Yen Wins WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Florida
The new season and the new year started well for the World Poker Tour. Season XX represents the 20th anniversary of the poker brand. Needless to say, poker players and the WPT itself were anxious to get down to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where they would start 2022 with a tournament series that has become a player favorite.
Lucky Hearts Poker Open
The full Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival started on January 13.
The first event was a $600 buy-in with six flights and a $1M guarantee. It delivered with 4,960 entries and a resulting prize pool of $2,579,200. It was the third-largest field ever, with the top 618 finishers paid, and seasoned pro Farid Jattin emerged victorious with $306,832 and a LHPO trophy.
Another well-known pro, Scott Baumstein, won Event 7. It was a $1,100 buy-in deepstacked tournament with a $100K guarantee, but the 343-entry field brought the prize pool up to $332,710. Baumstein picked up more than $60K for the win. Later in the series, he final tabled another $1,100 Deep Stack. That one brought in 520 entries to leave the $100K guarantee in the dust for a $504,400 prize pool. Baumstein won that one for $96,795.
The $25K NLHE High Roller tournament, also known as Event 28, had a $1M guarantee. But the 93 entries created a $2,297,100 prize pool. Jonathan Jaffe and Joseph Cheong made it heads-up in the end, and after a deal, Jaffe took the title, just as he did in the same event in 2020.
Jonathan Jaffe does it again! He won the 2020 LHPO High Roller and now he's the 2022 LHPO High Roller Champ.
He earned $574,085 after a heads-up deal with Joseph Cheong.
— Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (@shrpo) January 25, 2022
Also of note, Yuval Bronshtein won Events 9 and Event 32 to join Baumstein in the two-title club for the series. And Taylor von Kriegenbergh won the $5K event late in the series. That tournament had 182 entries and sailed well beyond the $200K guarantee to $864,500. He won the top prize of $220,495, defeating Brian Hastings and Cherish Andrews in the end to win.
And finally, the series ended with Event 33, a $2K PLO event, and Farid Jattin claiming the win for $58,410. He won the first and last events of the series, a first for any major poker series.
More milestones on the last day. For the first time, we had a player win the first and last events of a major series.
Farid Jattin won LHPO Event 1 for $306,832.
Tonight he won the $2,200 PLO Event 33 title for another $58,410.
— Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (@shrpo) January 27, 2022
WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event
The main attraction was the Main Event, obviously. That kicked off on January 21 with a $3,500 buy-in and $2M guarantee.
The first of the two flights showed 893 entries, which already put the prize pool past the guarantee. Day 1B added 1,089 entries for a total of 1,982 and a massive prize pool of $6,342,400, more than triple the prize pool. That made it the second-largest live tournament poker field in WPT history.
With +900 entries today, the 2022 @WPT LHPO Championship is now the second biggest live field in WPT history.
Top 5 fields:
2021 Showdown – 2,482 entries
2022 LHPO – 1,796 entries (and counting)
2014 Showdown – 1,795 entries
2021 LHPO – 1,573 entries
2021 RRPO – 1,566 entries pic.twitter.com/1bxH0SUhBt
— Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (@shrpo) January 22, 2022
Day 2 brought back the 553 survivors from the initial flights, with Jesse Lonis atop the entire leaderboard. And by the end of that night, they were in the money with only 87 players still in the game. WPT Season XIX Player of the Year Jacob Ferro led the pack, and Cherish Andrews was in a close second.
Day 3 whittled the field down to just 16 players. Along the way, some of the payouts went to players like Scott Baumstein, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, TK Miles, Michael Lech, Michael Gathy, Galen Hall, Shannon Shorr, James Carroll, and Loni Hui. Andrews busted in 25th place for $27,810.
