The World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event has created a new Champions Club member in Mike Shariati on Friday, September 4.
The final day in the $3,700 tournament at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino was a televised, six-handed, final table with Aaron Kweskin coming in as the chip leader. But it was second-best stack Mike Shariati that maneuvered his way to the win and $675,942.
Freddy Deeb was the storyline when the day began, coming in with the third-most chips. Only three people in poker history have won three WPT titles: Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Anthony Zinno. Deeb was looking to become the fourth player to be a triple champion, as he has two previous WPT wins.
Deeb even made it all the way to heads-up play against Shariati and held a two-to-one chip advantage when their battle for the trophy began. Shariati stole the chip lead before relinquishing it back to Deeb, and was outstack by a huge margin at one point, holding less than 2,000,000 in chips and Deeb sitting behind a tower of more than 20,000,000 — more than a 10-to-one favourite.
However, Shariati doubled up with against Deeb’s when the board delivered a six on the river. Then Shariati got it all in again in the very next hand with and held against Deeb’s . Then it all went in again a couple of hands later on a flop of and Shariati holding against Deeb’s . That third double-up but Shariati back in the lead.
PokerNews contributor and WPT Marketing Manager Rich Ryan described the great heads-up battle:
The two players continued to swap the chip lead back and forth, and Deeb was on the verge of clinching his third victory several times with a big chip advantage. But it finally came down to the two players getting it all in preflop with Shariati covering Deeb’s stack and holding the better hand of to Deeb’s . The board ran out ten high and Shariati’s queens won him the title of WPT Champion and Deeb collected a consolation prize of $383,090.
The day began with excitement right out of the gate. Only six hands into the final table, a short-stacked Craig Chait got it all in with and failed to catch up to Deeb’s , becoming the first elimination of the day. He earned $91,523 for his final-table appearance.
The next out was Stan Jablonski holding and up against Brent Roberts with . Roberts’ hand held up and Jablonski collected the first six-figure payout of $117,673 for fifth place.
The final four players were all evenly stacked for a while, with Shariati eventually adding to his heap of chips when he happily called with to Aaron Kweskin’s preflop shove with . The board ran out favourably for the better ace, and Kweskin exited to collect $168,664.
The heads-up battle began after only another four hands as Brent Roberts was the third-place elimination. She moved all in with nines and Deeb made the easy call with aces. The dealer spread out five cards that didn’t help the nines catch up, and Roberts earned $251,035 for being the third-place finisher.
WPT Legends of Poker Final Table Results
The next WPT stop will be in New Jersey for the WPT Borgata Poker Open running September 20-25, and plenty of Canadians are likely to make the short trip across the border to participate in one of the premier tournaments of the year. PokerNews Canada will have all the details for you.
Details and photos courtesy of the WPT Live Updates.