After 180-hands of topsy-turvy poker, David ‘Doc’ Sands is the new WPT World Championship $100,000 Super High Roller champion after defeating Joseph Cheong in heads up action at The Bellagio in Las Vegas.
When you invest $100,000 to participate in a poker tournament you aren’t going to leave the door marked ‘exit’ quietly, and the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championships Super High Roller was no exception.
It took 180-hands to separate the men from the boys. During that time there were 13-double ups and five eliminations until , was left all alone with a huge pile of money, a sparkling new trophy and a glint of a man who had just ate the cream and the cat.
When the action started it was the 68-year old businessman from Detroit, James Courtney, who held the chip lead, but that would change very early as Sands came of the traps like a man possessed. The man just perched outside of the Global Poker Index (GPI) top ten, snatching the chip lead with a series of triumphant pre and post flop pots.
Daniel Perper is an Equity Options Trader from Illinois and he would win the first of his three double ups when his ace-king out flopped the pocket queens of Steven ‘Zugwat’ Silverman in the first few hands. Andrew Robl also found an early double up when his AQdd hit a queen on the flop to safely navigate his way through five community cards in a showdown with Sands.
After the first 60-hands Sands was in the lead, but it was the white hot Joseph Cheong who was the most active player on the table opening 25% of his hands and winning a total of 14-pots.
The next 20-hands saw Cheong double up twice. The first time saw his little treys stand the test of time against the AT of the chip leader Sands, and then he made a great call in blind on blind action against Silverman to take the chip lead. Silverman moving all-in from the small with pocket fives, Cheong calling in the big with A8 and by the time the river had revealed itself Cheong had hit two pair. Daniel Perper also doubled through Sands during that window as he surrendered the chip lead to Cheong.
After 80-hands, Sands had joined Cheong at the top of the active board with 25% of his hands being played – Cheong had won 20 compared to the 17 of Sands.
Steve Silverman became the fifth place finisher when he ran K5cc into the pocket queens of Perper – Silverman coming close, but without a cigar to smoke. Perper was the new chip leader – but it wouldn’t last. The Doc had a sterling 60-hands that saw him trading chips with Cheong in no less than four doubles up between the pair. Sands winning two and Cheong winning two, but it was Sands who came out with the big chip lead once the smoke had cleared. He was also running away with the action with 28.3% of his hands being played and 30-pots won in the first 120-hands of action.
So the play moved into the bubble phase and it was the tightest player on the table who took the booby prize. Courtney making a move on a board of [Js] [8d] [6c] [9c], whilst holding pocket sevens, and Daniel Perper was ready, and waiting, with a big blind special of [Jc] [8h] for two pair. The river was kinder to Perper that it was for Courtney; we were in the money and Courtney was not seeing a single penny of it.
As we approached the 140th hand of play Joseph Cheong found another double-double up as he dismantled the Daniel Perper chip lead: AK>55 (rivering Broadway) and 55>A3 to head into what would be the final session of play with an excellent chance of following up his Macau Cup win here at the Bellagio.
The heads-up action was sealed after Daniel Perper left in third place. He moved all-in holding [Kh] [7s] and The Doc called him off with pocket fives. A third five on the flop taking the sweat out of the hand and Perper took $409,500 for his troubles.
The heads-up action started with Sands in a dominating position (4,765,000 v 1,530,000) and the action lasted just four hands. The pair getting it in with Cheong holding A3, Sands holding A8 and the best hand held up.
Congratulations to Sands who takes $1,023,750 for first. His second seven-figure score of the year after finishing runner-up to Scott Seiver in the $98,000 Super High Roller at the PCA. For Cheong it’s yet another runner-up spot worth $614,250 taking his 2013 full year earnings up to over $2.5 million.