The 2021 World Poker Tour (WPT) Venetian Main Event was a historic one. The event drew a record 1,199-entry field to build a prize pool of $5,545,375 – the highest turnout and prize pool for a WPT $5k event. The tournament will be remembered for a long time because it was the first time that three women made it to the FT of a WPT Main Event. However, in the end, it was the men who dominated, with Indiana native Chad Eveslage championing the $5,000 buy-in event to take home the WPT Trophy and $910,370. This was his third WPT victory and his third six-figure score of the year. He got his name on the Mike Sexton Cup, and secured enough points to move to the top of the POY race.
Eveslage had started the final table with the second largest stack but he played exceptionally well, eliminating Kitty Kuo, Daniela Rodriguez, and Kyna England before meeting Mike Liang in the heads-up. Both Eveslage and Liang were almost evenly stacked at the start of the heads-up, but Eveslage won a huge pot early on to take over a 20:1 chip lead and eventually take down the title.
Taiwanese pro Kuo began play on Wednesday short-stacked and was the day’s first casualty having lost Jd Jc to Rodriguez’ As 10s, leaving her with just two big blinds only to be busted soon after. Despite an early double up, Rodriguez could not last long and exited in fifth place after she got it in with As Ks against Eveslage’s 6s 6c. She was followed by Tim McDermott who shoved Qc 10d only to runinto Liang’s Ah Jc. Since the board brought no help, McDermott busted out in fourth place finish.
The last woman standing, England was up against two massive stacks and finally failed to double up with Ac 8c vs Eveslage’s 10h 10c, thus ending her impressive run in third place for a hefty $448,755.
Finally, it came to heads-up where both Eveslage and Liang began with more than 100 blinds each. However, things changed fast as Eveslage won a huge pot to pull to take over a 20:1 chip lead. Liang fought hard, but it was Eveslage who finally shipped the title. On the final hand, Eveslage limped for 200k, and Liang jammed for 4.35 Million holding As 9d. Eveslage called with Qd Qc. The board ran Kh 4h 3d Jd 8s where Eveslage’s pocket queens held, earning him the WPT Trophy and $910,370.
“I guess I think pretty highly of myself sometimes, but people better than me have played more and not won, so I’m pretty fortunate“, commented Eveslage after his massive victory.
“This whole tournament I kept going all in and winning, I think I’m really good but anybody would have won with my luck. It feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone, where the guy is in the casino and he can’t lose“, he added.
The top 150 places were paid out in the historic tournament, with Ari Oxman (bubbling the FT – 7th for $148,580), Michael Mizrachi (9th for $91,035), Scotty Nguyen (11th for $72,410), Tony Dunst (13th for $58,230), Jason Koon (18th for $38,920), John Hennigan (23rd for $32,355), Kathy Liebert (28th for $27,210), Ben Palmer (30th for $27,210), Tony Tran (32nd for $27,210), Pat Lyons (33rd for $23,145) and Keven Stammen (36th for $23,145) being the notable ITM finishers among them.
Final Table Results (USD)
- Chad Eveslage – $910,370
- Mike Liang – $606,890
- Kyna England – $448,755
- Tim McDermott – $335,200
- Daniela Rodriguez – $252,945
- Kitty Kuo – $192,855