Daniel Santoro came out victorious in the recent World Poker Tour Foxwoods World Poker Finals event in Mashantucket, CT on Wednesday, November 2nd. Not only did he score his first career WPT trophy, but also took home the cash prize of $450K. Santoro outplayed the field of 189 players on his way to the victory in one of the most prestigious tournaments in the WPT circuit and instantly swooped into sixth place at the WPT Season X Player of the Year rankings with 1,050 points in his account.
The six-handed final table took off fast as Eli Berg got eliminated early on the third hand after going all-in after the flop hit with a pair of Kings. He was called by Christian Harder with pocket Aces. The board was no help for Berg who left the table just after six minutes of final table action. Just 10 hands after the WPT Player of the Year '10 Andy Frankenberger was sent to the rail by Harder as well. Andy moved all-in pre-flop holding Ac Tc only to be called by Christian holding a pair of Kings. The board once again was favorable for Harder and Frankenberger ended the tournament in fifth place with a cash prize of $99,585. Thanks to the latest payout Frankenberger reached the $1 million mark in WPT career winnings.
Steven Brackes was eliminated in fourth place by Daniel Santoro for a payday of $129,816 putting the soon-to-be-champion in the chip leader position. From then on it was all about Santoro – he was building his chip stack fast, sweeping pots and eliminating his opponents. First out in three-handed play was Bob Carbone who shoved all-in with a pair of Tens and was immediately called by Daniel holding pocket Aces. The board was no help for Carbone sending him home with $166,271.
Although at the beginning of the heads-up match between Harder and Santoro the latter had a four-to-one chip advantage, Harder wasn't willing to give up just yet. The two players were constantly switching the leader position with the chip stacks going from one end of the table to the other. Both Santoro and Harder doubled-up numerous times until finally Santoro managed to beat his opponent.
On the last hand of the tournament Harder was holding a pair of Tens as well as the best hand until the river hit bringing a King to complement Santoro's and make him the champion. Harder collected $248,962 in cash for the runner-up finish and Santoro received $449,910 along with the WTP trophy half his size. He was also honored with the WPT Champions Club membership which gives him exclusive treatment in WPT tournaments, a WPT personal concierge as well as many other benefits
The Foxwoods World Poker Finals standings and payouts after the final table:
1st - Daniel Santoro - $449,910
2nd - Christian Harder - $248,962
3rd - Bob Carbone - $166,271
4th - Steven Brackesy - $129,816
5th - Andy Frankenberger - $99,585
6th - Eli Berg - $83,580
Santoro actually bested a star-packed field of 189 poker players who entered this year's WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals including three former event winners; Jonathan Little (8th place), Hoyt Corkins (10th place), and Cornell Cimpan (23rd place) who all finished among the top 25 players in the tournament.
Some other well-known names in the list of players were Tony Dunst, Kathy Liebert, Jason Mercier, Allen Kessler as well as a number of WPT Champions including Erik Seidel and Dwyte Pilgrim, WPT World Champion David Williams, Season X POY front runner Will “The Thrill” Failla and Season IX Foxwoods World Poker Finals winner Jeff Forrest.
Here are the current WPT Player of the Year Standings:
1st - Will Failla - 1,600
2nd - Bobby Oboodi - 1,400
3rd - Jin Hwang - 1,200
3rd - Matt Waxman - 1,200
5th - Daniel Buzgon - 1,100
6th - Daniel Santoro - 1,050
7th - Fred Goldberg - 1,000
7th - Hugo Lemaire - 1,000
7th - Ken Aldridge - 1,000
*Photo courtesy of PokerNews.com