By Paul Seaton
It’s been one of the busiest months in the history of the World Poker Tour in January, and we’ve been far and wide across the world as we travelled to Russia, Germany, Florida, Borgata, the WPT Gardens Championship and the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
Kornuth Aiming to be King of the Gardens
The WPT Gardens Championship, which has reached its final table stage, will conclude at the end of March, but is down to the final six and there are some big names among the half-dozen hopefuls looking to seal the deal in two months’ time.
One of the biggest is the chip leader, Chance Kornuth, who will see himself as the favorite with the chip lead and 120 big blinds in fun-discs. He’s a full 25 big blinds ahead of Markus Gonsalves, and with two short stacks in Straton Wilhelm and Qing Liu still in contention, the action is sure to kick off in quick fashion when play does get underway.
You can read all about the actions that brought the final table to six right here.
WPT Gardens Championship Final Table Chip Counts:
WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Sees Altman on the Beat
One of the biggest winners this month didn’t just win a huge Main Event, but won it for the second time. Brian Altman took down the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, winning at a stacked final table and taking home $482,636.
“It’s amazing to be the first person to win the same WPT event twice, and kind of cement myself in history with this event.” Altman said after his incredible triumph. With other legends in the field such as Mukul Pahuja (21st for $16,965), record-holding four-time WPT winner Darren Elias (32nd $14,357) and Anthony Zinno (38th for $12,300), it underlined just how hard Altman had to work for the win.
Watch the final table and see how Altman conquered the field of 843 entries.
WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Sees Zakarian Grab Lead as Altman Goes for Third WPT
The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open is always a huge event, but with 1,290 entries and prize-pool worth an enormous $4,129,290, this year’s event was bigger than most! With the final table being filmed for TV on April 1st at the Luxor in Las Vegas inside the legendary HyperX Esports Arena, no-one will want to be left feeling the fool.
It is Veerab Zakarian who will start the final table with the chip lead, but one of the biggest stories is that of Brian Altman. The WPT Champions Club member already has two Main Event wins on the World Poker Tour and will be one of the six shooting for the win when Borgata heads to Vegas in two months’ time. Incredibly, Altman won the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open just a few weeks ago as you’ll have read above.
Final Table Chip Counts:
WPTDeepStacks Hollywood Shows Muñiz the Money
One of the best-attended events on the World Poker Tour’s world-famous WPTDeepStacks events is the one in Hollywood. In the end, it was Edwards Muñiz who took down the title, beating Jason Block in the heads-up showdown.
With a huge 1,404 entries, the $228,717 top prize went to Muñiz as the recreational player and full-time lawyer saw the case closed after a thrilling final table. Muñiz came into play dead last in the counts, but he rallied and went on a no win no fuss rollercoaster to prove that you’re never out of contention as long as you have a chip and a chair.
Badulin wins WPT Russia Main Event while Daniel Szymanski Brilliant in Berlin
The WPT has been around Europe this month too, and it was Russian player Aleksey Badulin who triumphed on his home soil when he outlasted 488 opponents at Casino Sochi, when he won a massive $267,571. With Badulin’s victory over Vlada Stojanovic heads-up ending the tournament, he also won a ticket to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal. No-one would be brave enough to back against Badulin!
WPTDeepStacks Berlin Main Event was won by Daniel Szymanski for a €130,000 payday after a 13-hour final day saw the Polish player end the tournament on top. With 24 players making it to the final day, the action was fast and furious, with an all-Polish heads-up battle seeing Bartlomiej Paradowski finish as runner-up.
You can read all about the final table drama here, with some stunning photos from the event courtesy of Tomas Stahca bringing the event to life in amazing fashion.
With European events at King’s Casino in Rozvadov – including WPT Germany – in the next four weeks, it promises to be another fantastic month at the felt in February!
We’ll have all the action here for you when we take our seats together Under the Lights.