Lincoln, CA (April 4, 2023) – Scott Eskenazi conquered a field of 590 entries Tuesday evening at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. The 61-year-old from Mercer Island, Washington earned his first World Poker Tour® title and the top prize of $361,660, which includes a seat in the WPT® World Championship.
“Feels awesome. It was great. It was an educational experience. I’m still a rec player, but I learned a lot,” stated Eskenazi following his win. “They were all tough players, especially Jeremy Joseph. He’s a great player. We battled for a long time.”
Additionally, Eskenazi’s name will be engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, and he was awarded a WPT trophy created by world-renowned artist David Arsham.
The field of 590 set the record for most entries in a WPT Rolling Thunder, surpassing the mark of 465 entrants from the event’s debut in 2014. Most impressively, the $1,888,000 prize pool and $361,660 first-place prize not only set WPT Rolling Thunder records but also all-time records for Thunder Valley poker.
“We are elated with the tremendous success at Thunder Valley Casino, breaking WPT and venue records in multiple categories,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Congratulations to Scott for his crowning achievement in our largest WPT Rolling Thunder event in history.”
“It was an incredible, record-setting festival from start to finish, starting with the $1 million opener through WPT Rolling Thunder,” said Ben Erwin, Director of Poker Operations at Thunder Valley. “The draw for the main event was something we have never seen before. It was amazing to witness the constant flow of entries that took us to a new level. Special thanks to everyone who made the trip to be a part of the WPT experience.”
Poker pro Jeremy Joseph finished as the runner-up, claiming a payout of $234,000. He was preceded by Alejandro Jauregui (3rd place – $172,000), Albert Tapia (4th place – $128,000), Victor Paredes (5th place – $97,000) and WPT Commentator Tony Dunst (6th place – $73,400).
Other notable players to cash were WPT Champions David “ODB” Baker (14th place), Dylan Wilkerson (17th place) and Corey Wade (18th place), Bryan Piccioli (39th place), Ankush Mandavia (58th place), three-time WPT Champion Eric Afriat (60th place), and 2022 Breakout Player of the Year Angela Jordison (67th place).
Next stop on the Main Tour is the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, Florida. The second Main Tour festival of the year begins on April 13, WPT Ambassadors Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen will be hosting a $2/$5 Meet-Up Game on April 19, and the $3,500 buy-in championship event runs April 28 – May 4.
All photos from WPT Rolling Thunder can be accessed via our Flickr Page.
For more information regarding this and all World Poker Tour events, visit WPT.com.
Media Relations Manager
About the World Poker Tour®
World Poker Tour® (WPT®) is the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online, and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in more than 150 countries and territories, and is currently producing its 21st season, which airs on Bally Sports in the United States. Season XXI of WPT is sponsored by ClubWPT.com. ClubWPT.com is a unique online membership site that offers inside access to the WPT, as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club available in 43 states and territories across the United States, Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. WPT also participates in strategic brand license, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities. For more information, go to WPT.com.
©2023 WPT Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
WPT, World Poker Tour and Spade Card Design are registered trademarks of WPT Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.