The 43-year old native of Dallas Aaron Van Blarcum has emerged victorious in the Season XVIII World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker $5,000 Main Event. He topped a strong 520-entry field to earn the $474,390 first-place prize and a $15,000 seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions.
It was Blarcum’s largest live tournament win. Prior to this massive score, his best cash was for his 212th-place finish for $50,855 in this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in Vegas.
Talking about his biggest win in the event, Blarcum told WPT reporters, “It feels great. Normally I just play cash games and that’s it. I go to the tournaments, but never play the tournaments, so I just decided to give it a try. Winning this is going to make it where I play a lot more tournaments.”
The total field of the tournament generated $2,392,000 in final prizepool, which was shared by top 65 finishers. Two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java was the only Indian player to finish deep. He entered Day 3 as the eighth largest stack and eventually finished 27th for $14,100 (INR 10.10 Lac).
Coming back to Blarcum, he entered the final day as the shortest stack with 6 players remaining. However, he was able to chip up and later score the first elimination of the day. He busted Antonios Roungeris (6th place) who shoved with pocket sevens and Blarcum called with pocket Jacks.
The next player to fall was Jisup Hwang who became short and was ultimately eliminated in 5th place. He ran his pocket threes ran into pocket queens of start-of-day chip leader Gantchev.
Vahan Sudzhyan (4th) was Blarcum’s second victim of the day. Sudzhyan raised to 200k wit 6h 5h and Blarcum three-bet to 680k with Ad Kh. Sudzhyan called and the flop opened Qs 7s 4s. Blarcum bet 750k and Sudzhyan called to see the turn 10s. Blarcum checked and Sudzhyan shoved for 2,070,000, which Blarcum called.The river As and Sudzhyan got busted in 4th plac.
Van Blarcum had taken the massive chip lead into the 3-handed play and he kept putting pressure on his remaining opponents. He scored his third elimination in Jared Griener who finished third.
Going into heads-up, Blarcum had a commanding 4-1 chip lead over Gueorgui Gantchev. The two battled it out for about 28 hands. In the final hand, both players were dealt pocket pairs. Blarcum opened with his pocket tens and Gantchev 3-bet with pocket fives. Blarcum jammed and got the call. With no five falling on the board, Blarcum took down the pot to win the title for $474,390!
Final Day Results
|Aaron Van Blarcum