Roger Teska wins the WPT Gardens Casino Championships

Roger Teska wins the WPT Gardens Casino Championships

Roger Teska wins the opening event of the World Poker Tour Season XVIII, after taking down the 373-entrant WPT Gardens Casino Championship.

Roger Teska wins the WPT Gardens Casino ChampionshipsReviews for the BMW X1 call it ‘turbocharged’ — a word that befitted Roger Teska as he clawed his way back from the bottom of a cliff to win the opening salvo of Season XVIII of the World Poker Tour (WPT), and collect that very car courtesy of the Gardens Casino.

The WPT decided to run the Gardens Casino Championship at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California to a finish, instead of hauling everyone to the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. Coming into the final table, Lior Orel had the chip lead, but Teska had a chunky 100 big blinds.

It was a relatively modest final table.

Orel had finished runner-up to Sang Yi in the 11,253-entrant $160 No-Limit Hold’em Mega Millions XV at the WPT Legends of Poker for $207,000. Andrew Wisdom was making his seventh final table of the year, and he had won four of those, including three side events at the Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC), and the inaugural Colossus winner, Cord Garcia had also won a side event at the LAPC, and was the biggest name of the final six.

And then there was Teska, the man who received an eight-hand penalty at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for getting drunk on the TV table and giving the TV crew the finger.

Teska is more of a bungalow than a high rise apartment when it comes to his tournament time (this was his first ITM finish of the year). However, he had made a WPT final table before (finishing fourth in the 2011 WPT Championship), and his Hendon Mob Results show that his two previous ITM finishes are now both victories (his previous beating 394 entrants in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS World for $2m).

Chip leader, Orel, made a fist of things, leaving the final table in the third place after a cooler saw him run jacks into the kings of Laszlo Molnar.

The elimination of Orel gave the Hungarian a 12.27m v 2.65m chip lead but Teska doubled-up in the first hand when QJ turned Broadway when all-in pre-flop against the superior AQ. Then Teska became the Chief of Chips Police, confiscating every single one of them, including taking a substantial 13.2m v 1.725m chip lead in the following hand.

With blinds at 100k/200k/200k, Teska opened to 400k from the small blind, and Molnar called. Ts7h7c left boarding school, arriving on the flop, and Molnar called a 400k Teska bet. The 3d arrived on the fourth street, and Molnar called a 1m Teska bet. The final card was the 7s, Teska bet 2.15m, and Molnar called. Teska showed 87o for quad sevens, and Molnar mucked his hand.

Then with blinds at 125k/250k/250k, Molnar moved all-in for 1.475m holding KcQc, and Teska made the call with Ah6c. Molnar turned a gut-shot and flush draw to make things interesting, but the 2s didn’t help, and Teska had completed an incredible comeback.

Final table results

1. Roger Teska – $368,475*
2. Laszlo Molnar – $235,615
3. Lior Orel -$172,770
4. Lars Kamphues – $128,320
5. Andrew Wisdom – $96,545
6. Cord Garcia – $73,600

*Includes a seat into the $15,000 Tournament of Champions

Three other stars of the game that went deeper than a goldmine in this one were Maria Ho (8th), Nipun Java (11th) and James Calderaro (12th).​