The penultimate WPT Champions Club member for Season XVI is Larry Greenberg. The former hedge fund manager defeated a difficult field of 126 last week to win the first-ever WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship.
A $10,400 buy-in attracted a mix of top pros and recreational players looking to take their shot in a new World Poker Tour event. Greenberg falls into the latter category despite having live tournament winnings of over $1.6 million in buy-ins as high as $111,111.
The five-day event finished up in Las Vegas, Nevada with Greenberg lifting the Champions Cup and the $378,879 first-place prize.
Final table lineup
Seat 1: Cary Katz
Seat 2: Ryan Van Sanford
Seat 3: Larry Greenberg
Seat 4: Danny Qutami
Seat 5: Jim Collopy
Seat 6: Adrian Garduno
Top pros finish short of the final table
The 126-entry field offered a single re-entry format which drew a quality selection of Las Vegas pros who did not travel to Montreal and Monte Carlo for partypoker and PokerStars events. A few made the trip from partypoker MILLIONS North America, including Kevin MacPhee and Jim Collopy.
Both players notched a top-10 finish. MacPhee held the chip lead with 14 players left coming into Day 4, but after to a set-under-set loss to Greenberg at the unofficial final table, he bowed out in eighth place. A win would have given MacPhee the Triple Crown (he has an EPT title and two WSOP bracelets).
MacPhee took most of the chips for his end-of-day lead from two-time WPT final tablist Jake Schindler.
The two battled for stacks in a 200-big blind pot and Schindler’s king-flush draw came up short against MacPhee’s pair of tens on an eight-high board.
WPT Champions Club member Justin Young placed 11th and high roller extraordinaire Sean Winter finished ninth.
Cary Katz eliminated to end Day 4
The final table of six decided to play on for another level after the elimination of Ben Palmer in seventh place. Cary Katz’s short stack went to the rail and Day 4 wrapped up immediately after.
In Hand #25, WPT Champions Club member Ryan Van Sanford raised under the gun to 18,000 and Greenberg called in the hijack. Day 1 chip leader Garduno called in the small blind and Katz shoved for 166,000 in the big blind.
Van Sanford and Greenberg folded and Garduno called with pocket sevens. Katz had to hit with ace-queen and failed to connect with the king-high board.
Play wrapped up after then and resumed on Day 5. Danny Qutami led the field with 1,077,000.
Greenberg runs away with the title
Day 5 opened with a seemingly infinite number of big blinds in play but the structure eventually broke down the final five.
Greenberg took the lead in Hand #89 and never looked back. The blinds were 6,000/12,000 when Greenberg raised to 25,000 in the hijack. Qutami three-bet to 65,000 on the button and Greenberg called to the six-three-three flop with two spades. Qutami bet 60,000 and Greenberg called again with the seven of hearts falling on the turn.
Both players checked and the nine of spades hit the river. Greenberg bet 150,000 and Qutami called with ace-two of spades for the nut flush. Pocket sixes for Greenberg equaled a full house and the chip lead.
Van Sanford exited in fifth place when pocket jacks failed to improve against Greenberg’s aces.
Greenberg held two-thirds of the chips in play at that stage and cruised to victory.
Greenberg part of Tournament of Champions
The ostensible next event for Greenberg is the WPT Tournament of Champions on May 24 at ARIA. Greenberg will play against a similar-sized field to the one he defeated at Bellagio.
The final open event for WPT Season XVI is the Bobby Baldwin Classic from May 20-23 at ARIA.
Final Table Results
1st: Larry Greenberg – $378,879
2nd: Danny Qutami – $223,663
3rd: Jim Collopy – $146,644
4th: Adrian Garduno – $100,832
5th: Ryan Van Sanford – $78,221
6th: Cary Katz – $60,499