Romanian Vlad Darie Captures WPT Vienna Title, Dietrich Fast Makes Another Final Table

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In what proved to be a highly entertaining final table, Romania’s Vlad Darie defeated start-of-day chip lead Zoltan Gal to take down the World Poker Tour Vienna title on Sunday afternoon (U. S. time).

When the six men gathered at the Montesino Wien in Vienna on Sunday, they were the survivors from the 215 unique entries that the tournament had garnered. Along with 19 rebuys in the tournament, the total prize pool of €680,940 (a little more than $757,000 U. S.) had already seen some of it handed out to the previous 21 finishers in the tournament. These final six men, however, would divvy up the lion’s share of the wildebeest, with the eventual champion taking down a nice €157,000 payday.

Although Gal held the lead at the start of the day, it was really anyone’s tournament as the men were tightly packed together on the leaderboard. Reigning L. A. Poker Classic champion Dietrich Fast was looking for his second WPT title while holding 1.594 million in chips as Matt Davenport (1.274 million) and Darie (1.18 million) joined them in the million chip club. Dominik Bosnjak (665,000) and Georgios Zisimopoulos (485,000) rounded out the table as the men went to work on Sunday.

“Frantic” would be the word for the early hands on the Vienna final table as the players started moving chips quickly. Fast would be the beneficiary of the early flurry of action, cracking the two million chip mark, to seize the lead away from Gal. He also would punish Darie for some missteps as Darie saw his stack slip to the basement of the leaderboard. On one particular hand, Darie was fortunate to walk away still in the tournament.

After Darie raised from under the gun (with a K-Q) and Fast defended his big blind (with an A-5), the 3-4-Q flop seemed to be beneficial for Darie, who bet 45K. Fast made the call and, after another four came on the turn, Fast decided to lead out and Darie made a tenuous call. When the river came with an Ace to give Fast the hand, he would move all in and Darie agonized over his decision. With just 400K in chips and a pot worth more than half that amount, Darie decided to walk away and let Fast have the hand, a laydown that saved him from elimination.

The “poker gods” must have smiled fortuitously on Darie for that laydown as he didn’t seem to make a misstep from that point forward. On Hand 28, Darie would eliminate Zisimopoulos in sixth place, his pocket eights standing over Zisiomopoulos’ K-J off suit. On the very next hand Fast dropped Bosnjak in fifth when his Ace caught in a race against Bosnjak’s pocket tens on an A-8-9-J-5 board.

Now it was Davenport’s turn to get in the action. He would double up through Gal, his pocket sixes holding firm over Gal’s Big Chick, and used trip Queens to topple Fast’s two pair to take some of Fast’s stack in getting to 1.674 million in chips. Davenport would seize the lead when he carved some chips away from Darie after he flopped two pair against Darie’s flush draw, the resulting influx of chips pushing Davenport to 2.65 million in chips.

The four men continued a blistering pace, one that could not be sustained. Part of the destruction was Fast’s stack, which never seemed to get over the hand with Davenport. After Gal raised the betting to 100K, Fast shoved nearly one million chips to the center and Gal immediately made the call. His Big Slick was ruling over Fast’s A♣ 10♣ and the “poker gods” chose this moment to show they also have a sense of humor; the 3♣ K♣ 3 flop hit everyone in the hand, with Gal holding Kings up and Fast on the nut flush draw. A Jack on the turn was black, but it was the J♣, and after the 6 came on the river, Fast was out of the tournament in fourth place as Gal began to dominate.

Just as easily as it came to Davenport, it went away from him. On Hand 75 (and after seeing his stack decimated in a hand against Darie that left him with scraps), Davenport moved all in and both Gal and Darie came along for the ride. The Q-8-7-7-6 flop, turn and river was checked down by Gal and Darie and Davenport showed a 6-5 for two pair. Gal didn’t have any piece of the board with his A-9 off suit, but Darie’s 10-9 had rivered the nut straight to eliminate Davenport in third place and send the WPT Vienna to heads up play between Gal and Darie with Gal holding a 2:1 lead.

Gal didn’t waste any time, moving out to a 3:1 lead within about five hands of heads up action. It was the sixth hand, Hand 82, that proved to be a game-changer, however, as the twosome saw a 5-10-7 flop. Darie would check-call a bet out of Gal and, on a trey turn, Gal fired again. Darie chose this time to make a stand, pushing his chips to the center and Gal nearly beat him into the pot, turning up a 5-3 for two pair against Darie’s 7-6 for a pair of sevens. Looking for another seven or a six to best Gal’s two pair, Darie struck gold when a six came on the river, capturing the pot and the chip lead with his better two pair.

The duo would shift the lead back and forth over the next 70 hands before the final act. Darie would move all in from the button and Gal made the call, which turned out to be the correct move. Darie’s K 6 looked great when he turned it up but it faded quickly in the face of Gal’s A 2. A six on the flop changed that, however, and when no Ace came on the turn or river, Gal was out in second place as Vlad Darie captured the championship of the WPT Vienna.

1. Vlad Darie, €157,000
2. Zoltan Gal, €109,340
3. Matt Davenport, €70,800
4. Dietrich Fast, €52,450
5. Dominik Bosnjak, €39,360
6. Georgios Zisimopoulos, €31,500

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