Scott Eskenazi began the WPT Rolling Thunder final table nearly tied for the shortest stack with just one-fifth the chips of chip leader Alejandro Jauregui, but came roaring back to win the whole thing for his first World Poker Tour title.
Eskenazi quickly accumulated chips, thanks to a double-up through Tony Dunst, to bring himself up into a tight pack behind the chip leader. That pack was far behind, but Eskenazi was in a better spot than he was in just moments earlier.
On the ninth hand of the final table, Eskenazi finished the job on Dunst, eliminating him in sixth place. That hand elevated Eskenazi into the second spot, within striking distance of Jauregui.
From there, Eskenazi held fairly steady for a while. His stack shrunk and then grew again and generally stayed in the same spot he was in since the Dunst ouster. The big difference was that by eliminating Victor Paredes in fifth place, Jauregui’s lead mushroomed. With four players remaining, Jauregui had 16.05 million chips, while Eskenazi was next with 7.625 million.
In fewer than 30 hands, though, Eskenazi took the chip lead. No double-ups, but a couple healthy pots plus a well-timed all-in to force a fold from Jauregui allowed Eskenazi to take the pole position by just a big blind.
Eskenazi proceeded to roll for a while, extending his lead and looking like he was just going to leave the other players in the dust, but things got tight three-handed. Then, when Jauregui eliminated Jeremy Joseph in third place, Eskenazi found himself going into heads-up play well behind, 18.225 million to 11.175 million.
Within just three hands, though, Eskenazi turned the tables and never looked back. Joseph made very minor dents in the deficit every so often, but interestingly enough, the one time he got somewhat close, narrowing the gap to 16 million to 13.4 million, was when he met his demise.
The hand right after Joseph nearly caught up was the final one of the tournament. Eskenazi raised to 1.5 million pre-flop and Josephy shoved all-in for 12.8 million. Eskenazi made the call with A-K suited, dominating Joseph’s A-2 suited (different suits, neither of which mattered in the end). The board ran out 9-7-7-4-3 and Scott Eskenazi got his name added to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
2023 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Final Table Results
- Scott Eskenazi – $361,660
- Jeremy Joseph – $234,000
- Alejandro Jauregui – $172,000
- Albert Tapia – $128,000
- Victor Paredes – $97,000
- Tony Dunst – $73,400
Image credit: Flickr.com / World Poker Tour