Andrew Rodgers Wins 2024 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian Main Event

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The main event of the 2024 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian, with a buy-in of $1,600 for a no-limit hold’em tournament, saw an impressive turnout of 458 entries, surpassing the $400,000 guarantee and culminating in a final prize pool of $650,360. Andrew Rodgers emerged victorious after three starting flights and a day of combined-field action, securing the top prize of $103,936 along with the title. He struck a heads-up deal with Ankush Mandavia, the 2021 CPPT Venetian champion, to solidify his win.

Reflecting on his victory, Rodgers expressed satisfaction despite the shared win, stating, “It was a chop, so I didn’t exactly get to close it out, but yeah, it feels good.”

A 40-year-old resident of Henderson, Nevada, Rodgers relocated from Alaska to pursue his passion for poker in the lower 48 states. This triumph marked his largest live tournament payday, surpassing his previous runner-up finish in a DeepStack Extravaganza event at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas in 2022, where he earned $62,319. With this win, Rodgers’ career tournament earnings now total $598,000.

In addition to the cash prize and title, Rodgers earned 720 Card Player Player of the Year points, marking his first POY-qualified score of the year and propelling him to 77th place in the 2024 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

The tournament progressed over three starting flights from Feb. 15-17, with 59 players advancing to day 2, all guaranteed at least $3,391. Notable eliminations on day 2 included Farah Galfond (41st), Ryan Laplante (39th), James Romero (35th), Mitch Halverson (31st), Valentyn Shabelnyk (29th), Lee Markholt (19th), Scott Ball (17th), John Riordan (16th), Anselmo Villareal (13th), Evan Sandberg (12th), and Aaron Massey (11th).

The final table commenced with Dan Sepiol, the reigning WPT World Championship victor, leading the pack, while Andrew Rodgers found himself in the seventh chip position as the cards went back in the air. The eliminations began with Edward Holstein (9th – $11,790) and Dan Ciltan. Rodgers dealt the final blow to Ciltan, initiating his ascent up the leaderboard.

Rodgers showcased his strategic prowess with a bold call, holding pocket eights against Zichuan Huang’s hefty river bet on a board with two overcards. This pivotal hand propelled Rodgers even higher up the rankings and inspired him to select pocket eights for his winner photo.

Zachary Donovan was the subsequent casualty, his A-3 suited unable to withstand Richard Collins’ K-9, who commenced day 2 as the chip leader. Donovan exited in seventh place, pocketing $19,046.

Jeremy Becker’s journey ended in sixth place ($24,788) when his 10♠️8♠️ couldn’t match Sepiol’s pocket jacks on a king-high runout. Becker’s impressive performance places him as the 12th-ranked player in the 2024 POY standings, boasting six final-table finishes and a POY-qualified title this year, with earnings now surpassing $1.1 million.

Zichuan Huang’s title aspirations were dashed in a classic race, earning $32,766 for fifth place as his A-10 fell short against Collins’ surging pocket eights.

Rodgers seized the momentum by winning a significant pot against Collins with a rivered set of deuces, claiming the chip lead. His dominance was further solidified when his K♠️K♥️ prevailed over Sepiol’s A♦️K♣️ in a massive preflop clash, pushing his stack beyond 10,400,000.

Sepiol’s tournament life was on the line with A♥️3♦️ against Collins’ pocket queens, ultimately exiting in third place for $43,976. He boasts over $6.9 million in lifetime earnings, primarily from his $5,282,954 triumph in the WPT World Championship in December 2023.

The decisive confrontation unfolded with all chips at stake after an A♠️9♥️2♠️ flop. Collins went all-in with pocket deuces, facing Rodgers’ 9♠️6♠️. The 3♠️ on the turn secured Rodgers a flush, and the 4♣️ on the river sealed Collins’ exit, setting a new career-high payday of $59,914.

With Rodgers holding 11,580,000 chips to Ankush Mandavia’s 6,755,000, the final two players paused to negotiate. They reached an agreement, with Rodgers clinching the victory and the aforementioned payout of $103,936, while Mandavia earned $95,149 as the runner-up. Mandavia, a bracelet winner and former champion of the event, now boasts a lifetime score exceeding $6.6 million.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Andrew Rodgers $103,936 720
2 Ankush Mandavia $95,149 600
3 Richard Collins $59,914 480
4 Daniel Sepiol $43,976 360
5 Zichuan Huang $32,766 300