Canada’s Eliot Hudon Captures WPT World Championship for $4.1 Million; Stephen Song Wins Prime Title
After some early fireworks, the World Poker Tour World Championship came to a fairly quick close on Tuesday night. In the end, Eliot Hudon grabbed the win for $4.1 million.
The new champion from Montreal, Canada, returned to the field second in chips to the United Kingdom’s Benny Glaser. However, some early fireworks between the two vaulted Hudon to the chip lead.
Hudon (pictured in lead image) now adds his name to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, topping a field of 2,960 entries that produced almost a $30 million prize pool.
“At this point it wasn’t even about the money,” Hudon said after the win. “If I’m going to make it this far, I kind of wanted to really win the trophy more than anything. I’m more in poker for winning more than the money. I don’t deserve it any more than these guys, it’s just we all know how it goes, some people have more luck in some spots.”
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Early fireworks see massive chip shifts
After entering the final table with 50 million more chips than Hudon, Glaser saw a rough turn of events early. After grabbing the first three pots, a huge hand developed between the two chip leaders.
Glaser moved all in from under the gun with Ace-Jack and received a call from Hudon, who held pocket Kings. The massive hand saw Hudon double to almost 158 million chips when Glaser got no help on the board. A few hands later, Glaser sent Colton Blomberg to the rail after rivering a flush.
Within 90 minutes of the action getting underway, Hudon picked up Kings again. On a shorter stack, New Jersey online grinder Frank Funaro moved all in with Ace-10 and was instantly called. Funaro finished in fifth for $1.3 million and took the finish in stride.
5th for 1.3m what a week. Had a blast and a sick score. Appreciate everyone in my corner !!!
— Franky Funk (@FrankFunaro1) December 21, 2022
With a giant stack, Hudon continued bleeding the table – picking up pots throughout the afternoon. He built that to 188 million by the first break in the day.
Shortly after, Adam Adler was next to be eliminated when Hudon caught second pair on the flop. On a short stack, Adler got it all in with a flush draw but missed. He exited in fourth for $1.6 million.
With three remaining, Jean-Claude Moussa found himself at a distinct chip disadvantage but was able to double a few times. That came to an end after calling an all-in shove by Hudon with A♣3♦. Hudon showed 5♦6♦, but immediately flopped a straight. Moussa left in third for $2.1 million.
Heads-up play and closing it out
Hudon entered heads-up play with more than 228 million chips to Glaser’s 67.5 million. The duel would last only seven hands.
Glaser looked to be gaining some traction after winning a few pots, then both saw a flop with Hudon holding 7♣4♦ and Glaser with Q♦J♠. The flop brought 8♥6♣2♦ and Glaser checked.
That brought a bet of 2 million from Hudon, which Glaser called. The turn brought the 9♦ and Glaser checked again. Hudon put out 8 million, which brought a raise to 28 million. With an inside straight draw, Hudon eventually called.
A 5♣ on the river completed that straight, but Glaser thought a bit and moved the last of his 59 million chips into the pot. The ill-timed bluff was instantly called and handed Hudon the biggest win in WPT history.
Hudon previously had only $205,000 in live tournament winnings with $113,800 of that coming from a deep run in the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event. He’s now captured a gigantic title and payday.
The entire final table table last only about three hours. Here’s a look at the final table results.
2022 WPT World Championship
- Eliot Hudon – $4.1 million
- Benny Glaser – $2.8 million
- Jean-Claude Moussa – $2.1 million
- Adam Adler – $1.6 million
- Frank Funaro – $1.3 million
- Colton Blomberg – $1 million
The winner also grabs a $10,400 seat into the 2023 WPT World Championship. All six players also snagged gift certificates to use for a cruise on Virgin Voyages.
“The success of the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas was a spectacular way to commemorate 20 years of global, WPT events and the many players who have made WPT what it is today,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said. “On behalf of the WPT family, we want to welcome Eliot to the WPT Champions Club and congratulate him on securing his honored role in the WPT legacy.”
WPT Prime event also concludes
Along with the main event, the $1,100 WPT Prime Championship event also concluded on Monday. That event brought in 5,430 entries for a $5.3 million prize pool, smashing the $2 million guarantee.
Stephen Song entered the field second in chips with 38.4 million, but was close to chip leader Lara Eisenberg’s 39.2 million when the cards got in the air. Song was able to run that up and score the win for $712,650. That came after some major roller coaster rides throughout the tournament.
“Honestly, it’s incredible,” he said afterward. “There were so many points in this tournament where I was under 10 bigs from Day 2 until the end of the tournament. You have to run insane to win a 5,400-person field, there’s no getting around that. Just super blessed to have my friends and family here.”
Song, of Connecticut, is no stranger to success on the felt. He now has more than $5.1 million in live tournament winnings. Eisenberg, a recreational player from Maryland who works as a radiologist, ultimately took runner-up for $481,500. She now has $856,715 in live tournament winnings.
Like the World Championship and Ladies Championship, the Prime event was streamed live and also filmed for television. All final table players also received cruise packages from Virgin Voyages as well. Here’s a look at the final table results.
2022 WPT Prime Championship
- Stephen Song – $712,650
- Lara Eisenberg – $481,500
- Young Eum – $354,000
- Alon Messica – $265,000
- Albert Nguyen – $200,000
- Giorgii Skhulukhiia – $153,000