Comeback victories provide some of the greatest moments and memories in sports, and poker is no exception. For Matthew Lapossie, it couldn’t have been drawn up any better – a WPT title on home soil, earned through multiple comebacks on the final day of play.
Lapossie, a native of London, Ontario, Canada, took down the 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Monday for $326,866, earning the biggest victory of his career by beating out a field of 383. He capped it off by dispatching Dylan Wilkerson, the player who nearly derailed his title hopes on numerous occasions on Day 3.
After establishing a big chiplead heads-up, Lapossie called a shove from Wilkerson with A 5 and beat his opponent’s 4 4 with an A T 6 6 2 runout to seal the deal.
Unlike the way WPT’s are usually run, Day 3 started with 10 players in contention instead of just six – but they’d quickly be whittled down to nine. On the second hand of the day, Spiro Mikrogianakis raised to 45,000, Howie Leung called and Xiaohu Chen three-bet all in for 231,000. Mikrogianakis four-bet all in over the top and drove Leung out of the pot, before turning over his J J. Chen needed to hit with A Q but failed to connect as it ran out T 7 6 6 3, going out 10th. Mikrogianakis got involved in another big pot three hands later with the very same hand, but it played a little differently the second time around.
Peter Labib raised to 65,000, John Boulougouris three-bet all in for 213,000 (about nine big blinds) and Mikrogianakis called in the big blind. Labib folded, Mikrogianakis showed J J and Boulougouris tabled his superior Q Q. The flop was all Mikrogianakis, though, coming out J 3 3 to give him a full house. The T turn and 3 river gave Boulougouris a full house too, but his was second best and sent him home in ninth place.
Lapossie chipped up quite a bit in the first few orbits at the final table, but he surged toward the top after one of the sickest hands you can run into so deep in a tournament. Labib raised to 70,000 in late position and Lapossie called from the small blind to see a flop of 7 6 3. Lapossie checked, Labib bet 120,000 and Lapossie made a small check-raise to 285,000, which Labib called. The turn is the 8, Lapossie bet 285,000, Labib raised all in for 700,000 and Lapossie snap-called. Labib had A 3 for the ace-high flush, but he was drawing stone dead as Lapossie turned the straight flush with T 9. The Q on the river was an afterthought as Labib made a painful exit in eighth.
Wilkerson nearly missed the final table on his way to second place, running 9 9 into Lapossie’s A A only to spike a 9 on the flop to survive and double. After losing half of those chips, Wilkerson doubled his last five big blinds with Q 2 against Q T by spiking a 2 on the river. Just before the official final table was set, Lapossie hit his lowest point yet on Day 3 as Wilkerson doubled through him a third time with J J against 9 9.
Dave Graham would eventually go out seventh to set the official six-handed final table. James opened to 100,000, Graham three-bet all in from the small blind and James called with 6 6. Graham was live with A 8 but failed to hit as it ran out J T 2 4 J.
Lapossie didn’t wait long to recover as he doubled through Leung on the very first hand of six-handed play with A K against 5 5. Things looked good for Lapossie after hitting the K on the flop, but Wilkerson would strike Lapossie for the fourth time just two hands later. Wilkerson opened to 120,000 on the button, Lapossie three-bet from the small blind and Wilkerson four-bet all in. Lapossie didn’t hesitate long before calling, and his A 9 was indeed ahead of Wilkerson and his K Q – all the way through an A K J flop and 6 turn. Wilkerson earned his third big suckout and the overall chiplead on the river, though, as the K fell and crippled Lapossie to just five big blinds.
Lapossie quickly doubled back twice in the next three hands, though – once through Wilkerson – and got back into the thick of things. Leung got a double of his own, but as the third orbit of the final table approached an end, so did Leung. Wilkerson opened for a minraise under the gun and Leung three-bet all in for 1.1 million. Wilkerson called with A K and it was a race against Leung’s 8 8, with the A 7 5 7 2 runout giving him the pot and sending Leung out in sixth place.
Josue Sauvageau did a good job of treading water to this point, but when a crucial coinflip went against him it all came crumbling down. He seemed to have Mikrogianakis and his chips within his reach, but his 9 9 lost to Mikrogianakis’ A Q when a four flush in spades hit the board by the river. Sauvageau got a miracle runner-runner straight to double through Wilkerson, but lost it all in their second confrontation. Wilkerson minraised from under the gun and Sauvageu three-bet all in from the big blind for about 10 BB’s, prompting a call from Wilkerson with A Q. Sauvageau’s J J was racing, but the A T 2 5 K gave Wilkerson yet another elimination and left Sauvageau – who also finished fifth in this tournament in 2013 – with deja vu in 2014.
Four handed play carried on for some time, through the dinner break and well after it. Wilkerson extended his lead, but things reached a turning point just after the 100th hand of the final table. With short stacks in the blinds, Wilkerson open-shoved from the button and got called by both Lapossie in the small blind and Mikrogianakis in the big blind.
Wilkerson: Q T
Lapossie: A K
Mikrogianakis: 6 6
Mikrogianakis stayed ahead on the J 3 3 flop and 7 turn, but the K river gave Lapossie the triple up – and the chiplead – in dramatic fashion. Wilkerson slipped to third in a close three-horse race, while Mikrogianakis was left wondering what might have been as he made his exit in fourth place. Three-handed play would not last long.
After passing around chips for 15 hands, James opened to 240,000, Lapossie three-bet to 600,000 and James four-bet all in. Lapossie quickly called with A K and had James in trouble with A 7. It got a little hairy by the turn of the J 8 5 6 board, but the 2 river kept Lapossie on top and gave him an overwhelming chiplead going into heads-up play. James, who had the chiplead at several points on Day 3, would be the third place finisher.
Considering all of their confrontations, the heads-up battle between Lapossie and Wilkerson seemed all too appropriate as a climax. Through their 24 hand battle there was little stopping Lapossie, and when the coinflip mattered most he was finally able to hold.
A number of notable players cashed in this event but failed to make it to Day 3. Shawn Cunix (11th), Mike Watson (12th), Peter Jetten (17th), Mark Radoja (32nd), Mike Leah (35th) and Curt Kohlberg (37th) were just a few of the 45 players to reach the money.
The WPT’s West Coast swing is next, with three back-to-back-to-back tournaments scheduled for the month of March. It all kicks off Saturday with the start of the 2014 LA Poker Classic.
2014 World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic – Final Results
- Matthew Lapossie – $326,866
- Dylan Wilkerson – $228,806
- Jason James – $147,090
- Spiro Mikrogianakis – $108,956
- Josue Sauvageau – $81,716
- Howard Leung – $65,373
Latest posts by Tim Fiorvanti (see all)
- Things Are Getting Real for Joe McKeehen on the Thunderdome Stage - July 14, 2015
- Justin Schwartz Seeks End to Dark Days with Deep Main Event Run - July 14, 2015
- Pierre Neuville Lives Post-Retirement Poker Dreams to the Fullest - July 13, 2015
- Moneymaker Legend Grows as Bruce Peery Takes WSOP Main Event Lead - July 12, 2015
- Justin Bonomo Chips Up, Busts His Friends Deep in WSOP Main Event - July 12, 2015