Joshua Kay led the way to Day 4 in the quest to find final table seats. Jose Montes was the first to exit that day with $49,825 for 16th place. When the last nine competitors gathered at one table, Ferro lost some key hands and then busted the tournament in ninth place at the hands of Alexander Yen, which was worth $97,525. Jake Daniels departed in eighth place, and play slowed until Omar Lakhdari doubled through Jeremy Ausmus. The latter fell to fewer than six big blinds and finally busted to Joshua Kay. Seventh place was worth $160,095.
First Final Table of 2022
The first WPT final table of Season XX was set with these players and their chip stacks:
-Alex Yen = 27,575,000
-Josh Kay = 18,150,000
-Anton Wigg = 16,950,000
-Daniel Lazrus = 7,350,000
-Omar Lakhdari = 4,825,000
-Nicholas Verderamo = 4,425,000
A few rounds into play, Lakhdari moved all-in with K-Q suited, but Lazrus called with pocket nines and caught another nine on the flop. Lakhdari just missed his flush and left in sixth place.
Verderamo and Wigg both doubled through Kay, prompting the latter to risk the rest of his chips with A-J suited. Wigg was there with K-Q and flopped two queens. Kay missed his flush on the river and departed in fifth place.
Just a few hands later, Verderamo shoved with A-8, but Yen called with pocket queens. The board changed nothing and sent Verderamo out in fourth place.
As Yen seemed to be running away with it, Lazrus doubled through him to make a small dent. Lazrus lost ground but doubled through Yen again. He tried it once more on the very next hand, shoving with pocket sixes. Yen called with K-J, though, and caught a jack on the flop to bust Lazrus in third place.
Yen had 57.7M chips going into heads-up, and Wigg had 22.6M. Wigg lost some and then doubled to 35.8M, and with some aggressive moves, Wigg took over the lead. Yen took it back promptly and stayed aggressive. Not long after, Wigg pushed all-in with pocket queens on a T-8-6-6 board. Yen called with 9-7 for the flopped straight and a flush draw. The 4 on the river changed nothing, and Yen won his first WPT title.
|Season XX||$3,500||WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open|
|Total prize pool:||$6,342,400.00||($2M GTD)|
|Final table results:||1st place:||Alexander Yen ($975,240)|
|2nd place:||Anton Wigg ($650,180)|
|3rd place:||Daniel Lazrus ($482,380)|
|4th place:||Nicholas Verderamo ($361,130)|
|5th place:||Josh Kay ($272,830)|
|6th place:||Omar Lakhdari ($208,025)|
Welcome to the Champions Club, Alex Yen!!
Yen bested a field of 1,982 entries and conquered the final table at #WPTLHPO, going wire to wire with the chip lead to lock up the $975,240 prize.
Yen also adds his name to the Mike Sexton Champions Cup and earns his first WPT title. pic.twitter.com/JKq8fODyo0
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) January 27, 2022
Thanks to the World Poker Tour for live updates.
The World Poker Tour now has a huge gap in its main tour schedule, with nothing else scheduled until they return to the Seminole Hard Rock in late March. There is a special event online, though. It has not been widely advertised but it is a series on Poker King set for January 28 to February 7. The WPT says that none of the events count in the Season XX Player of the Year race, but there are approximately $1.9M in guarantees throughout the series.
|Season XX||Festival Dates||Main Event Info|
|WPT Spring Festival Online at Poker King||Jan 28 – Feb 7||¥2,200/$345 buy-in, ¥8M/$1.25M GTD, (Feb 1-7)|
|WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown||Mar 24 – Apr 12||$3,500 buy-in, 2 flights, $2M GTD (Apr 8-12)|
|WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam||Mar 25 – Apr 2||€1,100 buy-in (Mar 29 – Apr 1)|
|WPTDeepstacks Sydney||Mar 30 – Apr 11||A$1,500 buy-in (Apr 7-11)|
|WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley||Apr 19 – May 1||$1,500 buy-in (Apr 28 – May 1)|
|WPT Choctaw||Apr 28 – May 16||$3,800 buy-in, 2 flights, $1M GTD (May 13-16)|