The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, FL rallied the fifth-largest field in World Poker Tour history. At the end of the sixth day of play, the U.K.’s Scott Margereson emerged on top of 1,309 entrants to win $696,740.
The online pro bested a final table of live professionals to take home his first career major live title and earn a seat in the Season XVI Tournament of Champions.
By the time the last hand of the 232 that were dealt in over 10 hours of play, Margereson added a WPT title to his PokerStars Sunday Million win and two Spring Championship of Online Poker trophies.
Final table lineup
Seat 1. Jeff Fielder – 4,320,000 (54 bb)
Seat 2. Matt Stout – 3,190,000 (40 bb)
Seat 3. Brian Hastings – 12,855,000 (161 bb)
Seat 4. Faraz Jaka – 2,450,000 (31 bb)
Seat 5. Joey Couden – 8,255,000 (103 bb)
Seat 6. Scott Margereson – 8,195,000 (102 bb)
Slow start followed by a wave of coolers
It took 45 hands for the first elimination to take place. Two-time WPTDeepStacks Champion Jeff Fielder surged into the chip lead at one point in the early going of the final table but fell in sixth place to Margereson.
Fielder called off for his tournament life with five-four of clubs on a ten-ten-four-seven-six board with backdoor clubs getting there. Margereson flopped a full house holding pocket fours and sent the Iowan to the rail to collect $144,775.
Matt Stout departed three hands later. Faraz Jaka and Stout were all-in with the exact same stack of 2,925,000 with the blinds at 50,000/100,000. Stout held two tens against the queens of Jaka and a flopped set followed by turned quads sent the pot Jaka’s way.
The third WPT final table of Stout’s career resulted in a $189,880 payout.
More coolers with Joey Couden on the wrong end
Joey Couden entered the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table as perhaps the least heralded player. The mixed game pro from Ohio now living in Florida put forth an impressive display but got unlucky when it mattered most.
Couden lost an all-in to Brian Hastings when Couden flopped a set of sevens against a set of aces for Hastings and all of the chips went in on the river. The pot gave Hastings the temporary chip lead that Jaka took when he ended Couden’s tournament.
In Hand #114 with the blinds up to 100,000/200,000, Couden opened to 475,000 under the gun and was met with a three-bet from Jaka to 1.5 million from the big blind. Couden shoved for 9.6 million total and Jaka beat him into the pot with pocket kings. The queens of Couden faced danger and no help came to save his tournament life.
Jaka entered three-handed play with Hastings and Margereson with half of the chips in play.[i15-table tableid=20717][i15-table tableid=19346]
Margereson takes control
Fate looked to be on Jaka’s side as the former WPT Player of the Year was two players away from winning his first major title. Margereson doubled up through Jaka and took the wind out of the Jaka’s sails.
Jaka opened the small blind to 650,000 and Margereson defend. On a flop of king-six-deuce, Jaka bet 550,000 and Margereson called to see a ten hit the turn. Jaka checked, Margereson bet 850,000 and Jaka put him all-in for 4.575 million more. Margereson called with king-eight and had to dodge the straight outs of Jaka’s queen-jack.
A king hit the river and Margereson pulled close to Jaka on the leaderboard.
Margereson eliminated Hastings on Hand #150 to bring the tournament down to heads up play.
Hastings was all-in on a jack-nine-three two club flop with ace-jack versus the king-eight of clubs for Margereson. The pot was worth half the chips in play and a seven of clubs on the river sent it over to Margereson.
Heads up goes Margereson’s way
Margereson started the one-on-one battle for the title with a three-to-one advantage over Jaka. The two played for 82 hands before Margereson caught one last break to win the title.
Margereson shoved with queen-jack offsuit and Jaka called for 22 big blinds with ace-eight of clubs. The queen-jack-nine flop brought Margereson two pair and he held through the last two cards to lock up the title.
The runner-up finish is the second for Jaka in his WPT career at his fifth final table.
Final table results
1st place: Scott Margereson – $696,740
2nd place: Faraz Jaka – $454,496
3rd place: Brian Hastings – $336,466
4th place: Joey Couden – $251,523
5th place: Matt Stout – $189,880
6th place: Jeff Fielder – $144,775
Only two more events left on the schedule
The World Poker Tour takes up residence in Las Vegas, Nevada for the remainder of Season XVI. The Bellagio Elite Poker Championship starts on May 1 followed by the Bobby Baldwin Classic on May 20. Both events carry a $10,000 buy-in and are the last chance for players to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
Lead photo courtesy of World Poker Tour/Flickr.