The second stop of World Poker Tour Season XVII was in Durant, Oklahoma this week for WPT Choctaw. A total of 755 entrants played their part in crushing the $1 million guarantee advertised for the event.
Texan Brady Holiman entered the final table with a huge chip lead and closed out his first career WPT cash with a win in a little over three hours. Holiman faced tough competition with Tony Ruberto looking for his second career WPT title and Anthony Zinno chasing a record-tying fourth.
Final table lineup
Seat 1: Brady Holiman – 10,840,000 (108 bb)
Seat 2: Christopher Smith – 4,495,000 (45 bb)
Seat 3: Timothy Domboski – 5,300,000 (53 bb)
Seat 4: Tony Ruberto – 2,675,000 (27 bb)
Seat 5: Anthony Zinno – 2,245,000 (23 bb)
Seat 6: Viet Vo – 4,770,000 (48 bb)
Holiman starts out hot
The final table chip leader ran well on Day 3 to take the lead midway through playdown day and didn’t slow down on Day 4.
Timothy Domboski opened to 255,000 in the 21st hand of the final table and Holiman three-bet him to 650,000 out of the small blind. Domboski shoved for 5.6 million and Holiman called him with ace-king. Two kings were turned over by Domboski but an ace on the flop plummeted his chances. The case king did not come and Holiman increased his chip lead right away.
Zinno entered his fifth WPT final table in need of a lot of help to tie Darren Elias on the all-time WPT wins list. The Season XIII WPT Player of the Year chipped up long enough to hang around but fell in the 85th hand of the day.
With the blinds up to 75,000/150,000, Zinno shoved the button for 1.7 million with ace-four offsuit and Holiman called in the big blind with queen-ten suited. Holiman flopped a queen, Zinno turned an ace, and Holiman had the last word with a queen on the river to eliminate Zinno.
One hand later, Ruberto was dispatched. Ruberto shoved in the cutoff for 1.025 million holding jack-seven and Holiman couldn’t call fast enough with pocket queens. The board held and Ruberto left to collect his $166,605 prize.
The last part of the ride
Christopher Smith held less than 10 percent of the total chips in play when three-handed action started with him, Holiman and Viet Vo. Smith doubled once but succumbed in his first ever WPT final table. For 14 big blinds, Smith pushed with king-ten in the small blind and Vo had him outkicked with ace-ten.
The queen-high board locked up the pot for Vo who then entered heads-up against Holiman with a 1.4 to 1 disadvantage.
Players battled for 16 hands before Holiman closed out the title in an appropriate fashion. Vo and Holiman engaged in a raising war that resulted in Vo being all-in for 9.9 million with pocket kings against the ace-jack of Holiman. Two jacks flopped and Holiman held on through the last two cards to clinch the title along with a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions.
Final table results
1st place: Brady Holiman – $469,185
2nd place: Viet Vo – $320,725
3rd place: Christopher Smith – $223,370
4th place: Tony Ruberto – $166,605
5th place: Anthony Zinno – $125,630
6th place: Timothy Domboski– $95,780
WPT moves east
The next two stops for the World Poker Tour are on the East Coast. First, the tour heads to Atlantic City, NJ for the Borgata Poker Open which carries a $3 million guarantee — the largest of the season so far. The event starts on Sept. 16 and concludes on Sept. 21 with a live-streamed final table.
After that, the WPT goes to Maryland Live! in Hanover, MD for the fourth time. This year’s tournament carries a $1.5 million guarantee and runs from Sept. 21-25.