WPT SHRPS: Eric Afriat’s win denies Mukul Pahuja the title

Eric Afriat with the WPT SHRPS Trophy and the money.Pic Courtesy: WPT
Eric Afriat with the WPT SHRPS Trophy and the money.
Pic Courtesy: WPT

Eric Afriat overcame a defiant Mukul Pahuja to take down the World Poker Tour(WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown(SHRPS) Championship title and also his shot at outrightly winning the WPT Player of the Year(POY). While Pahuja continues to stay in lead in the WPT POY but if he had won at the Hard Rock Casino here in Florida then he would have won the POY as well. Afriat defeated Pahuja in a short heads up battle as the latter will now have to wait for another week before being declared the POY.

The final table of six began with all the buzz around Pahuja who also had a huge lead entering the FT. Afriat defeated a record field of 1795 runners to capture the top prize money of $1,081,184 and his first ever WPT Title. The day started with the FT and eliminations happened sooner than expected as Chance Kornuth moved all in at Hand 14. James Mackey called with A♥10♣ and Kornuth revealed K♦Q♣. The board was dealt Q♦4♣3♣A♣8♣ and Kornuth was eliminated in sixth place, good for $247,954.

Matt Stout followed at Hand 30 when he shoved from the button to be called by Pahuja. Stout held Q♦10♣ and he was behind the A♣8♥ of Pahuja. The board ran out J♣8♦2♣4♣6♣and Stout was eliminated in fifth place, good for $308,501. Jacob Bazeley was the casualty in hand 60 when his A♣A♣ were defeated by J♣8♣ after a post flop J♥8♥4♣ all in from Bazely was called by Afriat. The board ran 9♣Q♦ and Bazeley went out in 4th place for $371, 931.

Next up was the turn of Mackey who was resilient and finally ran out of steam in Hand 148. It was a pre-flop raise by Pahuja which made James Mackey go all in with 6.8 Million. Pahuja called with 9♣9♣ and Mackey showed K♣7♣. The board ran out 10♥6♥2♦Q♦J♣ and Mackey was out in third place ($441,128).

Heads up was a short battle and Afriat had more than double the chips as Pahuja when it started. Hand 155 saw Afriat taking the lead with a raise and Pahuja going all in with his 10,800,000 chips. Afriat called with 8♦8♥ and Pahuja showed his weak K♥9♣. The board didn’t improve either players with 5♣5♣2♦10♦6♥, and Eric Afriat won the hand and the WPT title. Pahuja took $691,965 for his second place finish.

Eric Afriat wins the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, earning $1,081,184, a WPT Champions Trophy, and a pair of gold Monster 24K Headphones. Part of Afriat’s prize money includes a $15,400 seat into the WPT World Championship which will be held next week at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.

The WPT SHRPS Final table results are as follows:

Place Player Prize
1 Eric Afriat $1,081,184
2 Mukul Pahuja $691,965
3 James Mackey $441,128
4 Jacob Bazeley $371,931
5 Matt Stout $308,501
6 Chance Kornuth $247,954