The $3,500 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open is finally in the books, with Toronto’s Veerab Zakarian, who began the final table as the chip leader, riding it all the way to victory to win a $674,840 top prize and etch his name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions cup. The final table of the event was originally set to play out for April 1, 2020, but was delayed for over a year due to the pandemic. On Sunday, the final six players from a 1,290-entry field at PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas to play to a winner. While Zakarian was undoubtedly not the most favourite player to win the title on the six-handed FT, he showed nerves of steel, eventually emerging as the champion of the event.
Prior to this, Zakarian held $496,610 in live earnings according to The Hendon Mob. His previous best cash was $63,340 that he earned for taking down the 2018 MSPT Seneca Niagara Main Event.
Talking about his victory, the 25-year-old player from Canada said, “Waiting this long, you didn’t know what to expect. You don’t know, you keep waiting for it. Most people, after the pandemic, didn’t have anything to look forward to, so I was glad to have something to look forward to.”
Zakarian started the final table in a grand fashion by eliminating Andrew Hanna in sixth place. He continued his momentum and busted Nathan Russler and Brian Altman in fourth and third places respectively. Eventually, it came down to a thrilling heads-up between Zakarian (28,375,000) and James Anderson (23,125,000), with the latter finally settling for the runner-up prize worth $449,904.
On the final hand of the tourney, Zakarian moved all-in with 10c 5d and Anderson called for his remaining 2 Million holding Jh 4d. The board ran 8c 6h 4c 7s 3s, giving Zakarian his career-first WPT title.
The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open kicked off on January 26, 2020. The $3,500 entry buy-in event fared pretty well, registering 1,290 challengers to collect a whopping $4,129,290 in the prize pool.
Final Table Payouts (USD)
- Veerab Zakarian – $674,840*
- James Anderson – $449,904
- Brian Altman – $333,012
- Nathan Russler – $248,913
- Bin Weng – $187,900
- Andrew Hanna – $143,264
WPT L.A. Poker Classic
The other WPT event, the $10,000 entry buy-in WPT L.A. Poker Classic that began on February 29, 2020, played down to its six-handed FT on March 4, 2020. The delayed final table of the event was set to take place on April 2, 2020, at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. After a year-long delay, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic finally played out its final table on May 17. Indian-origin Balakrishna Patur started the FT as chip leader and rode his chip lead all the way to reach the finish line, winning his career-first WTP title and a personal best $1.01 Million.
In addition to the seven-figure prize, Patur also received a WPT Champions Trophy, a Remington trophy from Commerce Casino, a Hublot Big Bang Steel Watch, and a set of Baccarat Crystal.
Usually, a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions valued at $15,000 is added to the winner’s prize as well but this year the WPT TOC has been scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic.
Patur defeated a star-studded FT that had the likes of Matas Cimbolas, James Carroll, Scott Hempel, Ka Kwan Lau, & Upeshka De Silva on his way to winning the WPT L.A. Poker Classic title.
The heads-up began with Matas Lithuania’s Cimbolas holding 8,200,000 against Patur’s 11,400,000. The latter rode his chip lead to reach the finish line. On the final hand, Cimbolas jammed for 3.7 Million holding Kd 6c and Patur tank-called with Ah 9d. The board ran out Jd 7d 2d 8h 5h. Cimbolas was vying for his second WPT victory but had to settle for the runner-up prize of $600,060.
Final Table Payouts (USD)
- Balakrishna Patur – $1,015,000*
- Matas Cimbolas – $600,060
- James Carroll – $431,585
- Scott Hempel – $323,485
- Ka Kwan Lau – $243,330
- Upeshka De Silva – $185,330