The Poker Masters is back in action in Las Vegas and that can only mean one thing – the Purple Jacket is back!
As well as huge guarantees, high rolling action and the best poker studio in the world, someone will take the Purple Jacket and $100,000 in added money for becoming the Poker Masters Series Winner. Steffen Sontheimer did it in 2017, Ali Imsirovic won it in 2018. But who will win the Purple Jacket in 2019?
Isaac Baron is off to the best start this year, winning Event #1 for $223,100 after outlasting 96 opponents in the $10,000-entry no limit hold’em event. Baron did so after winning his first-ever WSOP bracelet in the summer in Las Vegas and could well be a fixture not just in this latest Poker Central high roller series but many others if he keeps up this level of play.
The money bubble burst in Event #1 when J.J. Feregrino bubbled when Ralph Wong and Isaac Baron pushed him out of the reckoning in a three-way pot where Baron held aces and Wong a set of eights, which held. But while Baron would take a hit in the hand that put him and the other 13 players in the money, he would not stay at the lower end of the counts for long.
Once in the money, new WSOP bracelet winner as of this summer and Britain’s most successful tournament player of all time, Stephen Chidwick, cashed in 14th place for $19,400. Le berth, including but not limited to GPI crusher Alex Foxen, Antonios Roungeris and Sean Winter, with Winter the final table ‘bubble boy’, busting for $29,100.
Here’s how the final table’s eight players came into the last day of the event:
Once at the final table, one of the five short stacks was bound to leave early and that fate befell Thai Ha, who was first to depart in 8th place. High roller specialist and all-round safe bet Dan Shak was next to leave and he was followed by the 2017 WSOP Main Event winner, Scott Blumstein.
With Isaac Baron into a strong lead, the rest of the field were jockeying for position, and British Poker Open Series winner Sam Soverel was desperate to open his account in Vegas with victory. Unfortunately for him, he ran into Isaac Baron’s pocket aces to see his hopes of winning the first event disappear.
After Jeremy Ausmus ran super-short and shoved with queen-seven, Baron was again the grim reaper, looking his opponent up with the fortune of having a dominating hand – queen-nine. That hand held and it looked like players were battling to finish as runner-up to Baron.
That honour would miss out Ralph Wong, who busted in third place when his king-nine couldn’t hold against the charmed Baron’s jack-six off-suit. A jack was the money card for Baron, and heads-up, he went into the duel against the popular pro Chance Kornuth with a huge chip lead.
Heads-up took just one hand to deliver the champion.
Baron moved all-in with five-three of clubs, and though Kornuth called ahead with ace-nine for his remaining ten big blinds, Baron hit a three and that was enough to win the hand and the tournament.
Poker Masters 2019 Event #1 results: