A short-stacked Scott Eskenazi almost tied for fifth at the start of the final table of the WPT Rolling Thunder, but he stormed back to win the tournament and earn his first World Poker Tour bracelet.
Because to a double via Tony Dunst, Eskenazi was able to swiftly amass chips and move into second place in the chip count. The group was much behind, but Eskenazi was in much better shape now than he had been before.
Eskenazi eliminated Dunst in sixth place on the ninth hand of the final table. Eskenazi moved up to second place, drawing closer to Jauregui, after that hand.
After then, Eskenazi was quite stable for a time. After the Initial removal, his stack has gone down, then back up, and finally settled into around the same place it was in before. The significant distinction was Jauregui’s massive increase in the lead after eliminating Victor Paredes in fifth place. After the elimination of two players, Jauregui had 16.05 million in chips, followed by Eskenazi with 7.625 million.
But, Eskenazi quickly became the chip leader, doing so in fewer than 30 hands. Eskenazi took the lead by one large blind thanks to not doubling up but winning a few decent pots and timing an all-in to get Jauregui to fold.
For a time, Eskenazi rolled, increasing his advantage and seemed unstoppable, but when there were just three players left, the action heated up quickly. As Jeremy Joseph was ousted in third place by Jauregui, Eskenazi found himself in a deep hole coming into heads-up play, down by 18.225 million to 11.175,000.
But, Eskenazi flipped the tables in just three hands and never looked back. Sometimes, Joseph was able to make a little hole in the deficit, but the one and only occasion he came near — when he cut the deficit from 16 million to 13.4 million — was also the day he died.
The tournament ended with the hand played immediately after Joseph came so close to catching up. Josephy called Eskenazi’s 1.5 million pre-flop raise with 12.8 million of his own. With A-K suited, Eskenazi made the call, and his hand easily beat Joseph’s A-2 (different suits, neither of which mattered in the end). Scott Eskenazi’s name was added to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup after the last cards were dealt (9, 7, 7, 4, 3, and 2).
- Scott Eskenazi – $361,660
- Jeremy Joseph – $234,000
- Alejandro Jauregui – $172,000
- Albert Tapia – $128,000
- Victor Paredes – $97,000
- Tony Dunst – $73,400
Photo via World Poker Tour on Flickr.com.