The WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open championship was crowned last night in the last encounter before the World Poker Tour World Championship in mid-December. Andrew Wilson won the tournament by riding a massive start-of-day chip lead. Wilson was able to rebuff two attempts at the WPT record books on his path to the triumph.
The Monster Lead Will Begin Championship Day
Wilson’s tournament was doomed. He began the six-handed final table with 33.425 million in chips, dwarfing second place Chad Eveslage’s 12.7 million stack and Brian Altman’s 11.85 million stack. Both of those gentlemen were attempting to cement their position in WPT history, with Eveslage attempting to add a third WPT Champions’ Cup trophy to his collection and Altman attempting to equal Darren Elias for the most total championships with four. As the cards were dealt on Wednesday, the final table included Joshua Kay (9.25 million), Gediminas Uselis (8.35 million), and the short-stacked Robel Andemichael (1.4 million).
Wilson wasted little time in bulldozing the early action before Andemichael found anything to fight with. Unfortunately for Andemichael, his A-4 off-suit was no match for Wilson’s A-Q on a King-high board on Hand #5, and he finished sixth. Wilson would then destroy Uselis, utilizing pocket Kings against Uselis’ A-10 to knock him out in fifth place.
Surprisingly, one of the day’s first chip stacks was the second to vanish. Altman would defend his big blind as Kay upped the betting on the button pre-flop to see a 9-J-8 rainbow flop. Both men assessed their choices when they seen a ten fall on the turn, placing straight and a heart flush on the board. Kay selected this opportunity to place a wager, and Altman just phoned to go see the river.
A Queen appeared on the river, removing the possibility of a flush but placing a straight on the board. Altman checked again, but when Kay put out two million chips, Altman raised the wager to four million. Kay instantly pushed all in, and Altman cut the call – it was only a matter of who had what. Altman put up a K-8 for the King-high straight, but Kay had the better hand. He tabled A-K for the Broadway straight, beating Altman and finishing fourth in the WPT record books.
Wilson’s unstoppable drive to the title
All of the aforementioned occurred during the first fifteen hands of the event, although it had minimal effect on the rankings. Wilson’s 46 million chip stack was still far and by the largest, more than his two opponents combined. Nonetheless, Kay (20.4 million) and Eveslage (10.975 million) did not relent in their efforts to torpedo Wilson’s championship bid.
Eveslage couldn’t get a grip on the last table, slowly seeing the chips go through his fingers. He thought it was time to take a stance on Hand #53. Eveslage discovered two cards he liked and went all in after Kay initiated the action and Wilson three-bet out of the small blind to 2.4 million. Kay chose to depart stage right, but Wilson slapped in the calling chips straight away. Eveslage had woken up in the big blind with pocket Jacks, but Wilson had played out of the small blind with pocket Aces, and it was the mother of all coolers. Eveslage’s seventh-high board did little for him, as his hopes of a second WPT crown were dashed with his third-place finish.
In heads-up play, Wilson played the Goliath to Kay’s David. Wilson could pound Kay indefinitely with 58.8 million chips, regardless of the cards he held, and he did so. Kay was able to apply that aggressive strategy against Wilson after approximately twenty hands, seizing the lead on Hand 74 when he made a pair of Aces against Wilson’s broken straight. Three hands later, though, Wilson hit back, trapping Kay in a bluff that nullified Kay’s advantages.
Wilson needed another twenty hands to complete the trade. Wilson increased the pot to seven million after Kay placed the first wager. Kay would call to see the flip of 10-7-4, and Wilson would place a continuation bet. Kay, on the other hand, did not trust Wilson and pushed all in over the top of Wilson’s stake. Wilson called the hand and displayed pocket Kings, to to Kay’s chagrin, while Kay could only generate an 8-7 for combat. Andrew Wilson finished the job and secured the title of the 2022 WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open with a Queen on the turn and a deuce on the river.
1. Andrew Wilson, $796,200
2. Josh Kay, $525,000
3. Chad Eveslage, $390,000
4. Brian Altman, $290,000
5. Gediminas Uselis, $219,000
6. Robel Andemichael, $167,000
The tournament poker world’s attention is now focused on the Nevada desert and the Wynn Las Vegas. Beginning on December 12, the WPT Industry Championship will be held there, with the crème of the tournament poker world competing for the revived WPT World Championship. The title was last granted to Asher Conniff, who won the 2014 WPT World Championship event (between 2015-2019, the WPT Tournament of Champions took over the slot and there were no tournaments played in 2020 and 2021). Who will be crowned in 2022?