With the conclusion of the Season XV WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event came the conclusion of the World Poker Tour California Swing contest, and German poker player Rainer Kempe was crowned Season XV WPT California Swing champion.
Kempe earned the title thanks to an 18th-place finish in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 Championship and a sixth-place finish in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star $7,500 Main Event. Kempe failed to cash in the third leg of the contest, the WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event, but his combined effort from the first two legs was enough.
For winning, Kempe earned the Season XV WPT California Swing grand prize, which consists of a plethora of prizes, as follow:
- Up to six nights’ accommodation at Commerce Casino’s Crowne Plaza Hotel during the Season XVI WPT L.A. Poker Classic Championship event
- Complimentary airport transfer from LAX/Burbank Airport to Commerce Casino
- Up to five nights’ accommodation at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort during the Season XVI WPT Rolling Thunder
- $500 food and beverage credit for use during the Season XVI WPT Rolling Thunder
- Shooting Star status for the Season XVI WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event
- Complimentary accommodation of up to $1,000 in value to attend the Season XVI WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star
Click here for the official contest rules and details.
In the final event of the WPT California Swing, the WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event held at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Dean Baranowski was the last player standing who could pass Kempe if he finished in fifth place or higher from the field of 421 entries. Baranowski made a great run, but fell in 14th place when he ran pocket nines in the pocket aces of Jaroslaw Markowiak.
The WPT California Swing is a contest open to all players who enter each of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 Championship, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star $7,500 Main Event, and WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event in a given season. Players are awarded points based on a special scoring system, and the player who earns the most points is crowned the champion.
Season XV of the World Poker Tour isn’t done yet. Next up is a trip to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Florida for not one, but two WPT Main Tour title events. First up is the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker $3,500 Showdown starting March 31, 2017. Then it’s the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker $10,000 Finale starting April 2. Both events feature a $2 million guaranteed prize pool.