Steve Silverman is the first player to win a World Poker Tour (WPT) Alpha8 event, after taking down the $100,000 re-entry event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood Florida, for $891,660.
The win takes Silverman’s total live tournament earnings over the $3m mark, and $2.2m of that has been earned in this year alone, making him the 12th highest earner of the year. His victory comes just months after securing a seven figure score at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo after winning the €25,000 High Roller.
The day started with Matt Glantz in the chip lead, but there was only 8bb between him, Jason Mercier and Steve Silverman. The first task of the day was to reach the final table of eight, and Bill Perkins was the man to step out of the limelight and allow that to happen. Isaac Haxton opening the button, Perkins jamming from the blinds with [Ac] [4h] and Haxton making the call with [Ad] [8h]. The fours stayed in the deck and Perkins was out in ninth.
The first major piece of action to illuminate the final table involved JC Tran and Jason Mercier. It was a pre flop all-in with Mercier a 86% favorite to win the hand with two red aces facing off against the [As] [Ts] of Tran, but Tran is on the run of his life and the setting of the WPT Alpha8 would see him continue that run of form after he hit a flush on the turn to reduce Mercier to just 15bb.
A few hands would pass before Mercier would move all-in from the cutoff holding [Jh] [Th]. Daniel Alaei would make the call on the button with [Ah] [6s], and although Mercier flopped two pair, Alaei would hit runner-runner sixes on fourth and fifth street to send the Global Poker Index (GPI) number one ranked live tournament player out in eighth.
Joseph Cheong was the next player to get lucky when he doubled through Silverman 33 v 44. A third trey hitting the flop to hand Cheong a lifeline before Jeff Gross showed everyone how it should be done when he doubled through Matt Glantz KK v 99.
Isaac Haxton then doubled through Silverman: Ac3d v As6d – when he hit runner-runner treys on the turn and river, before we lost Daniel Alaei in seventh place. It was [Ad] [7c] for Alaei versus the pocket nines of Haxton. The flop did see an ace materialize, but a third nine handed Haxton the win and Alaei was suddenly out of pocket by $200,000.
Joseph Cheong would leave the table in sixth spot. Jeff Gross opened the button, Cheong called in the big blind and the pair was soon staring at a [9h] [6c] [5c] flop. Cheong took the betting lead, Gross moved all-in and Cheong called. It was [6h] [5s] and two pair for Cheong versus [Qc] [4c] for Gross holding the flush draw. The [Tc] on the turn completing the flush and Cheong was out.
The money bubble period saw Silverman double through Glantz: [Ac] [3d] v [Jc] [9s], and then he did it again when he got it in [As] [Kh] v [Ad] [9d] of Isaac Haxton. Silverman was suddenly the chip leader and Haxton, who previously held that honor, was out in fifth when he lost his all important flip against JC Tran: AQ v TT, and a queen on the flop handing Tran the win and sending Haxton home $200,000 the poorer.
Silverman then doubled up for a third successive time when he got it in AQ versus the AJ of Tran, before Gross eliminated the overnight chip leader, Glantz, in fourth place. It was [Ah] [6d] for Gross versus the pretty looking [Th] [8h] of Glantz. Pretty don’t mean jack in this game and five cards later Glantz was out in fourth for $243,180.
Instead of cementing something for Gross, that elimination was followed by his own. Steve Silverman once again dominating an opponent when he got it in with [As] [Kc] against the [Kh] [Tc] of Gross who was soon eliminated in third for $364,770.
The heads-up encounter started off even-steven, before Tran took a chip advantage. Then the most important hand of the competition as the pair flipped for title with the pocket nines of Silverman facing off against the AJ of Tran. The board stayed lower than a Jamaican limbo dancer and Tran was reduced to chip dust. It was all over just three hands later when Silverman got it in with [Qd] [9d] to dominate [Qs] [8d] of Tran and a flop, turn and river later he was crowned the champion. Tran picked up $526,890 for his runner up position.