In the last matchup before the World Poker Tour World Championship in mid-December, the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open title was determined last night. In the end, Andrew Wilson rode a monster start-of-day chip lead to the title. On the way to that championship, Wilson was also able to deny two attempts at the WPT record books.

Monster Lead to Start Championship Day

It was Wilson’s tournament to lose. He started the six-handed final table with 33.425 million in chips, dwarfing the 12.7 million stack of second place Chad Eveslage and the 11.85 million of Brian Altman. Both of those gentlemen were looking to further their place in WPT history, with Eveslage looking for a third WPT Champions’ Cup trophy for his mantle and Altman looking to tie Darren Elias for the top slot in overall titles with four. Rounding out the final table were Joshua Kay (9.25 million), Gediminas Uselis (8.35 million), and the short-stacked Robel Andemichael (1.4 million) as the cards hit the air on Wednesday.

Wilson wasted little time, bullying the early action before Andemichael found something to go to battle with. Unfortunately for Andemichael, his A-4 off-suit was nowhere close to beating Wilson’s A-Q on a King-high board on Hand #5 and he departed in sixth place. Wilson would decimate Uselis next, using pocket Kings against Uselis’ A-10 to bounce Uselis in fifth place.

Stunningly, one of the start-of-day chip stacks was the next to go. After Kay raised the betting on the button pre-flop, Altman would defend his big blind to see a 9-J-8 rainbow flop. Both men checked their options to see a ten fall on the turn, putting straight and a heart flush option on the board. Kay chose this moment to fire a bet and Altman just called to see the river.

A Queen came on the river, eliminating the potential for a flush but putting a straight on the board. Altman checked again but, after Kay bet out two million in chips, Altman responded with a check-raise to four million. Kay immediately moved all in and Altman also snapped off the call – it was a simple question of who had what. Altman tabled a K-8 for the King-high straight, but Kay had the goods. He tabled A-K for the Broadway straight, besting Altman and ending his run at the WPT record books in fourth place.

Unstoppable Wilson Drives to Title

All the actions above took place within the first fifteen hands of the tournament, but it did little to change the standings. Wilson was still the far-and-away chip leader with his 46 million stack, more than his two opponents had combined. Still, Kay (20.4 million) and Eveslage (10.975 million) didn’t let up in their drive to derail Wilson’s title drive.

Eveslage never could find traction during the final table, slowly watching as the chips slid through his fingers. On Hand #53, he decided it was time to make a stand. After Kay opened the action and Wilson three-bet out of the small blind to 2.4 million, Eveslage found two cards he liked and moved all in. Kay decided to exit stage right, but Wilson immediately slapped in the calling chips. It was the mother of all coolers; Eveslage had woken up in the big blind with pocket Jacks, but Wilson had played out of the small blind with pocket Aces. A seven-high board didn’t do anything for Eveslage and his dreams of a second WPT title were erased with his third-place departure.

Going to heads up play, Wilson played the part of Goliath to Kay’s David. With 58.8 million chips, Wilson could continually pound Kay, regardless of the cards he had, and he took that aggressive approach. After about twenty hands, Kay was able to use that aggressive approach against Wilson, taking the lead on Hand 74 when he made a pair of Aces against Wilson’s busted straight. Three hands later, however, Wilson struck back, catching Kay in a bluff that negated the gains that Kay had made.

Another twenty hands were what it took for Wilson to seal the deal. After an opening bet from Kay, Wilson pumped the pot up to seven million. Kay would call to see the 10-7-4 flop and Wilson put out a continuation bet. Kay didn’t believe Wilson, however, and moved all in over the top of Wilson’s bet. To Kay’s consternation, Wilson snapped off the call and showed pocket Kings while Kay could only muster an 8-7 for battle. A Queen on the turn and a deuce on the river was not the cards Kay was looking for as Andrew Wilson completed the job and captured the championship of the 2022 WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open.

1. Andrew Wilson, $796,200
2. Josh Kay, $525,000
3. Chad Eveslage, $390,000
4. Brian Altman, $290,000
5. Gediminas Uselis, $219,000
6. Robel Andemichael, $167,000

The eyes of the tournament poker world now turn towards the Nevada desert and the Wynn Las Vegas. The WPT World Championship will be contested there beginning on December 12, with the crème of the tournament poker world taking their shot at the resurrected WPT World Championship. The last time the title was awarded was to Asher Conniff, who won the last WPT World Championship event in 2014 (between 2015-2019, the WPT Tournament of Champions took over the slot and there were no tournaments played in 2020 and 2021). Who will take the crown in 2022?

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