- »Aaron Van Blarcum Wins WPT Legends of Poker For $474,390
Aaron Van Blarcum Wins WPT Legends of Poker For $474,390
Aaron Van Blarcum is the latest player to become a member of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Champions Club. The Texan triumphed over 519 opponents in his first-ever WPT event, the Legends of Poker tournament.
2019 WPT Legends of Poker Final Table Results
|1||Aaron Van Blarcum||$474,390|
Van Blarcum’s lifetime winnings stood at a respectable $72,000 before this tournament. The majority of that total stemmed from a $50,855 cash from this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event. He decided to play six WPT events this year and managed to win won with his first attempt. It may have been beginners luck, but Van Blarcum is a worthy champion and deserving of his $474,390 prize.
Sixty-five of the 520 starters received prize money meaning a plethora of stars missed out on some cash. Nobody wanted to finish in 66th place, yet someone had to and that someone was Bud Lavassani. Lavassani moved all in with pocket kings and Joe Serock called with queen-seven. A seven on the flop and a queen on the turn bust Lavassani on the stone cold bubble.
This paved the way to the payout places for a host of established pros. These included Adam Levy, Mike Sexton, Chance Kornuth, Phil Laak, Jordan Cristos, Kelly Kim, and Brian Altman. The latter fell in 10th place to set the unofficial final table.
Day 3 ended with six players remaining after Jeremy Joseph, Kitty Kuo and Taylor Black busted from the WPT Legends of Poker.
2019 WPT Legend of Poker Final Table Draw
|2||Aaron Van Blarcum||2,050,000|
Antonios Roungeris was the first casualty of the final table, busting on the 23rd hand. Van Blarcum opened with a raise of three-times the big blind with pocket jacks. Roungeris responded with an all in three-bet of 24 big blinds with pocket sevens. Van Blarcum called and the five community cards brought no drama to reduce the player count by one.
The final five became four with the exit of Jisup Hwang who was the first player to collect five figures. Down to 20 big blinds, Hwang open-shoved from the cutoff with pocket threes. Gueorgui Gantchev snapped him off on the button with a pair of queens in the hole. Both players missed the flop and Hwang was drawing dead after Gantchev turned a set. Hwang’s previous largest score was for $5,144. Now his biggest haul is $127,165.
Vahan Sudzhyan is a familiar face at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles and the patrons will likely see more of him after the walked away with $168,630 for his fourth-place finish in the WPT Legends of Poker. Sudzhyan called off his stack with an open-ended straight draw on a board showing four spades. Unfortunately for Sudzhyan, Van Blarcum held the king of spades in his hand so Sudzhyan’s tournament ended.
Dangerous Griener Gets Ground Down
Jared Griener was the next to fall in what was his second WPT Legends of Poker final table. Griener finished eighth in this very tournament in 2017 and matched his best WPT result with this third-place finish. His largest score of $41,340 was awarded for a third-place exit in the 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. This latest third-place exit netted Griener $226,040.
Griener’s exit was standard, pocket sevens against Van Blarcum’s nines, so he cannot be too disappointed with himself.
Van Blarcum held a substantial 16,490,000 to 4,305,000 chip lead over Gantchev but it still took 29 hands to seal the deal. The blinds were 60,000/120,000/120,000a on the 128th and final hand of the final table. Van Blarcum raised to 460,000, Gantchev raised to 1,800,000 and Van Blarcum shoved for 13,000,000. Gantchev called off his remaining 7,700,000 chips before the players revealed their hands.
It was pocket tens of Van Blarcum and fives for Gantchev. Neither player improved by the river, Van Blarcum did not need to, and he was announced as the WPT Legends of Poker champion. Gantchev collected $306,265 for his runner-up finish, more than 22-times his previous best.
Attention now turns to the WPT Borgata Poker Open from September 15th where Van Blarcum has his sights set on more glory. Should he emerge victorious, Van Blarcum would become the first player to win back-to-back WPT titles in their first two attempts. He will forever be the WPT Legends of Poker champion even if he fails in this quest.