Ben Wilinofsky may have made a name for himself playing poker online, but he has shown that he can hold his own in live tournaments, as well. The Canadian player emerged victorious at the recent World Poker Tour DeepStacks Championship Main Event, pocketing $168,634. He has now racked up over $1.6 million in live-poker action in his career.
The event was held at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary. Wilinofsky was the chip leader going into the final table, but Lady Luck is fickle and decided to sit on another player’s shoulder for a while. He lost a crucial hand when he pushed John Foyer all-in holding a set of fives and thought he was a guaranteed winner when he saw his opponent’s pocket rockets. An Ace on the turn, however, flipped things upside down and Foyer was able to pull off the win with a full house, Aces-over-eights.
Despite having lost about half of his stack, he managed to force Lady Luck back on his shoulder and eliminated his last five remaining opponents. The last was Steven Dahrouge, who was the underdog going into the heads-up battle. Things started slow until the final hand, and Wilinofsky managed to pull one more trick out of his hat. The eventual winner was sitting on pocket tens with Dahrouge hoping to pick up top pair with his A-Q. The board gave Dahrouge a small glimmer of hope, with a K-J-9 giving him an outside straight draw. A K on the turn and a Q on the river only gave him a pair, but gave Wilinofsky a straight and the win. Dahrouge took home $118,211 for his runner-up performance.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Wilinofsky stated, “I don’t see myself playing any more tournaments this year, and I’m not going to make a special effort to do it next year. I enjoy the Canadian stops, but mostly I travel when I want to be somewhere and see friends, and it’s an excuse to head somewhere and sometimes we pick up a bunch of money. But mostly I’m done chasing the dream, I’m going to do what I should have done a long time ago and go out on top.”