Noah Schwartz defeats Jake Schindler, in heads-up action, to win the compact and bijou World Poker Tour Alpha8 event in Florida.
Noah Schwartz has carved out a piece of history after becoming the first player to win both World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event, and WPT Alpha8 titles.
The Floridian captured the WPT Alpha8 Florida title, on home soil, after edging out the up and coming Jake Schindler, in heads-up action, in the winner takes all format.Winner takes all?
Unusual as the concept may sound, it was needed, as only six players showed up to contest the $100,000 buy-in, hence the $585,000 prize was reserved for the last man standing.
During my little tete-a-tete with the WPT President Adam Pliska, recently, he told me that the intention was to have a lot more Alpha8 events, but they quickly realized that the state of the poker economy had to be taken into consideration. I think this showing was a sign of that economy struggling to maintain the fast pace that the organizers set.
The first player to hit the rail was one of the most in-form players in the world. Bryn Kenney moved all-in, holding [As] [9h] and Jason Mercier called with [Ah] [Qd]. Not that the win did Mercier any good. He was out in fifth after getting very unlucky in a hand against Schindler. Mercier well ahead with [Ad] [9s] v [As] [8h], only for the board to run out [Jd] [7s] [4h] [6d] [5d] to give Schindler a straight.
Schindler maintained that heat by eliminating Dan Colman in fourth – [Kd] [Qh] v [Ah] [5d] with a queen on the turn preventing Colman from winning his second Alpha8 title, and then Schwartz and his pocket treys defeated Byron Kaverman and his [Ac] [5h] to set up a heads-up encounter.
Schwartz finished fourth in the largest field the WPT Alpha8 had ever witnessed (Season II: Las Vegas), but he wasn’t going to let them stop him from topping the Alpha8 event with the smallest field.
Schwartz started Day 2 with a 3:2 chip lead, and despite Schindler doubling up once; the end came after Schwartz’s [Qs] [9s] defeated Schindler’s [Kh] [5h] on a [Qd] [6c] [3c] [6s] [Qh] board.
Schwartz picks up $585,000, a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones, a Hublot King Power Unico Titanium watch, and a great big smile.