What started out in China on April 2017 has just ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight, the World Poker Tour closed out another successful season of events that were held in various parts of the globe such as as Beijing, Amsterdam, Montreal, and the USA. Along the way, 18 champions added their names to the iconic WPT Champions Cup with Matthew Waxman earning a special spot for winning the season-ender WPT Tournament of Champions.
For the past two years, the WPT Tournament of Champions has been the most anticipated event of the tour. It is an exclusive tournament open only to WPT main tour champions. The third edition ran from May 24 – 26, 2018 with over US$300,000 in added value prizes. The first two days took place at the luxurious ARIA Resort & Casino, while the final table was moved to the state-of-the-art Esports Arena, the new home of all WPT televised final tables.
Final table action
The final table kicked off with five champions remaining out of 80 that signed up. One player running very hot was Darren Elias. Several days ago, this fine warrior won the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, the last open event of the WPT season. By doing so, he became the first player to capture a 4th WPT title.
Entering the final table, Elias hailed as chip leader after he delivered a double knockout in Day 2 that saw Ryan Riess and JC Tran walk away stunned. Continuing where he left off, Elias proceeded to rule the felt. He claimed the head of Nick Schulman (5th), then orbits later, David Benyamine’s (4th) on a lucky two-outer with his set of fives over pocket sevens. .
With half of the chips in play at his disposal, Elias was well on his way to glory until Waxman stopped him cold in his tracks. Waxman caught a straight with his pocket jacks to deny Elias’s pocket queens. Cimbolas took the rest and Elias was out in 3rd place.
The heads up round saw the massive leader Waxman chip away at Cimbolas’s stack that in no time, the final hand arrived. Cimbolas was eliminated in 2nd place on a failed bluff.
Waxman became the newest WPT Tournament of Champions winner joining Farid Yachou and Daniel Weinman in that exclusive list of ultimate champions. He shipped in US$463,875 which included a US$15,000 entry into Season XVII WPT Tournament of Champions. He was also awarded a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic Watch, a $50,000 membership to JetSmarter, and the gold WPT Tournament of Champions trophy.
WPT Tournament of Champions Final Table Results
1st: Matthew Waxman – $463,375
2nd: Matas Cimbolas – $265,590
3rd: Darren Elias – $177,060
4th: David Benyamine – $123,045
5th: Nick Schulman – $89,290
This concluded Season XVI of the World Poker Tour. The tour takes a break before kicking off Season XVII in July. Several stops have already been announced including events in Japan and Korea in September.
Article by Tricia David