It is difficult to find a player that has been on a better heater of late than Bin Weng. In May, Weng made two World Poker Tour final tables, winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown’s playout at the HyperX Sports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Last night, Weng added to his historic run in WPT tournaments as he defeated Scott Baumstein to capture the WPT EveryOne for OneDrop championship and more than two million in prize money.
Dominance From the Start?
The only direction for Weng to go on Friday was down. He was the chip leader of the six-handed WPT final table with his 21.025 million in chips, vastly outpacing Niko Koop’s 14.825 million stack. Lurking right behind those two was another WPT champion in Baumstein, who held a very viable 10.975 million stack in his own right. Freddy Heller (9.3 million), Dominik Nitsche (8.125 million), and a short-stacked Tom Cannuli (2.8 million) rounded out the runners for the title.
Baumstein demonstrated that he was a threat in the initial action. On Hand #6, Baumstein went to war surprisingly against Weng, but both men had the hands for the fight. It was a classic race, Baumstein’s pocket Queens against Weng’s A-K, but the flop decided to tease the Twitch streaming audience and announcers Ronnie Bardah and Jamie Kerstetter. Coming down Q-J-2, it gave Baumstein a set but left a door open for Weng to hit a Broadway straight. A six turn and an eight river did not bring any changes, though, and Baumstein doubled up and into the lead.
Cannuli was expected to go out first as the short stack, but it wasn’t because he didn’t try to get back into the tournament. He would double up through Nitsche, making quad sixes against Nitsche’s Big Slick, to put Nitsche on the short stack. After a couple more all-ins that went uncalled, Cannuli went to war against Baumstein in the ultimate cooler (Cannuli’s pocket Kings versus Baumstein’s pocket Aces) and was sent home in sixth place.
Nitsche departed soon afterward in fifth place, his K-Q coming up fruitless against Weng’s pocket eights, while Baumstein extended his lead by making an unnecessary full house against the A♦ 8♦ of Heller. That brought the table to three-handed play, with Baumstein holding a sizeable lead over Weng and Koop.
Weng Rebounds for the Title
The three-handed fight was perhaps the most exciting point of the tournament, and it was also the longest. Koop would use the early warfare to seize his chance at the title, doubling through Baumstein after Koop hit bottom two pair against Baumstein’s flush draw. But there were rumblings of a rare occurrence on the WPT and, in fact, during a break it came to pass.
Final table deals are not out of the ordinary in the tournament poker world. On the WPT, however, it is something that rarely happens because the tour prefers to preserve the integrity of the competition. Thus, whenever a tournament is played for the WPT cameras and television broadcast, there is a “no deal” policy in place for the action.
With streaming, however, that’s a different story. With three-handed action grinding the players to nearly equal stacks, the three men decided on an ICM chop of the remaining prize money. They did, however, leave the trophies and $400,000 to the eventual winner to give them something to play for.
You could not tell from the WPT Twitch stream that the players had made a deal because admirably they played it out straight. Baumstein and Weng both pulled big chunks of chips out of Koop, eventually sending him to the rail in third place. In the heads-up fight, Weng either made his hands or made moves that Baumstein just could not answer, eventually leading to the final hand that was cruel in its outcome.
On Hand #75, Weng filled in his small blind and Baumstein checked his option to see a 9-7-4 flop. Baumstein liked the looks of that flop, betting 500K in chips, but Weng liked it more in taking the betting up to 1.5 million. Baumstein called and a five came on the turn. This time Weng opened betting with three million chips, leading Baumstein to push all in for his last 11 million. Weng called off his stack and the cards were turned up:
Weng: pocket sevens (flopped set)
Baumstein: 8-6 (nine-high straight)
Needing to dodge the board pairing for a massive double that would have put him in command of the match, Baumstein saw…a four pair the board. The resulting full house, sevens over fours, gave Bin Weng the hand, the match, and the championship of the WPT EveryOne for OneDrop championship.
1. Bin Weng, $2,227,054*
2. Scott Baumstein, $1,503,988*
3. Niko Koop, $1,872,438*
4. Freddy Heller, $956,000
5. Dominik Nitsche, $700,100
6. Tom Cannuli, $524,500
(* – reflects final table ICM deal with $400,000 going to eventual champion Weng)
The close of the WPT EveryOne for OneDrop is not the last salvo from the WPT, OneDrop, or the Wynn. The WPT Alpha8 for OneDrop is entering its Day Two action on Saturday, already booking 39 entries for the $111,111 tournament. Fifteen remain entering today’s action, with registration open until the start of play. The plan for the Alpha8 gang is to play to the six-handed final table, with the champion being determined on Sunday and (presumably) livestreamed over the WPT Twitch feed.