There are many tough things about being a new parent. The stress of not knowing what in the hell you are doing, the sleepless nights, lack of time to cook a proper meal, and, of course, kids are expensive! Patrick Serda certainly knows this, but as the father of a five-week old, he shouldn’t have to worry too much about that last item, as he just won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event and CAD $855,000 (about USD $652,000).
I’ll also give Serda’s wife a ton of credit, as she actually had the courage to bring said five-week old on a plane across the country to see daddy win his big tournament.
“He is great, and mum is doing well. It was a little bit of a struggle to get them to come out here, but the doctor cleared them for travel. We discussed how good the stop would be. I really enjoy coming to Montreal and Playground. WPT events are great, so it was a must-play for me,” Serda told WPT.com after the event.
WPT Montreal is easily Serda’s most significant victory, though it is not his largest cash. About two years ago, he finished second in the European Poker Tour Prague High Roller Event for €719,000 (USD $750,216). Serda now has about USD $1.75 million in live tournament earnings.
Serda began Sunday’s six-handed final table as the chip leader with 8.260 million chips. Ema Zajmovic was second with 7.450 million and Upsehka De Silva was third with 6.800 million. After them, there was a clear gap to the bottom three.
It was a heck of a contest, as multiple players grabbed the chip lead at some point, with the top two or three spots frequently hotly contested with tight chip stacks.
Zajmovic, by the way, was gunning for some history. Last year, she became the first woman to win an open WPT Main Event, taking the title at WPT Playground. She was not only trying to become the first woman to win two open WPT Main Events, but one of the few to win twice at the same location. She does not have a long history of live tournament cashes, but what she has is impressive. In addition to her WPT title, she has two WPT final tables: one at WPT Montreal two years ago (she clearly likes the Playground Poker Club) and another with a runner-up finish at WPT Amsterdam this past spring.
It looked for a while that she might be well on her way to that second title, but Serda eliminated Sorel Mizzi in third place to go into heads-up with a slight lead, 16.150 million to 15.675 million.
It only took about a dozen hands for Serda to close the deal. Though Zajmovic quickly took over the chip lead, Serda just as quickly wrested it back from his opponent. On the final hand, Zajmovic raised to 500,000, Serda re-raised to 1.6 million, Zajmovic four-bet to 3.8 million, and Serda called. The flop was 7-6-T, all spades, and both players checked to bring on an Ace on the turn. Serda checked, leading Zajmovic to bet 3 million. Serda then called and the river was a 3. After Serda checked, Zajmovic pondered her move for a while before moving all-in for 8.5 million. Serda also tanked, using a couple time extension chips in the process. He finally called (obviously) with 7-5, good for only third pair. Zajmovic, though, had nothing. She was on a bluff with K-9.
Serda made what had to have been one of the best calls of his live to win WPT Montreal.
2018 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Patrick Serda – CAD $855,000
2. Ema Zajmovic – CAD $556,000
3. Sorel Mizzi – CAD $410,000
4. Kauvsegan Ehamparam – CAD $305,450
5. Upeshka De Silva – CAD $230,250
6. Jiachen ‘Jack’ Gong – CAD $175,500