Brian Altman loves the state of Florida. On Tuesday, he won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Main Event for his third career WPT title. All three of his victories came in the Sunshine State. For his win, Altman banked $613,225.
Altman’s other two World Poker Tour titles were also at a Seminole Hard Rock property, but across the state in Hollywood. In 2015, he won the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open and early last year, just before the pandemic shut things down, he won the same tournament again.
He also becomes one of just seven players to have captured at least three World Poker Tour titles. Along with Altman, Eric Afriat, David “Chino” Rheem, Anthony Zinno, Carlos Mortensen, and Gus Hansen all have three. Atop the championship list, though, is Darren Elias with four.
“This is a really special World Poker Tour title for me,” Altman said afterward. “I’m joining the exclusive club of three-time champions, which only a few people have done. To be among that company makes me feel really proud.”
Altman went into Day 4 with the largest stack of the nine remaining players. He then proceeded to knock out the next three players to make the official six-handed final table with a gigantic stack, holding more than half the chips in play. To illustrate, Altman had 23.950 million chips to begin six-handed play. His closest competitor was Jonathan Jaffe with 8.175 million.
His elimination streak stopped there, but he picked it back up again when he felted Jaffe in fourth place. Shortly there after, Altman knocked out Zachary Smiley in third place to take more than a 3-to-1 lead into heads-up play against Gabriel Abusada, 35.850 million chips to 10.650 million. Despite the deficit, however, Abusada’s stack was actually very deep, so he had plenty of time to play some poker.
He didn’t care. Rather than trying to gradually get back into it, Abusada went all-in frequently, hoping to flip the table in a hand or two. He did cut into the lead, but Altman waited him out.
It can be tough to be patient when your opponent keeps putting you to the test, especially when you have such a big chip lead and just want to end it, but Altman had no problem with his opponent’s strategy.
“I did not feel frustrated at all,” he said. “I was just playing my cards and trying to keep my calm and composure, and making the strategic adjustments that I saw fit.”
On the final hand, Abusada shoved pre-flop for 18.525 million chips with pocket Sixes. Altman made the easy call with Jacks. Abusada picked up a gutshot straight draw on the turn, but couldn’t get lucky on the river as Altman won his third WPT championship.
2021 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event – Final Table Results
- Brian Altman – $613,225
- Gabriel Abusada – $408,825
- Zachary Smiley – $302,200
- Jonathan Jaffe – $225,675
- John Haas – $170,275
- Will Berry – $129,825