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Markus Gonsalves Wins WPT Gardens Poker Championship
Markus Gonsalves is the latest player to become a World Poker Tour champion. Gonsalves topped the delayed final table of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship and banked a career-best score.
The $10,000 buy-in event attracted 257 players who created a $2,467,200. All but six players busted from the tournament last year with COVID-19 restrictions resulting in the delay of the final table.
Gonsalves entered the six-handed final table second in chips knowing a fourth-place or better finish would see him secure the largest cash of his career. Gonsalves’ record prize weighed in at $190.053, his reward for a 48th place in the 2007 WSOP Main Event.
The 21st hand of the final table saw Qing Liu bust out and bank $111,795. Tuan Phan min-raised to 60,000 from under the gun, Chance Kornuth called in the cutoff, and Liu called in the big blind. The flop fell Qs-5s-3c, Liu led for 100,000 and both his opponents called. Liu checked the 2d turn, Phan bet 350,000, Kornuth folded, but Liu check-raised all-in for 755,000. Phan called and showed Kh-Kc, Liu revealed 5h-3d, and the river came the Qh to bust Liu.
Liu won the WPT at Venetian Main Event 24-hours earlier for a $752,880 haul.
Gonsalves The Second-Shortest Stack At Start of Four-Handed Play
Straton Wilhelm busted one hand after Liu’s demise, leaving Gonsalves third from four in chips. Wilhelm open-shoved for 14.5 big blinds from the cutoff with As-Th. Phan woke up in the big blind with As-Ad and made the easy call. A board reading 4d-4s-2c-9c-3h sent Wilhelm home in fifth-place with $146,655 in prize money.
It took another 51 hands for the next player to fall, Kornuth was that player. Gonsalves embarked on a heater that saw him hold more than half the chips in play. Some of those chips belonged to Kornuth.
Kornuth bowed out during the 25,000/50,000/50,000a level. He limped in from the small blind with 6d-6c and called when Gonsalves moved all-in with Ad-5c. The door card of the Ah-9s-8s-2h-Kc board was an ace, which was enough to eliminate Kornuth.
Jonathan Cohen’s tournament ended in third-place on the 85th hand of the final table. Phan raised slightly more than twice the big blind with 125,000. Cohen ripped it in for 1,465,000 from the small blind, only for Gonsalves to move in over the top of him. Phan had seen enough and mucked his hand. Cohen’s 9d-9c needed some help against Gonsolves’ Th-Tc, but it never arrived as the five community cards fell 7c-7s-6h-Ad-8c.
Heads-Up Begins With Phan In Serious Trouble
The heads-up battle between Gonsalves and Phan began with the latter in serious trouble. Phan held 29 big blinds with his opponent armed with a 143 big blind stack. Phan doubled up with Kc-Qc against 2h-2c before drawing level and claiming the chip lead.
Gonsalves got back in front and won the tournament on the 176th hand of the evening. He completed the small blind for 200,000 and Phan checked. Phan check-called a 200,000 bet on the 9h-5h-3h flop. Phan checked again on the Qs turn. Gonsalves bet 600,000 and called Phan’s all-in check-raise of 3,075,000 chips. Phan flipped over 5d-3d for two pair, but Gonsalves had Th-4h for a flush.
The river needed to be a five or three, but it was the Js, and Phan crashed out in second-place for $359,650. Gonsalves became the WPT Gardens Poker Championship champion and scooped $554,495.
WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table
The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is next on the WPT schedule. This $3,500 buy-in event kicks off on April 23 in Hollywood, Florida, with the champion crowned on April 27.