Erkut Yilmaz is not what one would consider a household name in the world of poker, but everyone best start paying attention, because this man is tearing it up right now. Yilmaz won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event yesterday, his second WPT title this season. For the win, Yilmaz banked $303,920, which includes a $15,000 seat in the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. Of course, he already won a seat, so, I guess he gets to pocket that cash.

Yilmaz entered Tuesday’s final table way behind the chip leader Jim Collopy, who had 5.715 million chips. As I wrote yesterday, Collopy had more chips than the other five players at the final table combined. Yilmaz was in third place with 1.635 million chips, so it was an uphill battle from the start.

Jerry Robinson, one of two players to begin final table play with stacks under a million chips, was the first to go, eliminated by Ajay Chabra on the thirteenth hand of the day.

Former WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno, the shortest stack, was the next to go ten hands later when Collopy turned a flush against Zinno’s pocket Kings.

Yilmaz had also fallen below a million, but saw Lady Luck smile on him twice in quick succession. First, he doubled-up through Collopy with K-T against Kings (Yilmaz flopped a straight) and then he spiked a Queen on the river to allow his K-Q to beat Dylan Linde’s A-J. After that, he had 3.400 million chips, second to Collopy’s 5.050 million.

A few hands later, Linde bowed out in fourth place, losing with Q-9 to Collopy’s A-3, all-in pre-flop.

Three-handed play was a lengthy affair, with the three men trading pots and Chabra doubling-up twice before finally being eliminated by Collopy. Going into heads-up play, it was Yilmaz who had the advantage, 6.300 million to 4.900 million.

Heads-up, too, was a marathon, with the players exchanging the chip lead many times, all-ins all over the place, neither player giving in.

Yilmaz finally chopped Collopy’s legs out from under him on the 177th hand of the final table. The two men were all-in pre-flop, Collopy with Jacks and Yilmaz with A-7. An Ace flopped, giving Yilmaz the pot, and taking Collopy down to just 600,000 chips, 10 million fewer than his opponent. On the next hand, Yilmaz put Collopy away. Again they were all-in pre-flop, Yilmaz with A-K and Collopy with Q-J. Collopy got a Jack on the flop, but Yilmaz nailed an Ace on the river and that was it.

As mentioned, Yilmaz had previously won this season, taking the trophy at the WPT Borgata Poker Open in September. He now leads the WPT Player of the Year standings with 2,300 points. Dylan Linde, who also has a win this season and made his second final table, is in second place with 2,000 points.

2019 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Final Table Results

1. Erkut Yilmaz – $303,920
2. Jim Collopy – $200,780
3. Ajay Chabra – $130,345
4. Dylan Linde – $95,530
5. Anthony Zinno – $68,860
6. Jerry Robinson – $50,720

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