WPT WOC: Phillip Mighall Takes Down the Main Event Championship for $1,550,298!

By Lisa Yiasemides The biggest night in the entire festival schedule took place last night, with the flagship event of the series playing down to a winner. Incredibly, two players became millionaires on account of the enormous $10,110,000 prize pool and each and every one of the nine contenders took home at least six-figures for…

Lisa Yiasemides
Sep 17, 2020

By Lisa Yiasemides

The biggest night in the entire festival schedule took place last night, with the flagship event of the series playing down to a winner. Incredibly, two players became millionaires on account of the enormous $10,110,000 prize pool and each and every one of the nine contenders took home at least six-figures for making it to that illustrious final table.

Alongside all of that excitement were several winners who emerged victorious in the side events; plus the $3,200 Heads Up Championship Main Event, and $320 Mini and $33 Micro editions kicked off too. Those events will wrap up tonight, fending off any post-Main Event blues people may be feeling by providing the second WPT Champion in two days!

Yesterday’s winners

Event #08: $10,300 Main Event Championship ($10M GTD)

Four days of play, 1,011 entries and an enormous $10,110,000 prize pool is the short and sweet summary of the flagship event of the series. By the time the final day kicked off last night at 7 pm (BST), nine hopefuls were still in contention and all of them had won a six-figure sum for making it that far.

The first two eliminations came in close succession at the end of the first level. László Molnár was the first to go. Damian Salas had been the table aggressor and min-raised with ace-seven. With 16 big blinds, Molnár three-bet half of his stack with ace-jack. Victor Simionato was sat in the big blind with a dominating pair of jacks and he clicked a cold-four bet in, which got Salas out of the way but not Molnár who felt committed to putting the remainder of his chips in. Another ace was among the other hole cards, which left only one more in the deck to hit and Molnár couldn’t find it, going to the rail in 9th place for $127,386.

Akseli Paalanen had entered the final with a previous best cash of $15,000 and he multiplied that by ten, taking $153,672 for coming 8th, after he cold-four bet ace-king of spades over Simionato’s three-bet with queens. Simionato was the executor for a second time, with the pot sending him into the chip lead.

Bert ‘Girafganger’ Stevens had done well to ladder two spots after beginning with the shortest stack. The online crusher was about to meet his demise though after shoving 15 big blinds with queen-ten blind on blind and getting called by Blaž Žerjav who had ace-five. The preflop favourite held, and Stevens was out in 7th for $194,112.

At the end of the second level, it was one of the crowd favourites’ turn to depart. Dzmitry Urbanovich was flying the partypoker flag and had failed to get going, losing a few small pots up until this point. He finally found the spot he was looking for, getting it in with ace-king versus Teun Mulder’s ace-queen but the first card out on the flop was a queen and Urbanovic didn’t find a redraw, taking $277,014 for 6th place.

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Dzmitry Urbanovich

It would be an hour until the next bustout and Simionato had hit a rocky patch, losing a succession of hands on unfavourable boards for his preflop holdings. His final hand was a particularly interesting one that involved Blaž Žerjav in the small and Simionato in the big blinds. It went limp-raise-call preflop and Simionato had queen-jack with one heart and one club on a nine-two-five-king-four board, with two hearts and two clubs out. The runout looked like the perfect opportunity to go for a triple-barrel bluff, and it would have been had Žerjav not hit a gutshot on the river to make a wheel straight with ace-five. Guest commentator Ike Haxton was suitably impressed with the play, stating that Simionato “had a lot to be proud of there.” The Brazilian had one of the greatest success stories of the night, qualifying for the event for just $22 after playing three satellites. That made for an insane 17,784 times return on his original investment when he banked $391,257 for placing fifth.

Play continued four-handed for three more levels before the next elimination. Žerjav had put up a great fight, executing a particularly gutsy bluff all-in against Mulder earlier in the evening. The Slovenian was about to come unstuck though after losing two pots, the first was a flip against Salas and then left short, he got the rest of it in preflop with sixes but ran into Mighall’s kings. He took $552,006 for his fourth-place finish.

Then there were three and Salas was the shortest of them. His exit hand was king-queen suited in the big blind, which he called 22 big blinds all in following a small blind shove from Mighall with threes. It looked like it was going to be a double up after a king landed on the flop and a queen on the turn, but the cruellest runout of the night was about to hit, with one of the two threes coming on the river. Mighall’s set sent Salas crashing out in third place but the Argentinian will no doubt be able to console himself with the huge $814,663 payday.

