000 (102 bb)
Seat 4. Jason Brin – 2,390,000 (30 bb)
Seat 5. Mina Greco – 2,220,000 (28 bb)
Seat 6. Jake Schindler – 5,675,000 (71 bb)
Play started slow at the final table, and it took 71 hands before there was an all in and call. Alex Lysnkey moved all in for 810,000 with in the hole, and Jason Brin had him covered holding . The board delivered a queen for Brin, and Lynskey was eliminated in sixth place, good for $135,504.
Just five hands after Lynskey kicked off the bustouts, Mina Greco was all in preflop for 2.1 million with J-9, and Andy Hwang had her covered holding pocket kings. The board bricked out and Greco was out in fifth place, earning $167,691.
Brin doubled up against Jake Schindler on Hand 96, and then it was Schindler’s turn to move all in on the next hand. He was at risk with pocket fours and Hwang had him covered holding . Hwang made a pair of aces on the turn and improved to a club flush on the river. Schindler was eliminated in fourth place, taking home $224,913.
Darren Elias doubled up on Hand 131 against Brin, and then play continued late into the night three-handed. Elias doubled up again on Hand 201, and the longest three-handed match in WPT history continued.
Hand 222 saw Elias move all in for 5.3 million with , but Hwang had him dominated holding . The board missed them both and Elias was eliminated on the strength of Hwang’s king kicker. Elias took home $303,593 in prize money and that set up a final battle between Hwang and Brin.
Hwang took 22,225,000 into battle against the 13,050,000 held by Brin. The chip counts started to even out and Brin took the chip lead after 29 hands in the final match. Hwang was able to double up when his K-J held against the K-5 of Brin on a board dealt J-8-5-9-2, but he was still far behind.
The final hand was the 284th of the night. Brin moved all in preflop with in the hole, and Hwang called holding . The board was dealt and Hwang was eliminated in second place, good for $468,105. Brin won the first-ever WPT Choctaw event, earning $682,975. That amount includes his $15,400 entry into the season-ending WPT World Championship. Brin also received a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 Watch and a WPT Champions Trophy. Brin’s name will also be engraved on the one-and-only WPT Champions Cup, alongside all the other WPT champions from all 14 seasons.
Final Table Results
1st: Jason Brin – $682,975
2nd: Andy Hwang – $468,105
3rd: Darren Elias – $303,593
4th: Jake Schindler – $224,913
5th: Mina Greco – $167,691
6th: Alex Lynskey – $135,504
That concludes our coverage of the WPT Choctaw Main Event in Durant, Oklahoma. Thanks to the Choctaw Casino Resort for hosting a great event. The next stop on the tour is the WPT Legends of Poker that will take place from August 29 to September 4 at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California. The WPT Live Updates team will be there to bring you all of the action, and if you are looking to book your trip and take a shot at becoming a WPT Champion like Jason Brin, head to WPT Travel and get your hotel room today.
Photos by Joe Giron.