Eric Afriat Wins Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1,081,184

Eric Afriat won the largest WPT field in history. (Photo courtesy of WPT)

Eric Afriat beat the largest WPT field in history. (Photo courtesy of WPT)

The fifth and final day of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown saw six players return to fight for the title. Leading the field to the final table was Mukul Pahuja, for  his third WPT final table this season. After seven hours on the felt, Eric Afriat defeated Pahuja heads-up and walked away seven-figures richer, put his name on the WPT Champions Cup and earned a seat to the WPT World Championship.

James Mackey returned second in chips while Jacob Bazeley and Chance Kornuth form the chase pack and Matt Stout was the short stack with just over 20 big blinds.

Pahuja had a chance to win Season XII’s WPT Player of the Year title with an outright win in the event, but instead he holds a significant lead. The race is all but over with Pahuja holding a 3,000 point plus lead in the standings and only two players, Shaun Suller and Dylan Wilkerson, have mathematical chance to pass Pahuja, but it would take winning the upcoming WPT World Championship to do so.

Kornuth was the first player eliminated after two orbits when he three-bet shoved all in preflop. Mackey was the original raiser and called holding A T and was ahead of Kornuth’s K Q. The board ran Q 4 3 A 8 and Kornuth was sent to the rail.

Around an hour later Stout put his short stack at risk from the button with Q T and Pahuja called holding A 8. The board ran J 8 2 4 6, Stout was eliminated and Pahuja stacked a comfortable chip lead.

The table settled in for another 30 hands before Bazeley opened preflop and Afriat called from the big blind. The flop fell J 8 4, Afriat bet 300,000 and Bazeley made it a cool 1.3 million. Afriat played right back and re-raised to 2.8 million and Bazeley moved in for 6.1 million. Aftriat called with J 8 for two pair and Bazely tabled pocket aces. The board finished 9 Q and Bazeley’s cracked aces earned him fourth place.

Afriat, Mackey and Pahuja played for three hours shipping large pots back and forth. But Mackey’s night came to an end when he was all in holding K 7 and Pahuja held pocket nines. The board ran T 6 2 Q J, Pahuja’s nines held and Mackey was eliminated.

Heads-up play began with Afriat holding 38.5 million and Pahuja with 15 million. It was a rather short affair, lasting only seven hands. The last hand resulted in  classic flip situation with Afriat holding pocket eights and Pahuja held two over cards with K 9. The board ran 5 5 2 T 6 and Afriat’s pocket eights became a million dollar hand for the win.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Eric Afriat – $1,081,184
  2. Mukul Pahuja – $691,965
  3. James Mackey – $441,128
  4. Jacob Bazeley – $371,931
  5. Matt Stout  – $308,501
  6. Chance Kornuth – $247,954
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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 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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