Darren Elias overcame one of the largest fields in World Poker Tour history to take the accolades at the WPT Borgata Poker Open, and David Williams won an $80,000 prize package for winning the WPT Monster Invitational.
It was a case of third time lucky for Darren Elias, after the 27-year-old overcame the knockout specialist, Kane Kalas, to take the title and $843,744 in prize money, at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open.
With 1,226 entrants creating a $3,924,426 prize pool, the 2014 WPT Borgata Poker Open became the fourth-largest event in the brands 13-year history. Darren Elias had made this final table before – in Season X – but he could only manage a fifth place finish after his pocket jacks walked into the pocket kings of the eventual winner Bobby Oboodi.
This time the story would end very differently for the man who has now amassed more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings.
Elias started the final table trailing the chip leader Kane Kalas, and for long periods it seemed as if there would be no stopping that runaway train. Kalas eliminating everyone before taking a 2:1 chip lead into a heads-up battle against Elias.
It took around 30 hands of play before Elias was level, and another half a century before he took a significant chip lead. When the final hand played out, it was a cooler, with Kane holding [As] [Kh], on [Ts] [7h] [4c] [Kd], for top pair, and Elias holding [Ks] [4h] for two pair.
“Kane got some big hands, in some big spots, and eliminated all the other players. I was down 2:1 and was able to chip away at him and put a cooler at him at the end. He was running over the table, and everyone was pretty short stacked, so I was just waiting for him,” Elias told the WPT Sideline Reporter Tatjana Pasalic.
Final Table Standings
1st. Darren Elias – $843,744
2nd. Kane Kalas – $500,364
3rd. Jose Serratos – $308,067
4th. Aaron Overton – $259,012
5th. Blake Bohn – $213,999
6th. Ray Qartomy – $174,637
David Williams Takes Down the Monster Invitational
WPT Champions Club member David Williams defeated an all-star cast in a made for TV WPT Monster Invitational special to secure a prize package worth $80,000.
The event was a six-handed Sit n Go specially arranged to showcase the Monster brand, and Williams returned to the place he finished runner-up to Daniel Negreanu in 2004 to take all of the chips.
The watered down version of the action saw “The Magician” Antonio Esfandiari, eliminate the short stacked Scotty Nguyen after the former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion jammed over an Esfandiari open, holding [As] [8c], and was called by [Ks] [9c] – the king on the turn handing the chips, and the chip lead, to Esfandiari.
WPT Champions Club member, and Raw Deal host, Tony Dunst shipped from early position, holding, [Qd] [4s], and Vanessa Selbst called with [Ah] [9s]. An ace on the river securing the exit of Dunst and Selbst replaced Esfandiari at the top of the counts.
Next to go was Esfandiari and once again it was Selbst the conqueror. A blind versus button war saw Esfandiari going for it holding [Kc] [Jc], and Selbst calling with pocket tens. The wired pair held and Selbst was walking away with it. That was until she butted heads with Phil Laak. The Unabomber first doubling through Selbst before flopping a straight versus the PokerStars Team Pro’s top two pair, and just like that she was out.
The heads-up contest would be a seesaw affair that would eventually see Williams over power Laak, and his [Ac] [5h] beat the [Qh] [9d] of Laak to hand him a victory he seemed to take gloriously.
Williams captures a $20,000 first prize, a pair of gold Monster 24K Headphones, a Hublot King Power Unico watch, entry into the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, the WPT LA Poker Classic and the WPT World Championships.
Final Table Standings
1st. David Williams
2nd. Phil Laak
3rd. Vanessa Selbst
4th. Antonio Esfandiari
5th. Tony Dunst
6th. Scotty Nguyen