The second edition of the WPT Tournament of Champions, the special invitational event restricted to WPT winners, attracted 66 players at the opening of play on day 1, generating a $1,090,000 prize pool. $381,500 was set aside for the winner, along with a car donated by Audi.
By the end of the first day the field had been chopped down to just 30, and as the second day drew to a close, Michael Mizrachi and Erik Seidel had fought their way into contention. Stefan Schillhabel eventually hit the rail in 7th place, leaving us with a final table that included the two big names of Mizrachi and Seidel, along with David Ormsby, Daniel Santoro, Dylan Wilkerson and chip-leader Daniel Weinman.
There were two notable events in this tale during the first few hours, the first of which was the demise of Dylan Wilkerson. The second was the unfortunate sight of poker legend Erik Seidel following Wilkerson out of the exit door. He had slid back to 9 big blinds before being forced to make a move with . After a brief moment of consideration, Santoro made the call with . The flop brings a , and no help arrives for Seidel who is our 5th place finisher.
David Ormsby would be the next to fall, when he shoved his short stack into the middle with a small ace only to walk into the ace-king of Santoro, who was quickly establishing a strong chip-lead. Three handed action continued for quite some time from that point, until Daniel Santoro eventually managed to bust in 3rd which had a certain element of surprise when you consider that every player who had busted out of the final table before Santoro, had been busted by him.
Heads Up Play: Weinman vs Mizrachi
With Santoro having vacated his seat, the long awaited heads up showdown began. Mizrachi had already guaranteed himself a better finish than his 3rd place in this event last year, but the hometown favourite had a mountain to climb if he was to win this one, as Weinman held a near 5 to 1 chip-lead.
Heads up play began in explosive fashion, as Weinman moved all in after just a few hands, and Mizrachi called it off with . Weinman flipped up and flopped a to maintain his lead. The turn was no help to Mizrachi, but the on the river brought a much needed double up.
From there, the comeback looked to be gathering momentum as the chip counts drew almost level, but Weinman seized back control of the match with a successful bluff shove over the top of a big Mizrachi river bet to regain a 2 to 1 chip advantage. Soon after, Mizrachi decided to open shove around 800,000 with and Weinman made the call with . The flop was safe enough for Mizrachi, but an on the turn crushed his hopes, before a on the river sealed his fate. Weinman wins the 2017 WPT Tournament of Champions for $381,500!
Speaking to Somuchpoker after his victory, Weinman said:
“It’s crazy, going from grinding, playing online, to playing smaller circuit tournaments and then ocassionally playing one of these big buy ins and just hoping to min cash and go somewhat deep so you can win some money. I have this $900,000 score in February, then follow it up with this. It’s incredible!”
The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Daniel Weinman – $381,500
2nd – Michael Mizrachi – $218,000
3rd – Daniel Santoro – $133,525
4th – David Ormsby – $95,375
5th – Erik Seidel – $73,575
6th – Dylan Wilkerson – $57,225
Article by Craig Bradshaw
Article by Craig Bradshaw