Playdown day at the World Poker Tour $15,000 World Championship began with 23 players eyeing the final table but only six would make the cut. Alexander Lakhov bagged up the chiplead, but Carlos Mortensen stands make history as he could be the first player to win the World Championship twice.
“It’s always a great feeling to the chance to win the same title again,” Mortensen said. “I made the first WPT final table at the Borgata and it’s nice to be at this one.” He’s also the only player that’s won a WPT World Championship and World Series of Poker Main Event title.
But Mortensen has the shortest stack and will have to get through the mountain of chips Lakhov holds. “There will be some poker friends I’ll talk to tonight but I’m feeling good,” Lakhov said. “I will play each hand by the situation because at one point I had four big blinds.”
Rounding out the final table are Asher Conniff, Brian Yoon, Ray Qartomy and Tony Dunst – who made the World Championship final table a year ago. “It feels really good to make the final table considering how short I came into the day, I think was 17th out of 23,” Dunst said. “I had to very patient, I didn’t get many hands the first couple of hours and the kind coolered people when I had the best of it.”
Conniff ended up in the event by accident – he misclicked online for what he thought was a $1,000 event in the NJCOP but it was a satellite for the World Championship. “My name on the Borgata site is “misclick” so that adds to it too,” Conniff said. “I’m actually supposed to be in Europe right now, the seat was a must-play so I pushed back my trip. Now we’re here, I’ve ran well this week and I’m kind of free-rolling the event so I’m really relaxed.”
The day started quick with five rapid eliminations to trim the field to two tables. Then the pace slowed as the final table seemed more in reach – David Tuthill, Matt Berkey and Zo Karim were eliminated before a single table was reached.
Brock Parker bubbled the TV table after to consecutive hands. First, Parker lost holding pocket kings when Yoon shoved with A J preflop and made trips. Then Parker open-shoved from under the gun holding A K, Conniff called with pocket nines, Parker never improved and was eliminated.
At 11-handed, Michael Rocco and Nathan Bjerno busted almost at the same time and the field went straight to a final table of nine. Rocco’s pocket sixes fell to Brian Yoon’s A K and Bjerno’s two pair fell to Qartomy’s flush.
Defending champ Keven Stammen bowed out in ninth place after he three-bet shipped holding A Q and Qartomy called holding pocket sixes. The board ran T 9 7 5 5, Stammen didn’t improve and missed out on defending his title.
Berkey was doing well with an above-average stack before the wheels fell off in a 20-minute span. He first failed to bluff Stammen out of a pot and then Michael Rocco doubled through Berkey holding A Q and Berkey held A T. But his final hand came when he flopped a jack-high straight holding 9 8 and Stammen made quad sevens on the turn.
The final table kicks off Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET with a live stream on a 30-minute delay.
WPT World Championship Final Table Chip Counts
- Alexander Lakhov – 4,110,000
- Asher Conniff – 2,360,000
- Brian Yoon – 1,970,000
- Ray Qartomy – 1,390,000
- Tony Dunst – 1,255,000
- Carlos Mortensen – 880,000
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