Dylan Wilkerson Breaks Through at WPT Emperor’s Palace Classic

Dylan Wilkerson proved the third time's a charm at WPT Emperor's Palace Poker Classic. (Photo courtesy of WPT)

Dylan Wilkerson proved the third time’s a charm at WPT Emperor’s Palace Poker Classic. (Photo courtesy of WPT)

Dylan Wilkerson made back-to-back World Poker Tour final tables earlier this year for nearly a million dollars and finished runner-up both times, but he broke through in South Africa at the Emperor’s Palace Poker Classic Main Event to win his first WPT title, entry into the season-ending WPT World Championship and took home $147,509.

The third and final day of the event had 17 returning players and five hours of action trimmed the field to the six-handed final table Richard Barnard barely edging out Wilkerson for the chiplead with 1.3 and 1.2 million respectively. Chris Convery was the only other player over a million chips, Aaron Overton, Diane Crous and Darryn Lipman rounded out the final table.

Lipman bowed out in sixth place on the first hand of the third orbit when he open-shoved from the small blind holding A 2. Convery called from the big holding pocket jacks and the board ran 7 5 4 7 5. Lipman failed to improved and collected $22,602 for sixth place.

Twenty minutes later Overton open-shoved from the button, Crous called from the small blind holding A K and Overton tabled T 9 for his tournament life. The board ran 7 3 2 Q 8, Overton never improved and he was sent to the rail in fifth place.

The field took a dinner break and the table played more than 50 hands after returning before Wilkerson opened on the button, Convery moved all in from the big blind and Wilkerson called holding Q 9. Convery was looking for a little magic holding T 8 but the board avoided him when it ran K J 5 J 4 and Wilkerson took the pot with queen-high.

Four hands later Wilkerson opened on the button, Crous three-bet from the small blind with A K and Wilkerson moved all in holding 9 9. Crous called and took the lead when the flop fell K 7 2, but he board completed 4 J giving Wilkerson a flush and eliminating Crous from the final table.

Bernard and Wilkerson began heads-up play with nearly identical stacks – 2.52 million and 2.46 million respectively. Wilkerson pulled out to 3.05 million to 1.9 million chiplead over 35 hands and kept the pressure on Barnard for another 20 hands. Barnard made stand, moved all in holding K Q and Wilkerson called holding A Q. The dealer spread T 6 6 Q 5, Wilkerson’s queen with an ace kicker took the pot and the tournament.

World Poker Tour Emperor’s Palace Poker Classic Final Table Payouts

  1. Dylan Wilkerson – $147,509
  2. Richard Barnard – $85,651
  3. Diane Crous – $54,721
  4. Chris Convery – $38,543
  5. Aaron Overton – $29,740
  6. Darryn Lipman – $22,602
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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