- »Alexander Yen Captures WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Title
Alexander Yen Captures WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Title
Alexander Yen struck gold for the first time when he triumphed in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event. Yen, who hails from Illinois, came out on top of a 1,982-strong field and secured a $975,240 top prize.
Yen had two runner-up finishes before this victory; both came in MSPT tournaments. He now has an outright victory and a near $1 million score to his name.
Some 533 players made it through Day 2 from the brace of starting flights. Reigning WPT Player of the Year Jacob Ferro was the chip leader at that point. Ferro made it through to the penultimate day where he finished ninth for $97,525.
Day 3 ended with only 16 players in the hunt for the title. Joshua Kay led the way with Yen second in chips. Those 16 players were reduced to the final six with the eliminations of the likes of the aforementioned Ferro and final table bubble boy Jeremy Ausmus.
Yen Holds Commanding Final Table Chip Lead
The six-handed final table started with Yen in a commanding position. He held 27,575,000 chips, or 138 big blins. Joshua Kay was second in chips courtesy of his 18,150,000 stack, or 91 big blinds.
It only took 27 hands for the final table to lose its first player. Daniel Lazrus opened to 450,000 from under the gun, and Omar Lakhdari three-bet all-in for 3,625,000 from the cutoff. Lazrus called with 9d-9c, and was up against Ks-Qs. The 9s-5s-2s flop give Lazrus top set but put a flush draw out there. The Td turn gave Lakhdari more outs, but the Kd river was not one of them. Lakhdari collected $208,025 for his sixth-place finish.
Fifth-place and $272,830 went to Kay. He min-raised to 500,000 in late position with Ac-Jc. Swedish superstar Anton Wigg three-bet shoved for 4,400,000 with Kd-Qh, and Kay called all-in. Wigg flopped trip queens on the Qd-Qc-9d-7c-8s board.
Another player crashed out only four hands after Kay’s demise. Nicholas Verderamo was busted at the hands of Yen. Yen raised to 500,000 on the button with Qd-Qs, and called when Verderamo committed his short-stack with Ad-8s. The board ran Js-6c-5c-3d-7s, which missed the all-in player. Verderamo walked away with $361,130 for his efforts.
Huge Pay Jumps But No Deals
The pay jumps were huge with a $167,800 difference between second and third place, and $325,060 difference between first and second. The final trio of stars decided against a deal despite those jumps.
Third place was settled during the 200,000/400,000/400,000a level. Lazrus open-shoved for 6,200,000 from the small blind, and Yen called from the big blind. Lazrus showed 6c-6s, Yen Kd-Jc, and the five community cards ran Jd-7h-5h-5s-9c.
That hand gave Yen more than twice as many chips as Wigg going into heads up. Yen had 57,700,000 chips at his disposal compared to the 22,600,000 in Wigg’s.
Wigg is a former European Poker Tour champion and an elite online poker grinder. A yen victory was far from guaranteed. Wigg drew level before claiming the chip lead for himself. Yet Yen emerged victoriously.
Hand 119 was the final hand of the tournament. The champion-elect limped from the button before calling a raise to 2,000,000 from Wigg. The Td-8c-6c flop saw Wigg for a 4,500,000 continuation bet, which Yen called. Wigg paused for 30-seconds after the 6d landed on the turn before moving all-in. Yen snap-called and showed 9c-7c for a flopped straight and a re-draw to a flush. Wigg held Qc-Qd.
The 4d river completed the board, busted Wigg, and confirmed Yen as the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event champion. Wigg headed into the night with $650,180 but the champion banked a cool $975,240.