With the heads-up stage of the competition reached, the players entered a deal discussion. Mulder negotiated a non-ICM deal that left chip leader Mighall with $54,000 more. The two then continued to play for an extra $100,000, the title, and all the other goodies that were part and parcel of the winner’s package.

Settling in to fight for the accolade of WPT Champion, the relatively short heads-up match saw a few big pots early doors, making for an exciting finale in this Championship event. First Mighall increased his lead after making a flush but the few successive hands that followed were all Mulder’s, with trips and a flush himself that saw the Dutchman move ahead.

Teun Mulder

Teun Mulder

It all changed hands again following a hero call by Mulder with pocket sixes on a jack-five-king-four-king board in which Mighall had king-queen. Shortly after that Mulder’s hopes for taking the title vanished completely, the result of a brutal cooler. Mulder was slow-playing pocket-aces, flat-calling Mighall’s three-bet pre and flat-calling once again when he made a set on the flop. The turn dealt Mighall the gutshot he needed to make a straight and the Brit set his opponent all in, which Mulder couldn’t call quick enough. The river was a brick, and the rest as they say, is history.

Phillip Mighall

Phillip Mighall

Phillip Mighall is the latest WPT Champion, taking a total of $1,550,298 for the win. He will also see his name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup aND gains access to the exclusive WPT Champions Club. Entry into the rake-free Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal worth $15,000, a Hublot Big Bang timepiece valued at $15,000, and a set of beautiful Everyday Baccarat Crystal Tumblers are some of the additional prizes that Mighall can enjoy along with a life-time’s worth of bragging rights.

Congratulations to Mighall and to Mulder, who became the second millionaire of the night after his $1,396,968 score, and indeed to all the finalists for being part of this historic event. Mighall’s win sees him enter the Player of the Championship Leaderboard in second place, and you can read all about that in tomorrow’s blog.

ME Championship 17.09

$1,050 Mix-Max ($100K GTD)

Sergei Denisov has been no stranger to deep runs this series and last night he took a title after toppling a 102 field in the largest of the Mix-Max events. The result was worth $27,552 to the Russian and Belarussian regular Aliaksei Boika took the runner-up prize of $17,459. Rok Gostisa managed to outlast two of the best online players of all time, coming in third ahead of Simon Mattsson and Niklas Åstedt in fourth and fifth places.

Manig Loeser (6th, $4,819) and Daniel Carter (7th, $3,978) took the last of the final table seats, finishing ahead of Markus Altkirch (8th) who won $3,264 for exiting on the final table bubble, the same amount that partypoker pro Roberto Romanello took for 9th place. Artur Martirosian (10th) was among the min-cashers, winning $2,295, an amount denied to Alexandros Theologis who bubbled in 16th place.

Mix-Max 17.09

$215 Mix-Max ($50K GTD)

Tom Delaine came out on top of the 241 entries, beating Daniel Wolf at the last to bag $11,525 in the mid-stakes event. Wolf’s runner up place meant a cash of $7,615 and other notable finishers included Athanasios Tavlas in fifth place, James Reid ($2,200) in sixth, and Joe Quinn ($1,750) in seventh who rounded up the final-table line up.

Ole Schemion (11th, $900), Jack Sinclair (16th, $575) and Daniel Wilson (17th, $525) were some of the big names who made it to the top 30 paid, with Catarina Ferreira banking a min-cash of $460 for placing 30th.

Mini Mix-Max 17.09

$22 Mini Mix-Max ($25K GTD)

Artur Naumkin ($3,962) picked up a second title for Russia after taking down the $22 mini event. The field was a large one, with 1,318 entries counted. The ten hour and 21-minute runtime culminated in a heads-up match between Naumkin and the second of three Russians to reach the top five, Stanislav Kuleshov, who collected $3,030.

Micro Mix-Max 17.09

$530 8-Max Knockout ($100K GTD)

The Welsh Wizard has done it again, banking $8,142 + $10,507 in bounties after claiming the top spot in the first of four knockout events of the evening. Romanello secured a Triple Crown this summer and hasn’t looked back since then, finding himself a regular feature at or near the top of this festival’s payouts lists.

