Season XV of the WPT Main Tour was brought to a close in a spectacular manner, with Daniel Weinman fighting fiercely for the Tournament of Champions title and eventually capturing it on Sunday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Weinman received the amount of $381,500 in prize money and a plethora of other awards valued at over $150,000. The player entered the final table as the chip leader and excluding a very short period of time throughout Sunday action, he maintained his advantage over his fellow competitors.
And he faced quite a lot of competition, with some of the players left at the table sporting huge bankrolls and impressive live poker portfolios.
Michael Mizrachi, a poker pro we know well for winning two WPT titles and for other notable accomplishments, was Weinman’s last obstacle on the road to victory. The two players clashed in a rather short but action-packed heads-up duel. Mizrachi was certainly striving for his third WPT title. A victory would have tied him with Anthony Zinno, Carlos Mortensen, Darren Elias, David Rheem, and Gus Hansen, or the five players to have won the most WPT titles in the tour’s fourteen-year history.
It was not meant for Mizrachi, though, or at least not last night. The WPT Tournament of Champions had another star this year. Yet, Mizrachi was not ready to give up on the title without a good fight. And a good fight it was. Although Mizrachi was not able to scoop the chip lead during two-handed battle, he was very close to closing the gap between him and Weinman on several occasions.
Hand #160 was the final one to be played within the 2017 WPT Tournament of Champions and the fifteenth season of one of the world’s most popular live poker series. The hand unfolded with Mizrachi shoving pre-flop and Weinman calling with the [Ac][8h] against Mizrachi’s [5h][5c]. The [Qd][Jc][3c][8s][7c] ran out on the board to secure Weinman with a higher pair and thus with the title. Mizrachi’s runner-up finish earned him $218,000. Including last night’s six-figure payout, the player now has a total of $15,622,979 in live tournament earnings.
As for the Tournament of Champions winner, he boosted his tournament poker bankroll to $2,608,188. It has been a particularly successful year for Weinman so far. He bested the field of the WPT Borgata $3,500 Main Event earlier this year for his best live cash of $892,433, thus securing his entry into the season-ending Tournament of Champions. Weinman used to call himself a cash game player, and indeed he used to play cash games more frequently than live tournaments. Following his two big victories, it seems that he has reconsidered his poker goals and now strives for further glory on the felt.
This year’s Tournament of Champions featured an overall field of 66 entries who generated a prize poll of $1,090,000. The money was split in uneven payouts for the top nine finishers. And here are the players that left the prestigious event with a payout:
Daniel Weinman – $381,500
Michael Mizrachi – $218,000
Daniel Santoro – $133,525
David Ormsby – $95,375
Erik Seidel – $73,575
Dylan Wilkerson – $57,225
Stefan Schillhabel – $49,050
Jesse Sylvia – $43,600
Jonathan Jaffe – $38,150