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Besting a field of 356 entrants, Tony Tran (cover image) took down the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bestbet Bounty Scramble Main Event for a whopping $341,486 that includes a $15,000 worth seat into the Tournament of Champions. With the win, Tran has become the latest player to join the WPT Champions Club.
The event featured a buy-in of $5,000 and was hosted in Jacksonville. The entry-field grew the prize pool to $648,280, surpassing the $1 Million guarantee. The final table of the event was live-streamed.
From one of the shortest stacks with just two big blinds among a field of 30 finalists on Day 2, Tran chipped up to orchestrate a complete turn-around and managed to reach the star-studded final table that featured several top pros including Jake Schwartz and Kelly Minkin.
In heads-up play, Tran confronted Jake Schwartz and defeated him to pick up the title.
This is Tran’s career-second live tournament win. In 2012 he had outlasted 739 entries at the $400 NLHE event at the Borgata $100,000 GTD Saturday Series to pocket $58,202. He also has a 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event score to his name, an 85th place finish that earned him $68,624.
Final Table Chip Counts
1.Jake Schwartz – 4,785,000
2. Kelly Minkin – 3,210,000
3. Ray Qartomy – 2,345,000
4. Ping Liu – 1,710,000
5. Tony Tran – 1,675,000
6. Dominique Mosley – 515,000
The final table featured players with a rich record of final tabling WPT events. In all, among the six finalists, there were a combined 11 WPT final table appearances. Schwartz entered the final table with the largest stack, of 4,785,000, followed by Minkin (3,210,000) and Ray Qartomy (2,345,000).
Final Table Recap
Action on the final table saw Dominique Mosley failing to improve on his stack deficit and as expected he was the first one out at sixth place fairly early. On the 11th hand of the final table play, Mosley moved all in for 340,000 from the cutoff, Tran called from the small blind and Schwartz raised to 895,000 from the big blind with . Tran who held four-bet to 1.4 Million and Schwartz responded with an all-in move for 5.195 Million. Tran folded and the showdown saw Mosley’s trailing Schwartz`s pocket aces and it was all over on the rundown that completed a straight for Schwartz. Mosley was eliminated in fifth place.
Next up, Ping Liu was eliminated by Ray Qartomy in a hand where Schwartz raised under the gun for 110,000 only to find Liu moving all in for 920,000 from the cutoff with . Qartomy woke up with and re-shoved behind Liu. As the rest of the table folded the dealer brought out the on the board, eliminating Liu, his run ended in fifth place.
The four finalists then fought hard over the next 44 hands before Ray Qartomy moved all in on the button with for 525,000 and Tran called with from the big blind. The turn brought an ace, and Tran hit his one pair to collect the pot, eliminating Qartomy in fourth place.
Though Schwartz entered the three-handed play with over 75% of the chips in play, a cooler hand that saw Tran`s pocket aces improving to a set on the turn, busting Schwartz’ pocket kings, and this changed the dynamics of the play.
Kelly Minkin then limped in from the small blind with and Tran raised to 480,000 with the . Minkin moved all in with 2.26 Million and Tran snap-called. Though Minkin paired both her cards on the flop, Tran also paired his ace and the on the turn counterfeited Minkin’s hand. Tran took the lead that held on to it till the on the river completed the board to set up the heads-up finale.
The heads-up match between Jake Schwartz and Tran saw the former reclaiming the chip lead initially, but Tran doubled up into a commanding lead after a cooler hand saw his pocket aces hold up against Schwartz’ pocket nines.
Ten hands later, Tran locked up the title when he raised to 300,000 holding and saw Schwartz move all in for 2.305 Million with , and he called. The flop fell and both players flopped one pair but Tran’s hand was superior and it stayed that way as the turn and the river completed the last board dealt at the tournament. Schwartz who was eliminated at this point conceded victory to Tran who added 1,050 points to his name for the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Tony Tran – $341,486*
2. Jake Schwartz – $228,590
3. Kelly Minkin – $146,973
4. Ray Qartomy – $95,684
5. Ping Liu – $73,734
6. Dominique Mosley – $60,981
*Includes a $15,000 seat into the Tournament of Champions
With the tournament reaching it culmination, the 2018 WPT will move to Canada where the WPT Montreal is slated to kick off on October 28, at the Playground Poker Club.