Roberto Romanello

Roberto Romanello

Romanello picked off his last opponent, Pascal Hartmann ($8,132 + $3,132), to end more than seven hours of battle. The German pro wasn’t the only tricky opponent Romanello had to contend with in order to win, with Samy Ouellani (4th, $4,306 + $2,421), Adrian Mateos (6th, $2,304 + $593), Philipp Gruissem (19th, $632 + $312) and Arsenii Karmatckii (32nd, $525 + $125) just a few of the notables in the 197-strong field.

8-Max KO 17.09

$109 Mini 8-Max Knockout ($75K GTD)

Flávio Nascimento ($5,488 + $4,863), Eduardo Fujiwara ($5,479 + $2,704) and Deyvson Vieira ($3,762 + $428) ensured it was all about Brazil in the mini event, with the three players respectively picking up first, second and third places out of 709 players (including re-entries).

Mini 8-Max KO 17.09

$215 7-Max Turbo PKO ($50K GTD)

For turbo fans there were two events to choose from and Croatia’s Ivan Zufic fared the best of the higher buy-in event, winning $4,603 + $5,292 after taking out the last of his opposition, Mitchell Halverson who banked $4,597 + $437 for coming runner up.

The whistle-stop tournament saw partypoker’s Richard Dubini ($3,149 + $1,515) take the last of the podium finishes, while Andreas Berggren also made it to the final table, before busting in 6th place for $1,106 + $393. All in all, 229 registrations were logged and of those, 31 reached the money stages of the competition.

Turbo KO 17.09

$22 Mini 7-Max Turbo PKO ($20K GTD)

The last of yesterday’s side events was a popular one, with 939 entries by the time late registration had closed. Once the dust had settled, Sweden’s Ludvig Bjerkfeldt ($1,434 + $1,282) was the victor, beating the Netherland’s Danny De Ronde ($1,431 + $336) to the punch and rounding up five and a half hours of turbo action.

Mini Turbo KO 17.09

Continues tonight

Event #09: $3,200 Heads Up Championship ($500K GTD)

In the main event, 166 players sat down to play and with no late registration or re-entry options, this was a freezeout tournament in the purest sense. By the end, less than ten per cent of the field would progress, with 16 players returning to play tonight, at 7 pm.

Steve O’Dwyer, Pauli Äyräs, Sylvain Loosli and Arnaud Enselme, who both qualified via $320 satellites, Niko Koop and Joao Vieira are all still in the running. They, and all the returnees, have secured at least $7,500 so far.

The top 32 places were paid and among the min-cashers were Andrey Kotelnikov, Patrice Brandt and Daniel Rezaei. They netted $5,000 for reaching the last round of the night. It was worse news for Ludo Geilich (53rd), Patrick Leonard (94th) and Renato Nomura (97th), as the partypoker representatives all hit the rail before reaching the top 32 places paid.

You can watch all the action as it unfolds with cards-up coverage for the duration of the final day over on the WPT Twitch channel. Though play resumes at 7 pm (BST), please note there will be a one-hour delay on the stream.

Blinds reset at Level 1 (500/1,000) and there is no ante in this format. Each of the finalists can expect to win up to $135,000 should they get all the way to first place.

Heads Up Matches

Event #09: $320 Mini Heads Up Championship ($500K GTD)

A smaller buy-in meant a bigger field of 333 in the mini event, but they still played down to the final 16. Renato Nomura fared better in this edition, returning alongside the likes of Peter Chien and Tomas Fara.

They progressed further than some of the other big names in the field, including Steven Van Zadelhoff (25th, $800), Jerry Ödeen (42nd, $400) and Maria Ho (51st, $400) who were among the 64 places paid.

At least $1,200 is already in the bag, but all will have their eyes on the $25,000 prize that will be awarded to first place when play continues at 7 pm tonight.

Event #09: $33 Micro Heads Up Championship ($500K GTD)

It took almost eight hours for 985 players to be reduced to the final 16 that would signal the end of the day’s play. One player needs to outlast the other 15 in order to scoop the $5,910 top prize. All returnees come back knowing they have won a minimum of $325 for their efforts, which is already a return of ten times their investment.

Michael Kane, Tuomo Niskanen and Alessandro Casabianca were some of the players who navigated their way through the bubble at 128th place, surviving all the way to Day 2. The micro event also kicks off at 7 pm this evening.

Tonight’s schedule