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Back in 2014 summer, the World Poker Tour (WPT) introduced a new concept for poker tournaments in the WPT500 featuring a low $565 buy-in but guaranteed a massive $1 million prize pool. Undoubtedly the event went on to be a massive success with this summer marking the fourth time that the series returned at Aria Resort & Casino. The event saw a total of nine starting flights over eight days of grueling action (one each day for seven days, plus two turbo flights on July 3).
Each starting flight played down to the final 5% of the day’s field with the final 12.5% of each flight making it in the money.
The event attracted a massive 3,541-entry field creating a humongous prize pool of $1,771,000. Besting the strong field was Jon Borenstein who pocketed $230,000 for his finish.
A number of Indians proved their mettle in the event running deep and some event managed to lead individual starting flights.
Dushyant Shekhawat made Day 2 with 284,000 in chips and managed to make it in the money finishing 35th for $7,000.
The first Team India contender to make the roar was Sumit Sapra who survived the 279-player field on Day 1C with 763,000 in chips i.e. 95 big blinds. Sapra qualified for the event through a satellite on Adda52.com and eventually finished 30th for $7,000.
Nikita Luther too made it to Day 2 through the Day 1B flight and was trailing Sapra at third place in chips. The female pro went on to reach the final table as the chip leader and eventually finished fifth for a career-best $65,000.
Nipun Java held the chip lead of Day 1F with 110 big blinds i.e. 661,000 and the bracelet winner reached the final table too! Java was looking to add another big win to his portfolio but eventually went out at seventh place with $35,000 in prize money.
The flight also saw Vinod Megalmani making Day 2 with 62 big blind stack i.e. 370,000. He managed to make in the money and finished 53rd for $5,200.
The very next starting flight i.e. Day 1G was also conquered by an Indian as Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni bagged the strongest stack of 163 big blinds (975,000) making him the overall chip leader till then.
Day 2 Recap
The 179 survivors from all starting flights returned for Day 2 to play their way down to the nine-handed final table.
Dushyant Shekhawat was one of the early Indians to shine and eliminated Ronan Monfort in 103rd place. Shekhawat eventually exited the event in 35th place with $7,000.
The next Indian to emerge was none other than bracelet winner Nipun Java who eliminated Winamax pro Aladin Reskallah at 72nd place.
Patni too was looking to consolidate his chip lead but had a rough start as he lost back-to-back hands to Rodrigo Portaleoni and Scott Montgomery eventually falling to 650,000.
We also saw a big clash between two Indian pros next with Nipun Java doubling through Sapra. Java shoved on the flop holding and got the call from Sapra who was chasing his flush draw holding . Sapra didn’t get any help on the remaining streets and lost a huge pot.
After the hand, Java was good for 87 big blinds as his stack stood at 4,340,000 while Sapra moved down to just 14 big blinds with 720,000 in chips.
Sapra couldn’t extend his lead further and got eliminated in 30th place by Oddie Dardon. The hand saw Sapra shoving his short stack holding and got the call from Dardon who tabled . Sapra was ahead preflop but the board opened a flush for Dardon eliminating Sapra.
The player of the day however, was surely the female pro Nikita Luther who managed to be among the top stacks throughout the day and grabbed some big pots as and when needed. She managed to take down a number of players in the later stages of the day starting with Gebrehiwet Goitom who was knocked out by the pro at 24th place. Luther wasted no time and flexed her muscles further by winning a big pot through Jason Lily to take her stack to 3,205,000.
Java was also going strong in the event and took down what was probably one of the biggest pots of the day by eliminating two players at once i.e. Matt Glantz and James Morris.
The next notable update came from Luther as she eliminated Lars Johannsson at 16th place.
Kunal Patni was also going strong but eventually exited the event in 15th place for $12,700. The final hand for Patni saw him moving all-in with and got one caller in Scott Montgomery who tabled and held to bust Patni.
Luther then went on to eliminate Jason Lilly at 14th place to take on a massive chip lead and retained the lead all the way till the end of day.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Nikita Luther – 13,600,000
2. Brian Gorman – 6,550,000
3. Scott Montgomery – 6,350,000
4. Nipun Java – 6,275,000
5. Jon Borenstein – 6,050,000
6. Aleksandr Gofman – 5,075,000
7. Joep Raemaekers – 5,075,000
8. Antonio Scalzi – 3,375,000
9. Christopher Bonita – 1,250,000
Final Table Recap
It was an elimination spree that saw the nine handed final table getting trimmed down to just four players in the first 20 hands itself.
The first elimination of the day came on the very first hand of play with Christopher Bonita going out at ninth place and was followed by Antonio Scalzi in eighth place.
The very next hand saw a three-way all-in pot which saw Joep Raemaekers opening to 625,000 and action shifted to Nipun Java who moved all-in after tanking for a while holding . Jon Borenstein also made the call with and the initial raiser Raemaekers also called tabling . The board gave a pair of kings to Borenstein who took down the massive pot railing Java at seventh place.
Next to exit the event was Brian Gorman followed by the start of the day chip leader Nikita Luther.
Luther had an amazing run on Day 2 and was looking to go all the way but lost a big pot early on when her Ace-four failed to catch up against Remarkers’s Ace-king. The last hand for the female pro saw her moving all in with and Raemaekers quickly shoved all in over the top holding . Luther was chasing a flush on the flop but the turn and river were of no help to her and she exited the event in fifth place for her career-best finish.
The pace of eliminations slowed down once the event was down to four-handed play, which also proved to be the longest period of play on the final table.
Scott Montgomery was the unfortunate one to miss the three-handed affair and remaining players then played one more hand before action was paused to discuss a deal.
All three agreed to a deal based on their chip counts and when the dust settled it was Jon Borenstein who took down the massive field and walked away with the title and $230,000 for his win.
Final Table Results
Position Player Prize
1st Jon Borenstein $230,000
2nd Joep Raemaekers $160,000
3rd Aleksandr Gofman $115,000
4th Scott Montgomery $85,000
5th Nikita Luther $65,000
6th Brian Gorman $50,000
7th Nipun Java $35,000
8th Antonio Scalzi $26,100
9th Christopher Bonita $21,000