After an epic final table, British poker player Jack Hardcastle sealed victory in the WPT Montreal Main Event, winning a career-high score of $447,859.
The recent star of The Lock-In with Dara O’Kearney & David Lappin, Hardcastle took down a stacked final table featuring some of the best players in the game with vast experience of closing it out.
Hardcastle didn’t go into the action with the chip leader either, with Dan Shak holding that position as the action began. The American did not have his best day at the online felt, however, and that left the way clear for the champion to forge a path to the title.
The action began with a fairly predictable exit, the former multiple WSOP bracelet-winning player Upeshka De Silva short-stacked and all-in for 13 big blinds with ace-king off-suit. That shove seemed destined for a chop pot pre-flop, with De Silva’s caller, Lebanese player Rayan Chamas, holding ace-king too. Chamas’ ‘Big Slick’ were both in clubs, however, and two clubs on the flop were followed by another on the turn to reduce the field to eight players.
Next to go was the first German elimination of the action, Marcel Kunze bowing out with ace-jack, which didn’t end up holding up against Andrei Kriazhev’s ace-king on the 3-T-Q-J-5 board. The action didn’t stop there, with Kunze’s fellow countrymen Jakob Miegel busted in 7th place for $58,650 when his ace-three couldn’t stand up against Hardcastle’s ace-king.
It wasn’t a huge pot for Hardcastle, but it represented momentum. Several small pots bumped Hardcastle up the ranks, and as he ascended, another British player endured the opposite of fortunes. Charles ‘Chaz’ Chattha has a superb record in tournament poker, with over $1 million in live cashes alone, but his journey, preserved by a couple of brilliant hero folds and superb bet-sizes earlier in the day, ran out of steam when he moved all-in for over 30 big blinds from the button with king-queen.
Hardcastle made the call with pocket kings and the field was five by the river, even if a gutshot opened up on the flop. Chattha couldn’t hit it, but Hardcastle’s stack almost doubled to 60 million and with one Brit departing, the other was bolstered as a direct result.
Andrei Kriazhev was out in 5th place and he could count himself unlucky, with a brutal run-out against Dan Shak decimating his stack. Kriazhev was all-in with two red aces and Shak only had ace-king of spades. The flop only had one spade on it, but another on the turn and on the river saw Shak bump his stack to 55 million, Kriazhev sinking to 5 million by comparison. The German was out just a few minutes later when his jack-ten was no match for Felix Schulze’s ace-ten, an ace-high flop ending any realistic hope Kriazhev held out.
It would be Schulze who busted in 4th place, and the end came quickly for him, and brutally so. Calling all-in with ace-jack on a flop of 5-J-T against Rayan Chamas’ king-ten, the turn of a four kept the German ahead, but a king on the river meant four of the previous five bust-outs were German players, ending the country’s players hopes of the winning the event.
With three players left, Chamas has the lead with 69.4 million chips to Jack Hardcastle’s 68.7 million, with Shak bringing up the rear with 39.1 million. After a bluff went wrong, Shak was all-in for just under 20 big blinds with king-jack, up against Hardcastle’s ace-five. A five on the river was the only card to pair and Shak, the overnight leader, was on the rail.
Heads-up, Hardcastle made a superb fold on the river on a pot where he had two-pair to save a chunk of his chips and he put them to good use, an inspired triple barrel bluff a few hands later giving him a massive 4:1 chip lead. That didn’t stay the case, however as Chamas doubled up not once but twice, including cracking Hardcastle’s pocket aces.
Hardcastle may have been pegged to near-level stacks, but he maintained a terrific level of concentration and general play, calling off a bluff in the next major hand, and when he faced another in the final hand on the river, he chose to call with two low pairs.
It was a fantastic call, as the World Poker Tour announced on their Twitter channel with a play out of the final action heads-up:
Congratulations to Jack Hardcastle, who in winning $447,859, managed to rake in more than his entire live tournament earnings with one result. That is a fact right now, but after proving his poker chops against the toughest competition, that surely won’t be the case for long. Jack Hardcastle is a new stellar name in tournament poker.
Here are all the results from a superb World Poker Tour event and a dramatic final table.
WPT Montreal Main Event Final Table Results:
|1st||Jack Hardcastle||United Kingdom||$447,859|
|6th||Chaz Chattha||United Kingdom||$74,119|
|9th||Upeshka De Silva||U.S.A.||$37,024|