Brady Holiman went wire-to-wire as the chip leader at the final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event Tuesday to win his first-ever WPT title as well as a first prize of nearly half a million dollars.
Going into the six-handed final table, Holiman had a tremendous chip lead, more than the second and third place players combined. This is poker, though, and anything can happen.
Anything didn’t happen. Holiman rolled, eliminating four of his five opponents along the way. But, as I said, this is poker, and Holiman still needed a little luck here and there. On the 21st hand of the final table, he knocked out Timothy Doboski in sixth place. The two were all-in pre-flop (a bold move for Domboski with so many chips!), Holiman with A-K, but Domboski with a dominating K-K. An Ace flopped, though, and Domboski was suddenly gone.
It took a long time for the next elimination, but on Hand 85, three-time WPT champ and former Player of the Year Anthony Zinno finally hit the rail. He moved all-in pre-flop with A-4 and Holiman called with Q-T. The flop of Q-6-4 gave Holiman the lead, but Zinno grabbed it back with an Ace on the turn. Holiman got lucky again, though, with another Queen on the river to take the hand and knock out Zinno.
On the very next hand, Holiman went back to work calling a J-7 all-in by Tony Ruberto with pocket Queens. This time, nothing weird happened and Holiman’s hand held, taking his stack to 18 million chips.
If you are doing the math, you have figured out that the third place finisher was the only one that Holiman did not eliminate. That happened on Hand 105 when Christopher Smith shoved for K-T and Viet Vo called with A-T. Vo’s better hand won as expected and the heads-up match was on, with Holiman holding a 17.775 million to 12.425 million chip lead.
Vo made it a good competition, nearly pulling even after Hand 113, but Holiman never let him get over the top. Though Holiman widened the gap, the ending still came suddenly. On Hand 122, Vo raised pre-flop with K-K, Holiman three-bet with A-J suited, and then Vo four-bet after some thought. Holiman then pondered his move, going all-in for 20 million chips. Vo called quickly for close to 10 million in total.
The flop deliver two Jacks to Holiman and neither the turn nor river were of any help to Vo and that was that.
Prior to this tournament, Brady Holiman had won around $42,000 in live poker tournaments. Thus, winning eleven times that amount is quite the boost to his bankroll. The accomplishment of winning a World Poker Tour title isn’t too bad, either.
2018 World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Brady Holiman – $469,185
2. Viet Vo – $302,725
3. Christopher Smith – $223,370
4. Tony Ruberto – $$166,605
5. Anthony Zinno – $125,630
6. Timothy Domboski – $95,780