Jason Brin is the inaugural World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event winner after topping a final table that housed World Poker Tour Champions Club members Darren Elias and Andy Hwang.
Champagne bubbles will be flowing like the bends in the household of Jason Brin as he tops a tough final table to win the inaugural World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event.
Brin defeated 1,175 players – a field size that almost guarantees the WPT will return to Choctaw – to capture the first prize of $682,975, denying Darren Elias his third WPT title in just 11-months.
Up until this magical moment Brin was a regular on the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) and Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT). He had made three HPT final tables, without ever finishing any higher than fifth place, and one MSPT final table appearance finishing fourth. This was his first WPT cash.
It was the first US event of Season XIV and Darren Elias was quite rightly the talk of the town. To put yourself in the position to win three WPT Main Event titles in 11-months – with the games as tough as they are – is nothing short of miraculous. It also goes to show how amazing Anthony Zinno performed to prevent Elias from winning the Season XIII Player of the Year award.
Elias has now earned over $3.2m in live tournament earnings, and this was his fifth WPT final table appearance. He beat a field of 1,226 entrants to take the WPT Borgata Open and $843,744 in prize money last year, and a few months later beat 118 entrants to earn himself $127,680 at the WPT Caribbean Poker Tour in St. Maarten.
The stories didn’t end there.
Elias wasn’t the only Champions Club member at the final table. In Season XI Andy Hwang won the WPT Borgata Winter Open for $730,053, and in 2012 finished fifth in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) National Championships for another impressive six figure score.
But neither Elias nor Hwang was the big money heavyweight at the final table. That honor belonged to Jake Schindler who had earned $4.2m in live tournament cashes, including a $1.1m score at the $25,500 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event in 2014, and over a million playing in $100k Super High Roller Events in Las Vegas and the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida.
Finishing off this impressive array of talent was Mina Greco and Alex Lynskey. Greco was attempting to become the first female to ever win an open buy-in WPT Main Event history, and Lynskey was hoping to continue the form that saw him finish ninth at the Aussie Millions Main Event last year.
Both Hwang and Elias came into the final table with 100bb+; Greco (28bb) and Brin (30bb) were the short stacks. Here is the blow-by-blow account of the action:
It took 71 hands for the first elimination and when it came it was the scalp of the only non-American that was added to the belt of Jason Brin. Australian Alex Lynskey making a move with [Ac] [Th], Jason Brin called holding [Qs] [Js] and a queen hit the board to end Lynskey’s TV time.
Greco would fall in fifth after her short stack, and J9, couldn’t overcome the pocket kings of Hwang, and it was Hwang at it again when he eliminated the dangerous Schindler A8cc>44, hitting an ace on the turn, and then rivering a flush for good measure.
According to the WPT blog that exit was the start of the longest period of three-handed play in WPT history. Finally, in hand 222 Elias moved all-in, holding [Qc] [Td] and Hwang called, holding [Kh] [Th]. Although both players missed the board the king kicker played and Elias’s dreams of a third title were scrubbed.
That gave the Champions Club member a 22.2m v 13m heads-up lead over Brin. That didn’t matter. Brin fought back to take the chip lead and ended the event in the 284th hand of the contest when his [Kd] [8c] was good enough to beat Hwang’s [Qd] [Jh] when all the chips went in for the final time.
Brin also won a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 watch as part of the package.
Final Table Results
1st. Jason Brin – $682,975
2nd. Andy Hwang – $468,105
3rd. Darren Elias – $303,593
4th. Jake Schindler – $224,913
5th. Mina Greco – $167,691
6th. Alex Lynskey – $135,504
The next WPT Main Event tour stop will be the WPT Legends of Poker event Aug 29 – Sep 4 at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California.