Jake Schindler and Noah Schwartz returned to the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida on Sunday to play a heads-up match that would determine the winner of the final event of World Poker Tour's (WPT) Alpha8 Season II — a title worth $585,000.
The $100,000 tournament began on Saturday with just six players, making it a winner-take-all event, and Schindler and Schwartz were the last two in contention when play ended for the day. Dan Colman, Byron Kaverman, Bryn Kenney, and Jason Mercier were eliminated from this high-roller tournament of all Americans.
When play resumed, Schwartz held the chiplead with 374,000 chips over Schindler's 226,500. Several hands later, Schwartz extended that lead to a 3-to-1 advantage, and he continued to chip away at his opponent's stack.
Schindler managed to double up when he was sitting on less than eight big blinds in his stack. His shove hit the flop and held against Schwartz' call with . That still left him in dire straits, and he was never able to recover; Schwartz dominated the play.
The winner was determined when Schindler pushed all in for 92,000 with the blinds at 4,000/8,000. He was marginally ahead with over Schwartz' — the suited king being a 56% favourite according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator. The flop of foreshadowed Schindler's fate, and the on the turn and on the river sealed it, giving Schwartz a full house.
For the first time in Alpha8 history, the second-place finisher went home empty handed. Schwartz earned $585,000, a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones, a Hublot King Power Unico Titanium watch, the beautiful Alpha8 trophy, and the honour of becoming the very first player to hold both a WPT title and an Alpha8 title. Also, both of those victories were earned in Florida — his home state.
Details and photo courtesy of the WPT Live Blog.