The 2021 Poker Masters is heading into its homestretch, with the dollar value associated with the tournaments ramping up. Wednesday and Thursday final table action saw two $25,000 tournaments determine champions, with one event crowning a newcomer. It is all going down ahead of the $100,000 Main Event, which will take place over the weekend.

Chris Brewer Wins Event #8, Takes $427,500 Payday

On Wednesday night, the survivors of the 57-entry $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event convened at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas to determine the champion. AP Louis Garza was at the top of the mountain to start the five-handed festivities, with a one million chip lead over Brewer at the start of the day. The two were a good distance ahead of John Riordan, Brock Wilson and Darren Elias as the cards hit the air to determine the champion.

This marked Riordan’s fourth trip to the final table during the 2021 Poker Masters, but he still has not been able to punch his ticket with a championship win. He would be first out of the tournament, but the finish would allow him to stay in contention for the Purple Jacket that signifies the overall champion of the event. One thing working against Riordan is that no person has ever won the Purple Jacket without at least winning one event on the schedule.

Up next was a battle between heavyweights that left one in desperate straits. Moving all in pre-flop with pocket tens, Elias saw Wilson make the call out of the big blind and only flip up a pair of sixes for the fight. Elias’ pocket tens would stand up to Wilson, severely chopping Wilson’s stack; he would depart on the next hand, with Elias administering the coup de grace when his A-Q out pipped Elias’ Q-8, in fourth place.

Elias, Garza and Wilson played three-handed for quite some time, with Garza coming out on the short end of the stick. Elias and Wilson would slowly grind the start-of-day chip leader’s stack down until he was at risk. He would get his final chips in against Brewer with the better of it, Garza’s A-4 off suit besting Brewer’s 8♥ 6♥ until an eight came on the flop. Once no Ace appeared on the turn or river, Garza was out in third place.

Elias was in a dominant position at the start of heads up, his 5.525 million chips against Brewer’s 1.6 million, but Brewer was undaunted. He would find a quick double up to get the heads-up battle to even before the final hand commenced. On the final hand, Elias made a move with a 10-9 to scoop the blinds, but Brewer found a K-9 and decided that was enough. Needing to find a ten, Elias saw the board blank out to come up short in second and earn Brewer the championship and the $427,500 payday.

1. Chris Brewer, $427,500
2. Darren Elias, $285,000
3. AP Louis Garza, $199,500
4. Brock Wilson, $142,500
5. John Riordan, $114,000

Newcomer Wins PLO, “Decided to Take a Shot”

In one of the stunners of the 2021 Poker Masters, newcomer Miles Rampel took his shot at the brass ring and came up golden.

43 entries gathered for the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, Event #9 on the roster of events and, on Thursday afternoon, the final five players came together. Leading the way was Event #8’s runner-up, AP Louis Garza, who had jumped into the action just as soon as he had completed that tournament. Rampel, who was playing in his first live event EVER, was down the leaderboard, but the fortunes seemed to be with him.

After Jeremy Ausmus left in fifth and Ben Lamb departed in fourth, Rampel had worked his way into a competitive position against both Garza and Sean Winter. Rampel improved his station by taking down Winter and he and Garza went to heads up play virtually even in chips (Garza over Rampel 2.83 million to 2.545 million). The “poker gods” were with Rampel, however, as he first doubled up in a flush versus flush situation before taking down the crown and the latest title of the 2021 Poker Masters.

How “new” was Rampel to the “High Roller” world? “On the morning of registration, I was hemming and hawing thinking I didn’t want to start the trip stuck $25,000 with it being all pros, but I said, ‘You know what? I’ll register,’ Rampel said to Donnie Peters of PokerGO. “Lots and ups and downs…I’m not like a pro poker player or anything, so as I became more successful in life the games got a little bit bigger – not as big as this, this was definitely taking a shot for me – and I decided to take a shot.”

1. Miles Rampel, $365,500
2. AP Louis Garza, $236,500
3. Sean Winter, $161,250
4. Ben Lamb, $118,250
5. Jeremy Ausmus, $86,000

Final Events on the Horizon

There are three events left on the 2021 Poker Masters schedule. Event #10, a $25,000 No Limit tournament, will play out to a champion on Friday while the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament starts action. Saturday is the final day of the schedule, which will feature the championship of the $50K tournament and the Main Event, a $100,000 No Limit affair. The Main Event is expected to be a single day event, depending on the number of entries.

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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