Larry Greenberg bested the field of the inaugural WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship to claim his first WPT Main Tour Main Event title. The player emerged as the victor over a field of 126 entrants to win a first-place prize of $378,879 and secure a $15,000-worth entry into the upcoming WPT Tournament of Champions.
The first-ever WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship took place at the popular Las Vegas casino on May 1-5. As mentioned above, the tournament drew 126 entries who paid a buy-in fee of $10,400 to create a prize pool of $1,222,200.
The prize pool was split into payouts for the top 16 finishers. Paul Kuzmich was the first player to collect a share of the money from the payout desk. The player secured a min-cash of $15,889.
The tournament’s official six-handed final table was played on Saturday at the host venue. While Greenberg entered that final stage of action second in chips, he withheld the tough competition to remain the last man at the table and lift his first-ever WPT Main Event trophy.
Popular poker pro Cary Katz was the first to leave. His share of the prize pool totaled $60,499. WPT Champions Club member Ryan Van Sanford was the next to go. The player took home $78,221 for his fifth-place finish. His elimination meant that the elite club of WPT champions would have a new member as none of the four remaining hopefuls had previously won the title.
Adrian Garduno and Jim Collopy were next busted in fourth and third places for $100,832 and $146,644, respectively, to leave it to Greenberg and Danny Qutami to determine the winner.
Heads-up did not take long as Qutami was down to just five big blinds at the beginning of the two-handed match. The player had 85,000 in chips to his opponent’s 3.695 million, good for over 230 big blinds.
The very first hand of heads-up action turned out to be the very last, as well. Qutami went all-in with [Kh][7c] and Greenberg called with [As][Qc]. Qutami was already trailing in that hand, but the [Qh][8c][9s] flop further boosted his opponent’s chance to win. And when the [3s] and the [Jh] landed on the turn and the river landed, it was all sealed for the first-ever WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship.
Qutami’s runner-up finish in the brand-new tournament earned him $223,663 in prize money. As for the champion, he collected the second largest cash of his poker career and secured a spot among the WPT champions throughout the season who will square off in the upcoming season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
Greenberg’s latest in-the-money finish brought his live tournament winnings to over $1.2 million. Back in 2013, the player finished 10th in the $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP for his career’s largest cash of $384,122. He has now added another six-figure cash in his score and a WPT title to boast of.