US Poker Weekly: Hellmuth Comes Up Short and Zamani Wins His Second Title of 2017

September 6, 2017
US Poker Weekly: Hellmuth Comes Up Short and Zamani Wins His Second Title of 2017


What lacked in quantity for U.S. poker tournaments this past week was made up with quality. Three titles were handed out with Phil Hellmuth narrowly missing out on his first World Poker Tour title at the Legends of Poker Main Event being the headliner.

A few hundred miles east in Oklahoma, last year’s WPT Player of the Year, Ben Zamani reminded the poker world why he’s one of the best in the world.

Papazyan Claims Victory in Epic WPT Final Table

The WPT Legends of Poker drew a star-studded field of 763 entrants with none other than new WPT Raw Deal host Phil Hellmuth making the final table. Hellmuth had plenty of elite company sitting next to him as two-time WPT winners JC Tran and Marvin Rettenmaier both made the final six.

The two experienced pros were eliminated in third and sixth place, respectively, and 2017 Millionaire Maker runner-up DJ Alexander placed fourth.

Play went for hours until it was just Hellmuth and “Live at the Bike!” regular and cash game professional Art Papazyan heads up for the title. Papazyan took the lead early in their match and closed out the victory when his king-queen flopped a pair against Hellmuth’s ace-king to deliver him the title and $668,692 first place prize.

The next stop for the WPT is Atlantic City, New Jersey for the Borgata Poker Open Main Event, starting on September 17.  

Zamani Tops Winstar Field

Immediately following the conclusion of Legends of Poker, the tournament train picked up and headed to Thackerville, OK for the Winstar $2,000,000 guaranteed event. The $2,500 buy-in tournament assembled 926 entries, pushing the prize pool slightly over the guarantee.

A dozen players returned for Day 3 of the event with 2016 WPT POY Ben Zamani holding only 10 big blinds. Zamani quickly spun up his stack into contention and made a final table that included Johanssy Joseph and 2015 Winstar Champion Maxx Coleman.

Zamani and second place finisher Chengce Jiang made a heads up save for the remaining prize pool and traded blows in their match until Zamani finished the job. This is the second title for Zamani in 2017 following his second career World Series of Poker bracelet, which he won in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event.

HPT Travels to Chicagoland

The Heartland Poker Tour traveled to the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago for their $1,650 Main Event. A total of 517 entrants created a prize pool close to $750,000. The final table was headlined by Ryan Olisar, who bowed out in eighth place. Gary Herstein shipped the title and $170,404 in his second HPT final table appearance of 2017.

Next up for the HPT is a trip to Blackhawk, CO and the Golden Gates Casino with the main event running from September 13-18.

What’s coming up in U.S. poker tournament action? 

The Borgata Poker Open is in full swing with their $2,000,000 guaranteed Event 1 scheduled to play to a winner this weekend. Also, WPTDeepStacks is traveling to Immokalee, FL for a $200,000 guaranteed main event.

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