Scott Margereson has done it, winning the Season XVI WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship for his first WPT title, $696,740, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Steel watch. Margereson topped a field of 1,309 entries and outlasted Faraz Jaka in an 82-handed duel of heads-up play to earn the victory.
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table Results
1st: Scott Margereson – $696,740*
2nd: Faraz Jaka – $454,496
3rd: Brian Hastings – $336,466
4th: Joey Couden – $251,523
5th: Matt Stout – $189,880
6th: Jeff Fielder – $144,775
*First-place prize includes a $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
Margereson emerged as one of the top stacks on Day 2 and powered his way through to victory from there. On Day 2, Margereson finished third in chips, at the end of Day 3 he was the chip leader, and then heading into the final table he was third on the leaderboard with more than 100 big blinds in his stack.
“It’s been coming, that’s for sure,” Margereson said when asked about when he began to think he had a realistic chance to win the tournament. “It’s possible, but it’s not probable. When I made it to Day 4, I was like, ‘I have a real shot.’ I didn’t start thinking about it until Day 4.”
Margereson is well versed in online poker play, but not many in the live world know him yet. He’s had a few splashes in the live realm, but nothing like winning a World Poker Tour title from a televised event.
“Honestly, I don’t think I made any adjustments based on the fact that it’s a one-time sample,” Margereson said when asked to compare his online play to his live play. “The long run is the long run, I suppose. That’s how it will be. A lot of people finish their live career very far below EV and some will finish very far above. When you sign up to play tournament, you know that this is how it’s going to be.
“I don’t think I adjust anything at all. I just play the spot as close to as optimal as possible. I honestly go hand-by-hand, I’m very robotic, even online.”
Margereson’s previous best score was $107,723 and he shattered that with a first prize of nearly $700,000. Margereson now has more than $1.2 million in live tournament earnings, according to HendonMob.com.
“I can’t have a losing year now,” Margereson said about what the money does for him.
Margereson defeated Jaka on the 232nd hand of the final table after the two battled back and forth for a marathon heads-up match. On the final hand, Margereson moved all in with the and Jaka called with the . At the time, the blinds were up to 300,000-600,000 and Jaka had called all in for 12.375 million. The flop, turn, and river ran out to give Margereson the win.
Jaka, the Season XVIII WPT Player of the Year, took home $454,496 for the fourth largest score of his career. Jaka now has more than $6 million in career live tournament earnings.
Falling first at the final table was Jeff Fielder, a two-time WPTDeepStacks champion looking to become the first-ever player to win both a WPTDeepStacks title and a WPT Main Tour title. Matt Stout was next out the door in fifth place, then Joey Couden busted in fourth.
Hitting the rail in third place was Brian Hastings when his top pair, top kicker couldn’t hold against the flush draw for Margereson. The money went in on the flop and Margereson nailed his flush on the river to bust Hastings.
Big WPT Events Coming Up in Vegas
Season XVI of the World Poker Tour isn’t over yet, and the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment heads to Las Vegas next for two big tournaments to close out the season. First up is a trip to Bellagio, the venue where it all began for the World Poker Tour, for the Season XVI WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship. After that, it’s ARIA Resort & Casino for the Season XVI WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic.
The Season XVI WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship takes place May 1-6, 2018, and comes with a buy-in of $10,400. The event allows for a single reentry and more details can be found here.
Included on the Season XVI WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship schedule is the WPT Bellagio $25,500 High Roller, taking place May 5-6 for play down to the final table. After the final table is reached on May 6, the players will break to return on May 25 to play out the final table at the brand new, state-of-the-art Esports Arena Las Vegas. This event will be filmed for TV.
The Season XVI WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic has a buy-in of $10,000 and also allows for a single reentry. This event runs May 20-23. Click here for more information.
The WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship and WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic represent the final two opportunities for non-WPT champions to win their way to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions that is taking place May 24-26. The first two days of this event take place at ARIA Resort & Casino, with the final table at Esports Arena Las Vegas.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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