Though the next World Poker Tour event is just around the corner, WPT Season XV officially ended Sunday night as Daniel Weinman won the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Because it is now invitational only, the WPT’s season-ending tournament is small – just 66 players entered – but as it is limited to former WPT title winners, the field was obviously stacked with heavy hitters. Even those that may not be the absolute cream of the crop still clearly have both experience and success staring down the pressure that comes with a deep run in a major tournament.
For his win, Weinman received $381,500. But that’s not all. He also won a heap of other prizes, including a $15,000 entry into next year’s WPT Tournament of Champions, a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe, a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, a pair of Monster Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones, a custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables, a one-week stay with Wyndham Extra Holidays, and a spot in Tiger’s Poker Night, which is a presented by the WPT. Not bad. I mean, the headphones are kind of ridiculous looking, the watch is gaudy is hell, I would have nowhere to put the poker table, and the Audi isn’t really a practical family car for a guy like me, but I wasn’t the one who won all of that stuff.
Speaking with legendary WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage after the victory, Weinman said, “It feels incredible. I think I played some awesome poker today and I came out on top so I can’t really ask for anything more. It was a long three days, I was very sick the first day, I was kind of lucky to get through. But then I feel like I was able to focus on the last two days.”
Weinman began final table play as the chip leader and held onto the lead for most of Sunday. Most people relish the idea of having the largest chip stack at the poker table, but Weinman had some interesting thoughts about that, saying, “….I’d almost rather be short, just kind of have my mind-game simplified. Being the chip leader you really have to be involved in tons of pots, and I really didn’t have chips the entire tournament until the later stages of yesterday when I kind of went on a rush.”
It is kind of like being a high seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. There is a lot of pressure on you in the opening round because you are expected to win. The lower seed, or in this case, the short stack, has nothing to lose and is therefore sometimes able to put pressure on the favorite.
As mentioned, the WPT turns around very fast from here. Season XVI begins later this week with WPT Beijing, an invitation-only tournament. After that, it’s WPT Amsterdam in the first week of May.
World Poker Tour Season XIV Tournament of Champions – Final Money Results
1. Daniel Weinman – $381,500
2. Michael Mizrachi – $218,000
3. Daniel Santoro – $133,525
4. David Ormsby – $95,375
5. Erik Seidel – $73,575
6. Dylan Wilkerson – $57,225
7. Stefan Schillhabel – $49,050
8. Jesse Sylvia – $43,600
9. Jonathan Jaffe – $38,150