One of the most dramatic races in WPT history came to an end yesterday on the penultimate day of the WPT World Championship. For a recap of the POY race up until the start of the WPT World Championship, click here.
Entering the prestigious Season X finale, Will “The Thrill” Failla held a slight lead over Joe Serock after Failla’s memorable run at WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open. Yet with the game’s greatest players in attendance at the WPT World Championship and many with a shot at winning Season X WPT Player of the Year, the title remained up for grabs.
Looking to lock the race up with another deep run, Failla battled as intensely and charismatically as always during the opening days of the WPT World Championship. However on Day 3, “The Thrill” busted and opened the door for his competitors. Failla’s early exit from the tournament meant that the POY race was still very much up in the air. 11 other players, including Joe Serock, David Sands, Matthew Waxman, and Noah Schwartz, and Moon Kim were all in the hunt to capture this revered honor.
One by one, these top professionals busted from the field except for POY rival Joe Serock and the surging Moon Kim. While Serock had been battling Failla over the past two months and even briefly snatched the lead back in April, Kim rose from the middle of the pack. Kim’s impressive victory at the Bay 101 Shooting Star awarded enough points that a strong finish at Bellagio could potentially catapult him above both players.
As Day 5 of the WPT World Championship began, Failla still held pole position in the standings, however he’d have to sweat serious threats at the title. Midway through the day, Failla’s worst nightmare came true as WPT Champion Rinat Bogdanov busted in 16th place. This elimination guaranteed Serock the minimum amount of points necessary to pass “The Thrill” and retake the lead. But as play continued, so did the race.
With only ten professionals left in the WPT World Championship, the POY race took another dramatic turn as “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier knocked Serock out of the tournament. The action ended for the day with nine players remaining, one – Moon Kim – with a legitamate shot at winning WPT Player of the Year.
As play resumed on Day 6, Kim was looking to not only become a WPT World Champion but also WPT Player of the Year. The NorCal local needed to reach the WPT final table for a shot at poker glory (4th place to tie Serock, 3rd place or higher to defeat), and as his competitors went out in ninth and eighth place he seemed poised to make it into the final day. Yet once again, “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier ended the tournament of a POY hopeful as he would knock out Kim in seventh place in a pre-flop race situation.
With Kim’s elimination, Joe Serock officially sealed his name in history as Season X WPT Player of the Year. Upon hearing the news, Serock would Tweet perhaps the poker understatement of the century:
O hey Moon just busted 7th and now Im wpt player of the year
— Joe Serock (@floesknowshoes) May 24, 2012
WPT Player of the Year: Current Rankings*
*Steve O’Dwyer can move into 3rd Place with a win on Saturday
WPT Super High Roller ends today at Bellagio. Watch the final table STREAM on WPT.com starting at 4:30pm PT. Six players including John Juanda, Tom Marchese, Justin Bonomo and Andrew Robl will battle for the $1.3M first-place prize.
WPT World Championship concludes Saturday and the final table features famous professionals looking to make huge waves with a win. Nick Schulman looks for his second WPT title while Michael “The Grinder”Mizrachi chases his third. “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier currently holds a large chip lead, tune into WPT Live Streaming on Saturday starting at 4:30pm PT.