Kornuth and Davis Score WPT Victories in Las Vegas
The World Poker Tour ended the last two of its main tour stops with some unfinished business. Each had a final table that needed to play out, and they were doing it in Las Vegas. As in previous seasons, the WPT saved a couple of its final tables for the big stage, the one at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Fans can watch the action, players compete under the lights on an actual stage, and all of it is filmed for later television broadcasts.
Those two tables played out this week.
WPT Seminole Final Table
The action started at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida in April. The World Poker Tour stepped in for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown festival and then the Main Event. The $3M guarantee brought players by the hundreds…and the final tally of entries was 2,010. It became the second largest WPT Main Event field ever and set the prize pool at $6,432,000.
The final table brought Darren Elias with his chip lead and four previous WPT titles. He already held the record, as well as the most cashes – the SHRPS making his 45th WPT cash. Mark Davis was on his heels, though, and Viet Vo was in the middle, wanting to make this the final table that turns into a win. Marcos Exterkotter was fourth in chips, followed by Michael Laufer and Andrew Barfield on the shortest stacks.
We're just an hour away from the start of the WPT @SHRPO Showdown final table. @VinceVanP_WPT and @tonydunsttv met up yesterday and shared their thoughts about the players and how they thought things would shake out.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) May 25, 2022
It only took Laufer six hands to make his move, but his pocket threes fell to the A-9 of Davis when an ace hit the turn.
Elias kept chipping up, collecting more than half of the chips at the table only 30 hands in. But it was Davis willing to take on Barfield when he moved all-in with pocket sevens. Davis showed K-Q and hit the king on the flop and made a straight on the river.
Vo and Elias got involved in the 40th hand of the day. The flop of A-J-7 (two hearts and one diamond) prompted Vo to shove his 7.5M remaining chips, and Elias called with A-4 of diamonds. Vo showed A-8 and the higher kicker. Neither had hearts, but Elias had two diamonds. The three on the turn was a diamond, and the river was a diamond deuce, and that flush sent Vo out in fourth place.
Exterkotter was the next player to risk it all, pushing with A-4. Elias called with pocket sevens, and the flip was on. But the board blanked, leaving the sevens as the best hand and sending Exterkotter out in third.
Elias v Davis
Elias started heads-up on the 54th hand of the day with 63.7M chips, and Davis had 36.75M. Elias didn’t take long to extend his lead, but Davis took his time and climbed back, almost evening the stacks by the 91st hand. Twenty hands later, Davis did take over the lead and then increased it. The two then exchanged the lead several times.
Finally, the 150th hand of the day began with a Q-8-5 flop with two clubs. Davis bet, and Elias called to see the ten on the turn. Elias shoved his 9.3M chips with 9-7 for the straight draw. Davis called with 8-5 for the flopped two pair. The river brought a seven to deny Elias his fifth WPT title and give Davis his first.
|Season XX||$3,500||WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown|
|Total prize pool:||$6,432,000||($3M GTD)|
|Final table standings:||1st place:||Mark Davis $1,000,300|
|2nd place:||Darren Elias $660,000|
|3rd place:||Marcos Exterkotter $490,000|
|4th place:||Viet Vo $370,000|
|5th place:||Andrew Barfield $280,000|
|6th place:||Mike Laufer $215,000|
The newest WPT Champions Club Member and millionaire is Mark Davis!
After a grueling heads-up match with four-time WPT Champion @DarrenElias, Davis came out on top, etching his name into history on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) May 26, 2022
Earlier this month, the World Poker Tour hosted its WPT Choctaw festival and Main Event, both at the Choctaw Durant property in Oklahoma, close to the Texas border. The field of 787 entries surpassed the $2M guarantee to put $2,754,500 in the prize pool.
When it wrapped, there were six players at that final table. Reigning champion Dapo Ajayi just missed his shot at a repeat win by a few spots, but James Mackey was in the mix to try to win the WPT Choctaw for a second time, as he won it in 2016. But Mackey was fourth in chips, as Ray Qartomy had the lead with Chance Kornuth only slightly behind. James Hundt was also close. On the shorter end was Steve Buckner, and Kristen Foxen was on the shortest stack.
Ray Qartomy leads the final table of the WPT @ChoctawDurant, but @ChancesCards, @krissyb24poker, and @migcom are all looking to usurp him for the top spot.@Jimbo_Sl1ce and Steve Buckner round out the final six which kicks off at 4 PM.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) May 26, 2022
Mackey was the first one to move all-in and did it on the fourth hand with A-K. Hundt called with pocket queens, a hand that only improved with a queen on the flop. Mackey was out in sixth place.
Kornuth took some chips from Qartomy to claim the lead, and Buckner doubled his short stack through Hundt. Short-stacked Foxen hoped for a double as well, moving all-in with A-9. Kornuth had J-T suited. Each of them caught a part of the A-T-5 flop, but the jack on the turn pushed Foxen out in fifth.
Qartomy doubled back through Buckner, as Kornuth took some from Hundt and soared above the 20M-chip mark. Buckner doubled through Hundt, and the latter lost more ground from there. Hundt pushed his last 1.3M chips with K-8 on a J-8-6 flop with two diamonds on the board. Buckner called with T-4, both diamonds. The eight on the turn gave Hundt trips, but the ace of diamonds on the river gave Buckner the flush.
Buckner doubled through Kornuth and then Qartomy to finally get off his short stack. Qartomy was left with 1.85M and shoved with pocket fives. Kornuth called with pocket jacks, though, and the board changed nothing. Qartomy was out in third.
Heads-up play began on the 82nd hand of the final table with Kornuth holding 28.5M and Bucker with 10.85M. Buckner took a few rounds before doubling through Kornuth and then taking over the lead. Over the next few dozen hands, they exchanged the lead. Every time Kornuth started to run away with it, Buckner doubled up. At one point, Kornuth was down to five big blinds.
As the duo surpassed 60 hands of heads-up, Kornuth doubled a few times to get back into it. The roller coaster resumed.
Finally, more than 100 heads into heads-up, Buckner moved his 6.4M remaining chips all-in with 9-6, but Kornuth called with A-T. The board brought an ace on the turn, and Kornuth took down his first World Poker Tour Main Event.
|Season XX||$3,800||WPT Choctaw|
|Total prize pool:||$2,754,500||($2M GTD)|
|Final table standings:||1st place:||Chance Kornuth $486,600|
|2nd place:||Steve Buckner $320,000|
|3rd place:||Ray Qartomy $235,000|
|4th place:||James Hundt $175,000|
|5th place:||Kristen Foxen $135,000|
|6th place:||James Mackey $101,000|
— Chance Kornuth (@ChancesCards) May 28, 2022