David Larson Hits Biggest Lifetime Score with Rolling Thunder Win
The California leg of the World Poker Tour (WPT) season rolled into Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Sacramento this past week for the $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event. The Rolling Thunder event marks the last of three stops in California in the early part of the year for the WPT, and is always a high-profile event.
The 2018 edition was no different, with many big names trying their hand for a piece of the $1,408,000 prize pool. Canadian Matt Salsberg was one of the familiar faces to round out the 440 entries, and joined other players like Eddy Sabat, Mohsin Charania, J.C.Tran, Dan O'Brien, Lee Markholt, Ben Zamani, Curt Kohlberg, Andy Frankenberger, Allen Kessler, Rep Porter, Taylor Paur, and Kathy Liebert who played the tournament but failed to make it to the money.
The only Canadian to make it to Day 3 and the money was Ari Engel. Engel managed to survive the money bubble on Day 3, but couldn't quite manage to find a bag for the end of the day. The bubble burst pretty quickly on Day 3, about 90 minutes after the start of play, and Engel survived more than three more hours, laddering up to 21st place for a score of $10,030. Others to cash in the event include the following:
The tournament came down to heads-up between David Larson and Ian Steinman after Larson took out the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, Joe McKeehen, in third place, sending him home with $131,081. Larson went into heads-up play with the chip deficit but quickly took over the lead. While Steinman managed to claw a bit back before the end, the day belonged ultimately belonged to Larson.
Larson's path to the tournament wasn't an easy one. He tried to satellite in several times, and ended up on the bubble of the final one he played, winning about $2,000 in cash. He put his own money up to make up the difference to $3,500, and the rest is history. The $295,128 score was the biggest of Larson's life by a large margin (his previous big score was $5,460 for 44th in last year's WPTDeepStacks Championship in the same casino), bringing his lifetime earnings to $325,268. The full final table results are below.
* Photo courtesy of World Poker Tour blog.