The third time was a charm for New Jersey native Darren Elias as he broke through and won his first World Poker Tour title at the Borgata Poker Open. Elias defeated Kane Kalas heads-up for for his name on the Champions Cup, a seat to the WPT World Championship and $843,744.
Elias has two previous WPT final table finishes from Season X, including one at the Borgata for $230,000. “I like playing here, I’m here a lot and if I had to pick a place to win a title it would be here,” Elias said. “I might play more WPTs this season and travel a little more and do the same things I’ve been doing.”
“I thought because last night was so long today would be a little quicker, but I didn’t know Kane was going to get aces and knock everybody out right away,” Elias continued. “But I kind of expected something like that.”
On just the fourth hand of the day Kalas opened and Qartomy moved his stack in from the button. Kalas snap-called holding pocket aces and Qartomy tabled A J. The board ran J 8 8 5 2 and Qartomy’s day was done with a sixth place finish.
The next hand Overton opened, Kalas three-bet behind him and Bohn four-bet from the small blind. Overton mucked, Kalas moved all in and Bohn called, tabling pocket queens. Kalas tabled pocket aces again and Bohn was drawing thin to survive. The dealer spread the T 9 8 9 A board, Bohn was eliminated Kalas’ improbable back-to-back aces gave him nearly half the chips in play in the opening orbit.
Kalas’ 24.3 million-chip stack dwarfed his competitors – Elias held 7.9 million, Overton 2.7 million and Serratos 1.7 million – but the giant lead didn’t last long. Kalas and Elias went to a K 5 2 flop, Kalas led out and Elias called. The turn came 8, Kalas bet and Elias called a second time. The river came T, Kalas moved all in and Elias insta-called with Q 6 for a flush. Kalas flashed T 4 for a smaller flush and Elias took over the chip lead by a small margin.
The four-handed table played for two hours until Overton open-shoved on the button and Kalas called holding pocket jacks. Overton needed to get to hit the board to stay alive, he saw an ace in the window when the flop came A 6 2. Overton made two pair, the turn came 7 and the J came on the river to give Kalas a set. Overton was eliminated in fourth place and the final table took a short break.
On the first hand back from break Kalas opened, Serratos moved in from the big blind and Kalas called holding pocket sevens. Serratos held two live cards with K 9 but bricked when the board ran 8 6 4 2 Q. Serratos finished in third place and was Kalas’ fourth straight knockout.
Heads-up play began with Kalas holding 24.8 million and Elias with 12.025 million. The two played for around 90 minutes and Elias managed to swing the momentum his way and chipped up to 19.7 million and Kalas held 17.05 million.
The final hand saw them go to a T 7 4 flop. Elias checked, Kalas bet and Elias called. The turn came K, Elias checked, Kalas bet and Elias check-raised all in. Kalas insta-called with A K and Elias showed him bad news with K 4 for two pair. Kalas needed an ace or the board to pair to stay alive but the river bricked 3. Elias won the hand, celebrated with his friends and family and earned the largest cash of his career.
Final Table Payouts
- Darren Elias – $843,744
- Kane Kalas – $500,364
- Jose Serratos – $308,067
- Aaron Overton – $259,012
- Blake Bohn – $213,999
- Ray Qartomy – $174,637
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