WPT Voyage: First Main Tour Champion Crowned on the Open Sea

WPT Voyage
WPT Voyage – Photo by WPT

The World Poker Tour is exploring previously unknown waters, so to speak, as they hired an entire ship for the first WPT Voayge. From March 31 until April 6, the global live poker brand took over the Valiant Lady cruise ship of Virgin Voyages for one of the most unique live poker events to date. It isn’t the first time the WPT is crowning a winner on water, because they already headed several times to Goa in India.

The schedule on board of the Valiant Lady includes 20 tournaments across seven days during which the cruise ships visits ports at Miami, Grand Cayman and The Bahamas. With buy-ins ranging from as little as $150 up to $20,000, there was an available for every pocket while also enjoying an extensive slate of activities away from the poker tables.

Both flagship brands of the WPT are held on the cruise with the $1,100 Prime Main Event and the $5,000 Main Tour stop taking the center stage. The former features a guarantee of $500,000 and three starting days whereas a guarantee of $1,000,000 was allocated to the latest Main Tour stop. One of the two tournaments has already played down to a winner and you can read more about it below.

WPT Voyage Championship Finishes With Three-Handed Flip

Only one starting day was available for the $5,000 buy-in WPT Voyage Championship and the guarantee was easily surpassed thanks to 293 entries, which created a prize pool of $1,347,800. The tournament played down to the money on Day 1 and 37 players secured a min-cash of at least $9,600.

WPT Voyage
WPT Voyage field – Photo by WPT

Among those to enter and bust without anything to show for were several WPT Champions Club members such as Brian Altman, Darren Elias, Darryll Fish, Dylan Linde, Eric Afriat, and Jesse Sylvia. WPT Global ambassador Ethan “Rampage” Yau was also among the many notable casualties as well.

The money bubble burst after more than 18 levels of 40 minutes each when William Tweed could not hold up with ace-king against the nine-trey of Toby Boas. Landen Lucas topped the leaderboard with Matthew Wantman and 2023 WPT Wynn Championship winner Dan Sepiol following right behind.

Masato Yokosawa at WPT Voyage
Masato Yokosawa – Photo by WPT

Another seven former WPT Champions Club members made it through but just one of them reached the final nine. The only Asian player to reach the money stages was none other than popular vlogger Masato Yokosawa from Japan. His bid for a second WPT title ended in tenth place for $28,000 and his elimination concluded the penultimate tournament day.

That left aforementioned Sepiol as only former champion with the chance to take down a second WPT Main Tour stop in four months and he was in the middle of the pack when the chips were bagged and tagged for the night. He entered the final day with 1,460,000 in chips, good enough for 37 big blinds, while Colombia’s Farid Jattin led the way holding a mighty 91 big blinds.

The final table only needed 75 hands on board of the cruise ship to determine a winner, and the short duration was also influenced by a deal of the final three players. Kasey Mills was the last female contender in the field and finished in seventh place for $42,000.

Dan Sepiol at WPT Voyage
Dan Sepiol – Photo by WPT

Sepiol was denied a repeat victory in fifth place and collected $75,000 for the efforts before start-of-the-day chip leader Jattin saw his aces cracked by the king-queen suited of Carlo Basurto.

Three-handed play never really took place as the final three players agreed to an ICM deal, locking up at least $182,845 for their efforts. They left $31,400 for the eventual champion, which included the $10,400 seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas and then concluded two blind flips to determine a winner.

Aram Oganyan at WPT Voyage
Aram Oganyan – Photo by WPT

Aram Oganyan as the shortest stack when the deal was cut  tripled up in the first hand and then won the second flip to become the latest WPT Main Tour champion. His name will be engraved in the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup and he earned $214,245 including the $10,400 seat.

Final Table Result WPT Voyage Championship

Place Player Payout in USD
1 Aram Oganyan 214,245*
2 Carlo Basurto 202,885*
3 Austin Srur 188,670*
4 Farid Jattin 100,000
5 Dan Sepiol 75,000
6 Romulo Dorea 55,000
7 Kasey Mills 42,000
8 Iman Dan 34,000
9 Marcelo Giordano 28,000

*winner prize includes $10,400 seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas

WPT World Championship dates announced

One day after the tournament concluded aboard the Valiant Lady, the WPT also officially announced the dates for the third edition of the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas as well. The season-ending marquee festival is slated to take place from December 3 to 20, 2024 and the full schedule is expected to be released in the coming months.

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*Article by Christian Zetzsche

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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