Every once in a while a player storms a final table at a World Poker Tour® event not only with his or her poker skills, but also with the force of a booming personality. That was certainly the case at the Season XV WPT® Legends of Poker on Thursday night at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA as “World Famous” Pat Lyons’ roar was heard loud and clear throughout. It was a dashing display of dominance and entertainment that saw Lyons claim the title to the tune of a $615,346 payday.
In addition to the first-place prize money, which includes an entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, Lyons also received a WPT Champions Trophy, a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones, and his name will be inscribed on the one-and-only WPT Champions Cup, alongside every other WPT champion from all 15 seasons.
Lyons hails from Northern California and has said that the WPT Legends of Poker is one of the few tournaments he’d most like to win in the world.
“You know what? It is really satisfying,” said Lyons after the win. “Let me tell you, the players down here in Southern California are second to none, and I knew that if I could come down here and win by competing against them that it would really mean something.”
Final Table Results:
1st: Pat Lyons – $615,346
2nd: Ben Zamani – $341,412
3rd: Upeshka De Silva – $198,720
4th: Todd Peterson – $149,715
5th: William Vo – $113,105
6th: Rafael Oliveira – $85,760
Entering the final table with the chip lead, all eyes were on 77-year-old William Vo, a local player with Vietnamese roots looking to make history as the oldest player ever to win a WPT title. But as things would turn out, fortune turned on Vo and he was eliminated in fifth place for a career-best $113,105.
Lyons faced two talented opponents in Ben Zamani and Upeshka De Silva during a three-handed battle that lasted for hours, but Lyons prevailed in the end, first busting De Silva in third place and then sealing the deal against Zamani.
For Zamani, the runner-up finish was yet another for the young pro, and remarkably his second back-to-back finish in a WPT main event following his loss to James Mackey at WPT Choctaw in heads-up play. In November of 2015 during Season XIV, Zamani took second in the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble.
Despite missing out on WPT glory for the second time this season and third time in 10 months, Zamani did position himself as the heavy favorite for another title — that is the Hublot WPT Player of the Year title. Thanks to the consecutive second-place finishes, Zamani has a comfortable lead in the race with 2,000 points.
When heads-up play began, Lyons held about a 3-1 lead over Zamani, and he only increased from there.
On the final hand, Lyons moved all in with the , and Zamani called with the . The board ran out , and Lyons was victorious.
The next event of Season XV of the World Poker Tour takes places across the country to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ from Sept. 18-23. The WPT reporting team will be there to bring you all of the action, so stay tuned to WPT.com.