David Larson Wins WPT Rolling Thunder Title after a “Comedy of Things that Went Wrong”

David Larson, a player from San Jose, California, topped the field of the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event after what the brand new WPT champion himself described as a “whole comedy of things that went wrong”.

Apparently, Larson managed to do what was right at the end of it all and to remain the last man standing from a 440-strong field. The player collected his largest ever live cash of $295,128 for his recent triumph. His payout included a $15,000 seat into the upcoming WPT Tournament of Champions.

Larson tried to enter the $3,500 buy-in Main Event via several satellites. He told WPT staff last night that he played four $400 satellite tournaments, but did not succeed in securing a Main Event seat from any of those. Eventually, he went to the ATM, grabbed the money he needed and bought directly into the tournament.

Thus, despite his poor start into the WPT Rolling Thunder festival, Larson beat the Main Event’s field to have his name etched onto the WPT Champions Cup.

Final Table Action

Larson entered the six-handed final table as the short stack. The player had 18 big blinds left at the time cards were thrown in the air for a final day of action at the host venue, Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

Ping Liu led the pack of six. The player had a total of 3.33 million in chips, good for 83 big blinds, when play kicked off on Tuesday. He was followed by former WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, who had 2.755 million at the start of the day.

Larson managed to build his stack over the course of final table action. At the beginning of his heads-up match against Ian Steinman, the eventual champion had 4.6 million. A great portion of the chips came through the elimination of McKeehen in third place.

The two-handed duel began with Steinman holding the chip lead. However, Larson, who had already gained quite some momentum, pulled ahead quite quickly. He took the lead only seven hands after the beginning of heads-up and never looked back.

The two players battled it out for nearly thirty hands before the name of the winner became known. Hand #171 was the final one dealt last night. It saw Larson raise to 375,000 pre-flop and his opponent re-raised to 1.1 million. The flop came [Ad][Js][6c].

Larson bet 400,000 and Steinman check-called. The [Ah] arrived on the turn, which both players checked. The [Qs] appeared on the river and Larson shoved. Steinman called and tabled [Ks][Kc]. His pair of kings, however, could not beat Larson’s pairs of Aces and sixes. Steinman thus left in second place, good for $201,428.

This year’s WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event attracted a field of 440 entries who created a prize pool of $1,408,000. The event ran from March 2 through March 6 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

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