When the six-handed final table of the inaugural World Poker Tour Tampa stop began on Tuesday afternoon at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa,, Brian Altman held almost three times as many chips as his closest competitor and more than the rest of the table combined.
The reigning WPT Player of the Year and two-time WPT Champions Club member needed just three hours to collect the rest of the chips and etch his name on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup for the third time. Altman is now one of five players with three WPT wins to their credit and sits just one victory behind the all-time leader, Darren Elias, who has four.
The final six players battled for an hour before the first player was sent packing. From UTG, Will Berry moved all in for 2,400,000 with and Jonathan Jaffe called from the big blind with . The flop gave both players Broadway draws but Jaffe maintained his lead. Berry could only watch as the turn and river completed the board and failed to save him from a sixth place finish.
Three hands later the table went from five players to four. John Haas opened the action by moving all in from the cutoff for 2,500,000 with and Gabriel Abusada opted to defend his small blind with . The flop gave Haas second pair but left Abusada with an open-ended straight draw. The turn gave Abusada even more out as he picked up a flush draw. The river was the to give Abusada a flush and eliminate Haas in fifth.
Another three hands passed and another player was heading to get his payout. Action folded to Jaffe in the small blind and he threw in an additional 100,000 to call with . Altman raised to 650,000 from the big blind with . Jaffe responded by moving all in for 4,400,000 and Altman called. The flop changed nothing and neither did the turn or river and Jaffe was out in fourth.
Over the next hour of play, Zach Smiley simply couldn’t get any momentum going and eventually found himself running headlong into a confrontation with Altman. Down to seven big blinds, Smiley shoved from the small blind with and Altman snap-called from the big with . The board ran out to send Smiley, who won WPTLive! in 2016, to the cashier cage to collect a third place payout.
Altman began heads-up play holding 77% of the chips in play. The closest Abusada could get was closing the gap to a 3-2 advantage for Altman. It took a little over an hour and 38 hands of play for Altman to close things out. Abusada moved all in for 18,525,000 with only to have Altman call behind with . The flop offered little help to Abusada. He picked up a the worst side of a straight draw on the turn and was officially eliminated as the runner-up when the completed the board.
Altman’s two previous wins came also came in Florida. In 2015, he beat Mark Dube heads up to win the Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood. Heby topping an 843-entry field. He won WPT Player of the Year last year thanks to his Lucky Hearts win and third place finishes at WPT Maryland Live! and the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. He also finished 10th at the Legends of Poker. Of his 30 WPT cashes, seven are final tables and three are wins.
World Poker Tour Tampa Final Table Payouts
- Brian Altman – $613,225
- Gabriel Abusada – $408,825
- Zach Smiley – $302,200
- Jonathan Jaffe – $225,675
- John Haas – $170,275
- Will Berry – $129,825