Poker history was made with a jam packed dual event week as the World Poker Tour (WPT) finished its IX season at the Bellagio Resort and Casino with the $25,000 WPT World Championship and the inaugural WPT Super High Roller $100,000 buy in event. A big turnout at Bellagio brought in an impressive 29 players in the WPT Super High Roller $100,000 and three players took home more than $1,000,000 in less than 12 hours combined, ending Season IX and shooting the WPT into Season X with a huge burst of momentum.
It was an amazing week as Scott Seiver captured the WPT World Championship and Erik Seidel took home first place in the highest buy-in event in the history of the US - The WPT Super High Roller $100,000 - and Andy Frankenberger wrapped up the season with the WPT Player of the Year Award.
Mike Sexton announced the Shuffle Up and Deal to kick off the Season IX WPT World Championship as 220 players waited eagerly to take to the felt, this was a 13% increase over last year. The world's greatest players all competed for this crown jewel of poker titles and included Doyle Brunson, John Juanda, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Smith, Phil Laak, Oliver Busquet, Barry Greenstein, Dave Ulliott, Dwyte Pilgrim, Kathy Liebert, Hoyt Corkins, Tom Marchese, Mike Sexton, Carlos Mortensen, Antonio Esfandiari, Greg Brooks, and Randall Flowers. Scott Seiver captured the title, bracelet and $1,618,344.
"I happened to have big hands,” said Seiver. "And more importantly they held. It is the combination of luck and timing and having cards at the right time. Everything worked well today. That’s what you need to win one of these tables." On winning his first WPT title he continued, "it feels incredible."
As the Championship played out, 29 of the world’s best high stakes players, which included Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Phil Laak, Tony G, Justin Bonomo, Tom Marchese, Justin Smith, Phil Galfond, Dan Shak and Vivek Rajkumar (who took 2nd in the WPT Player of the Year chase), all ponied up $100,000 to play in the World Poker Tour Super High Roller, the largest buy-in event in U.S. history. The star filled line-up resulted in a star-studded final table with Bonomo, Rajkumar, Negreanu, and Lindgren all making the money. Erik Seidel, a poker hall of famer, once again vanquished the fields and beat WPT title-holder Lindgren heads up.
Seidel is in the midst of an unequaled run of play. Everyone must be wondering what his magic charm is - and hoping to find one with their name on it. With this title, he claimed $1,092,000. In less than five months, his 2011 winnings total more than $5.4 million including four titles.
The race for Season IX WPT Player of the Year came to an end this week when Andy Frankenberger edged out Rajkumar by 100 points and officially earned the honor. Frankenberger’s first season as a professional poker player proved the former Wall Street trader made a smart career change and if the United States would look closely at facts and figures, they might see that Frankenberger wasn't gambling, he used knowledge, practice, and skill to accomplish his feats in poker. He won the 2010 Legends of Poker title, made two final tables and cashed three times totaling more than $1.2 million in earnings.
WPT World Championship Final Table Payouts:
1. Scott Seiver, $1,618,344
2. Farzad Bonyadi, $1,061,900
3. Galen Hall, $589,355
4. Roger Teska, $371, 665
5. Tony Gargano, $278,749
6. Justin Young, $225,654
WPT Super High Roller Payouts:
1. Erik Seidel, $1,092,780
2. Erick Lindgren, $700,500
3. Daniel Negreanu, $448,320
4. Vivek Rajkumar, $336,240
5. Justin Bonomo, $224,160
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*photos courtesy of WPT*