Marvin Rettenmaier Captures WPT World Championship; Tom Marchese Wins WPT Super High Roller; Joe Serock Becomes Season X WPT Player of the Year
World Poker Tour’s Championship Week of Poker ended in the most fitting way possible, with three of the world’s best players capturing three of the game’s premier titles at the prestigious Bellagio in Las Vegas.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better or more spectacular way to end our historic tenth season,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller. “We crowned two very deserving tournament champions and saw one of our most dramatic Player of the Year races come all the way down to the wire. It’s a real testament to the depth of talent that you find on the World Poker Tour and to how hard those players are fighting for the prestige of that title.”
That talent was evident right from the beginning of the week, as 152 players, including Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Vanessa Selbst, and defending champion Scott Seiver paid $25,500 each to compete in the esteemed WPT World Championship. At the end, though, it was “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier, who became a PartyPoker sponsored pro just days before the start of the tournament, who worked his way through the difficult field to claim the title and nearly $1.2 million in prize money.
Despite starting the final day of play with a commanding chip lead, Rettenmaier didn’t face an easy road to the title, as it took more than 12 hours to navigate his way through the stacked final table that included Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Steve O’Dwyer, Nick Schulman, Trevor Pope, and eventual runner-up and Team PMU pro, Philippe Ktorza.
After Mizrachi busted in third place, Rettenmaier and Ktorza began an epic, 77-hand heads-up battle that brought both players to the brink of elimination on numerous occasions. At one point, Rettenmaier had whittled Ktorza’s chip stack down to just three big blinds, but couldn’t eliminate the stubborn French player who then doubled up on three consecutive hands to extend the match.
At the end, it was a cooler hand that ended the match, as Ktorza three-bet shoved preflop with two red Jacks only to be called by Rettenmaier, who held two black Kings. When the board provided no help, Ktorza was eliminated in second place, earning the largest payday of his career at more than $805,000.
“This was simply amazing,” said Rettenmaier after the victory. “The heads-up was such a roller coaster and it feels so great to win such a big, prestigious title in my first week as a newly sponsored PartyPoker pro.”
With his victory, Rettenmaier earned 1,400 WPT Player of the Year points, but was unable to catch Joe Serock, who narrowly edged out runner-up Will Failla at the end of a hard-fought, season-long battle. Serock trailed Failla at the start of Day 5 in the WPT World Championship and needed to finish in 15th place or better in order to retake the point lead.
Serock, who would go on to finish the tournament in 10th place, still couldn’t relax after wresting the POY title from Failla, as amateur player Moon Kim was still in position to mount a late charge. Kim, who could tie Serock with a fourth-place finish and who could take sole possession the Season X Player of the Year title by finishing third or better, came up short, however, when he was eliminated in 7th place.
In addition to securing a place in poker history as the WPT Season X Player of the Year, Serock will be hosted by the World Poker Tour for the next year, receiving free room, board, and ground transportation at WPT Main Events in Season XI.
The televised WPT Super High Roller attracted 34 entries and created a huge prize pool of more than $3.3M. Early in the event, Tom Marchese doubled down by re-entering after busting out on Day 1. His skill and relentless tenacity paid off with a victory, earning him the first-place prize worth more than $1.3 million.
Justin Bonomo would not be as fortunate. His elimination from the event earned him the unique and unpleasant distinction of being the first person to bust from a six-player WPT final table without cashing.
Marchese’s hard-fought victory, which came after nearly 80 hands of heads-up play against second-place finisher Andrew Robl, marked the 24-year-old’s second-ever tournament win and the largest single payday of his young career.
New episodes of the World Poker Tour continue to air every Sunday night at 8pm and 11pm local time on FOX Sports Net. The WPT World Championship and WPT Super High Roller tournaments capped an historic tenth season of world-class poker action and will begin airing on September 16, 2012. Both events will be televised as three-part episodes during the ongoing Season X broadcast, providing viewers with six weeks worth of championship poker from Bellagio.
WPT World Championship: Final Table Results
1. Marvin Rettenmaier – $1,196,858
2. Philippe Ktorza – $805,310
3. Michael Mizrachi – $424,618
4. Nick Schulman – $256,235
5. Steve O’Dwyer – $192,176
6. Trevor Pope – $155,571
WPT Super High Roller: Payouts
1. Tom Marchese – $1,308,405
2. Andrew Robl – $822,375
3. John Juanda – $526,320
4. Daniel Perper – $394,740
5. Bill Klein – $263,160
WPT Player of the Year Standings
1. Joe Serock – 2,200
2. Will Failla – 2,050
3. Moon Kim – 1,900
4. Daniel Buzgon – 1,750
5. Darren Elias – 1,600