It's been a career month for Brooklyn's Asher Conniff, who kicked off the Borgata Spring Poker Open by winning Event #1 $560 No-Limit Hold'em Deep Stack for $203,231. That was by far the largest cash of his career, but little did he know two weeks later he'd more than quadruple it by winning the Season XIII World Poker Tour World Championship for $937,683.
Conniff, who also won a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 Watch and Monster 24K Headphones, actually qualified for the $15,400 tournament, which attracted 239 players, via a $1,600 buy-in satellite on BorgataPoker.com in New Jersey. What made it all the more special is the fact that he didn’t even intend to play the satellite, it was actually an accident, something he talked about in the latest installment of the PokerNews Podcast.
“The last month of my life has been the craziest month of my life,” said Conniff, who was the subject of a PokerNews feature last December. “The last week of my life has been the craziest week of my life. Today has been the craziest day. Everything is just so surreal, I’m happy my dad got to be here. I couldn’t have ever imagined this.”
Final Table Results
Notable Finishes: Brock Parker (7th — $139,098), Keven Stammen (9th — $69,549), Zo Karim (13th — $38,252), David Tuthill (16th — $34,775), Simon Lam (23rd — $31,297)
In the penultimate day of the tournament, it seemed defending champ Keven Stammen was destined to make the final table of six. Unfortunately for him, his run came to an end after he three-bet all in for 350,000 after Ray Qartomy had opened the button for 75,000. Qartomy called with the , and held against the of Stammen after the board ran out a clean . Stammen ultimately finished in ninth place for $69,549.
A day later, the final six players reconvened to battle down to a champion, and it took just 17 hands for Tony Dunst, a member of the WPT family, to fall. It happened after Dunst, who had doubled Carlos Mortensen a short time earlier, moved all in for his last 390,000 on the button. Conniff isolated from the small blind and the cards were turned on their backs.
The flop gave Conniff a flush draw, and he completed it on the turn. The meaningless was put out on the river for good measure, and the host of the popular Raw Deal segment hit the rail in sixth place for $173,873.
After Qartomy bowed out in fifth place for $208,647, also at the hands of Conniff, Mortensen, who was in search of his fourth WPT title, hit the rail in fourth place after his failed to hold against the of Alexander Lakhov. With nearly $6.7 million to his name, Mortensen remains the all-time money leader in WPT history.
After two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Brian Yoon fell in third place — which happened on Hand #80 when he shoved his short stack with the and ran into the of Conniff — it was down to two for one of poker's most prestigious titles. Conniff began heads-up play with a nearly 5-1 chip lead, and it took just 13 hands for him to seal the deal.
According to live updates from the event, it happened in Level 27 (40,000/80,000/10,000) on Hand #93 of the final table when Conniff raised to 175,000 and then snap-called when Lakhov three-bet all in for 1.655 million.
Conniff was ahead, and that's just where he stayed as the board ran out a safe . Lakhov took home $573,779 for his runner-up finish, while Conniff took down his second six-figure score in as many weeks, though this one was just shy of $1 million!
Anthony Zinno was crowned the WPT Season XIII Player of the Year. Read that story by clicking here.
Season XIV of the WPT will kick off straight away with the partypoker.net WPT Canadian Spring Championship, which will run from May 1-6 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at Playground Poker Club. The $3,500 buy-in WPT Main Tour event will feature two starting flights with next-day reentry. For more details, click here.
For more on the WPT Season XIII, check out this video featuring the Champions' Club Dinner: