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The HyperX Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas served as the grand stage this week for two World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Tour Main Event final tables, showcasing exhilarating championship showdowns in both the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown’s $3,500 Main Event and the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Main Event.
The remarkable Ben Weng from Pennsylvania left an indelible impact on both tournaments with his exceptional poker acumen. Weng first bulldozed his way through a formidable field of 2,290 entrants in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, seizing his first-ever WPT trophy and a personal best cash prize of $1,128,250.
With barely 24 hours of respite, Weng returned to the felt, hungry for a second WPT title in the WPT Choctaw Main Event. Despite a commendable run, he exited in fourth place, collecting a notable $143,000. Jared Jaffee stole the limelight by emerging victorious, earning his career-second WPT title and a lucrative paycheck of $400,740.
With this victory, Weng has secured his third title and seventh final table appearance this year, bolstering his live tournament earnings to an impressive $1.1 Million.
Talking about playing on back-to-back final tables, Weng said, “This is my first ever experience playing back-to-back big final tables. Today, I definitely had a lot of emotions going on – excitement, disappointment – all the emotions going on in my head. But after this, I have to go home, I have to settle down myself, try to be cool, and hope that things will go well again.”
WPT tweeted about Weng’s victory.
Bin Weng has been so impressive both in his on-the-felt ability and his kindness and humility away from the game. Last night, in an emotional win, he joined the @WPT Champions Club. He’ll be back at it in just a few hours to try and make history.https://t.co/qaJNrgT8Aa
— Jeff Walsh (@JeffWalshPoker) May 26, 2023
Jaffee’s victory symbolizes a significant landmark, arriving a decade after his first WPT triumph. In November 2013, he secured the WPT Jacksonville Bestbet Fall Poker Scramble $3,500 Main Event title, pocketing a significant $252,749.
Jaffee, filled with jubilation, later reflected – “Ten years is a long time. This first one was so surreal because it was my first major tournament, and I almost couldn’t believe that it happened. Now I can’t believe that it has taken ten years to do this again.” He added, “I feel like that [the 2013 win] was this ecstatic feeling that I did it, and this one is more about solidifying my career and what I’ve been working for.”
WPT underlined the same in its tweet.
Nine-and-a-half years after winning his first @WPT title, Jared Jaffee broke from his stoic reputation as he celebrated winning WPT Choctaw.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) May 27, 2023
Bin Weng Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 Main Event For $1.12 Million
The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 Main Event unfolded over five intense days at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in South Florida, spanning from April 28 to May 2. The showdown saw a bustling field of 2,290 entries, with gameplay temporarily suspended at the final table’s formation. On Thursday, May 25, the remaining six players reconvened at the Luxor Las Vegas’ renowned HyperX Arena.
Ben Weng, who entered the six-handed final table as the commanding chip leader, went on a blistering rampage. He needed a scant five hours to clinch the victory, knocking out the first four rivals in less than two hours before engaging in a gripping heads-up confrontation with Sridhar Sangannagari.
With a commanding 4-to-1 chip advantage over Sangannagari, as they entered the heads-up round, Weng faced a resilient opponent who pushed back fiercely. In the tournament’s final hand, Sangannagari went all-in with his remaining eight big blinds, holding , while Weng called with . Despite Sangannagari picking up a flush draw on the flop, the turn, and the river were inconsequential, and Weng’s two-pair stood firm. Consequently, Sangannagari was eliminated in second place, sealing Weng’s victory.
Talking about his run to victory, Weng later said, “(Winning a WPT title) was one of my main goals, when I started to play poker (full time) back in 2019. It means a lot to me, definitely.”
Final Table Results (USD)
Jared Jaffee Wins $3,800 WPT Choctaw For 2nd WPT Title & $400,740
Jared Jaffee joins the ranks of two-time WPT champions. Ten years after clinching his first WPT title, Jaffee broke past a 612-player field in the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Main Event to clinch the Championship trophy and the top prize of $400,740.
The tournament marked the eighth instalment of the WPT Choctaw that ran in the Choctaw Casino and Resort, Durant Oklahoma from April 19 to May 8.
The Main Event generated a $2,142,000 prize pool that was distributed among the top 77 finishers.
Talking about his win after the event got over, Jaffee said, “It’s been too long (since winning my first WPT Title) I guess they weren’t lying when they said if you wait a little longer it will be a little sweeter. This is definitely the best feeling I’ve had winning a poker tournament so far.”
Apart from Jaffee, Erkut Yilmaz, and the newly minted winner Bin Weng were the two former WPT champions in the reckoning for the champion’s trophy.
Early into final table play, Jaffee took over the chip lead but he spun up to a massive 12 Million in stacks after winning a crucial pot against Bin Weng. He soon finished the job, eliminating Weng in fourth place.
The final three players were nearly even-stacked before Jaffee climbed into the lead again. He then eliminated Mike Vanier in third place to enter the heads-up with a 3-to-1 chip advantage against Dojie Ignacio. Jaffee ended it soon, ultimately taking it down with pocket nines to dominate Ignacio’s ace-nine.
Final Table Results (USD)
Content & Images Courtesy: World Poker Tour & PokerNews