5 Minutes Read
The four-day long Season 5 WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Main Event was held at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort from November 23 to 26. Registering a total of 446 entries, the event was topped by Alex Greenblatt (cover image) who claimed his maiden World Poker Tour (WPT) title for a handsome payday of $122,500 including a $3,000 championship prize package. With this latest win, Greenblatt’s career earnings now stand at $1,362,760.
“It’s great when you win a tournament, that’s the only time you’re happy after a tournament. I’m pretty happy, I play at Thunder Valley a lot. I haven’t actually cashed at Thunder Valley in 18 months. The last tournament I cashed here was a WPTDeepStacks where I finished in 10th. It’s great to win something here,” said Greenblatt after the win.
Commenting on his strategy for the final table, the Atherton, California native said, “I was going to try and play small ball. I wasn’t going to try to do much bluffing, maybe one or two barrels and not try to make anyone fold top pair.”
“I guess I’m up on the year, so I will try to finish strong. Now I’ve got this championship to try and go win, so that should be fun. It was great, the staff is lovely, they know what they’re doing, they run a good show. WPTDeepStacks is a great tour, good structures, this tournament was amazing,” said Greenblatt when he was asked about his plans to end the year and overall thoughts on the tournament.
Greenblatt had entered the final table as the chip leader and maintained that position till the very end. Along the way he brought about the eliminations of Walter Robertson, Robert Angeleri, Paul Chai and Kelly Douglas. He squared off against James Brown in the heads-up play and eventually overcame the latter to capture his first-ever WPT title.
Out of the 56 runners who finished in the money, many notables made the cut including Abdulaziz Alaquil (11th for $10,140), Kathy Stahl (18th for $6,315), Gregory Thomas (28th for $3,275), Scott Sanders (32nd for $3,275) and Gina Stagnitto (36th for $3,275).
Eric Matulis (10th for $10,140) bubbled the final table.
1. Alex Greenblatt – 2,205,000
2. James Brown – 2,040,000
3. Paul Chai – 1,900,000
4. Nick Wooderson – 1,660,000
5. Robert Angeleri – 1,600,000
6. Warren Kashiwagi – 1,515,000
7. Kelly Douglas – 1,105,000
8. Mimi Luu – 700,000
9. Walter Robertson – 655,000
Walter Robertson was the shortest stack at the start of the final table and was also the first to exit in ninth place. On the board , Robertson pitted his against Alex Greenblatt’s . Greenblatt’s flopped a set of sevens relegating Robertson to the rail.
During level 26, the only female player on the final table, Mimi Luu, moved all-in from the button with . Warren Kashiwagi called from the big blind covering her, holding . The runout gave Kashiwagi two pairs – queens and fives eliminating Luu in eighth place.
Less than 10 minutes later, Greenblatt opened for 90,000 from under-the-gun and Robert Angeleri called from the button. The flop opened and Angeleri shoved all-in for 740,000 with . Greenblatt called with . The and completed the board and Greenblatt picked up quads on the river to bust out Angeleri in seventh place.
Finishing in sixth place was Warren Kashiwagi. He survived a chop against Greenblatt but that left him with only 19 big blinds. Soon thereafter, Kashiwagi was entangled in a hand with James Brown. Kashiwagi’s ran into Brown’s . The board brought and Brown found three-of-a-kind nines on the flop to win the pot to send Kashiwagi to the rail.
Following the first 15-minute break of the day, Paul Chai jammed from the button for 1.18 Million and Greenblatt called from the big blind.
The community cards missed both players but Greenblatt’s ace kicker was good enough to knock out Chai in fifth place.
With just four players left, Kelly Douglas moved all-in from the button with and Greenblatt called covering him after originally raising from under-the-gun with . The board fanned out giving Greenblatt a pair of aces and ending Douglas’ run in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, Brown raised to 300,000 preflop from the small blind with and Nick Wooderson re-raised all-in for 905,000 from the big blind with . Brown called and the board revealed . Brown’s pair of queens defeated Wooderson’s pair of nines and the latter bounced out in third place.
Alex Greenblatt (7,110,000) and James Brown (6,270,000) began the heads-up play with almost evenly matched stacks. Over the course of more than two hours, the chip lead changed hands a few times.
On the final hand of the event, Brown moved all-in for just over 600,000 and Greenblatt who had him covered, called from the button. Brown tabled against Greenblatt’s . The rundown came and Greenblatt found a pair of fives on the flop which won him the pot, his career-first WPT title and the top prize of $122,500.
1. Alex Greenblatt – $122,500*
2. James Brown – $83,600
3. Nick Wooderson – $53,700
4. Kelly Douglas – $36,480
5. Paul Chai – $28,000
6. Warren Kashiwagi – $23,280
7. Robert Angeleri – $19,505
8. Mimi Luu – $15,730
9. Walter Robertson – $11,950
*includes a $3,000 WPTDS Championship Package