The battle for the Purple Jacket has begun!
Wednesday marked the first final table of the 2021 Poker Masters, the “made for streaming” poker schedule created four years ago by PokerGO. While the numbers were slightly down for the first of a series of $10,000 No Limit Hold’em events (82 entries), the outcome was one of the usual suspects taking the title. In the end, Shannon Shorr was able to outlast former U. S. Poker Open champion David Peters in a five-hour final table battle to take home the first victory of this year’s tournament schedule.
Shorr, Peters Dominate on Way to Heads-Up
From the start of the seven handed final table, Shorr and Peters were the dominant players. At the start of the day, Peters and his 2.25 million chip stack held the lead over Brock Wilson (two million in chips) and Shorr (1.91 million). Jonathan Jaffe (1.425 million), Dylan DeStefano (1.33 million), John Riordan (1.01 million), and the short-stacked Benjamin Yu (325,000) rounded out the final table, which wasted little time in getting down to business.
Very early in the action, Yu decided to push against Shorr, and the outcome left him on the rail in seventh place and Shorr in the lead in the tournament. Shorr would improve on that lead by dismissing Riordan in sixth after a very tense hand. Shorr’s A-Q would lead Riordan’s A-8 pre-flop, but the three cards fanned out with an 8-7-5 arrangement to push Riordan into a momentary lead. It was “momentary” because the turn brought a Queen to return the edge to Shorr and, after another Queen on the river to add insult to injury, Riordan headed to the cage for his sixth-place payday and Shorr solidified his lead.
Now it was time for Peters to get in the game. After Wilson busted Jaffe in fifth place, Peters would relieve Wilson of about half of those chips he gained when his pocket Kings stood against Wilson’s A♦ 3♦; Peters would take the rest a few hands later. Once Peters sent DeStefano to the exits in third place, his Jacks holding against DeStefano’s Q♥ 9♥, Peters and Shorr went to heads up with only 500K in chips separating them.
Tournament Scheduling Has Effect on Play
The twosome would swap the lead between each other before Peters began to stretch out to a 3:1 lead. That came back to an even setting after a stunning double up by Shorr, which left him with a few more chips than Peters. It would set the stage for an occurrence that arguably affected the outcome of the tournament.
With late registration for Event #2, which was going on alongside the Event #1 final table action in the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, coming to a close, both Peters and Shorr wanted to enter the event. They decided to chop the remaining Event #1 prize pool, leaving a bit of cash on the side to play for, and then would go all in blind for several hands after the deal was struck. In the end, Shorr was able to win the blind fest and the $205,000* that went with it.
1. Shannon Shorr, $205,000*
2. David Peters, $147,000*
3. Dylan DeStefano, $98,400
4. Brock Wilson, $82,000
5. Jonathan Jaffe, $65,600
6. John Riordan, $49,200
7. Benjamin Yu, $32,800
(* – does NOT reflect final table deal struck)
“The crazy thing is we got heads up, chopped, and then we were playing for a little bit more money but then we had to get all in in time to play [the next tournament],” Shorr said to Donnie Peters of PokerGO following the victory. “When he had to get all in, we were almost identical in chips, which is just really crazy. But yeah, I won the big coin flip, ten-eight versus six-deuce, and now I’m doing the winner’s interview.”
Up for Thursday in the 2021 Poker Masters will be the final table for Event #2, another $10,000 No Limit Hold’em battle. Leading that final table is a player who just missed out on making the Event #1 festivities, Sean Perry, who is looking to run down current PokerGO Tour leader Ali Imsirovic. He will face a tough field of players that includes Riordan (making his second consecutive 2021 Poker Masters final table), Jake Schindler, Sam Soverel and Daniel Negreanu.
(photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)