Art Papazyan Wins 16th Annual World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event For $668, 6922 years ago
In the biggest victory of his career by a long way, Art Papazyan overcame a host of legendary players including - JC Tran and Phil Hellmuth at the final table - to lift the title and the huge first prize, becoming the 16th player to have his name inscribed on the winner’s trophy.
The Bicycle Hotel and Casino had been hosting the annual WPT festival all week, and the Legends of Poker Main Event was a 7-day affair which saw 763 hopefuls battling it out for one of the most prestigious titles on the WPT roster, the $3700 buy-in giving a total prize-fund of $2,738,407.
Papazyan, however, would have been one of the least likely names to take it down, having only six prior tournament cashes for a paltry $30K or so total – paltry that is compared to the likes of Phil Hellmuth ($21million+) JC Tran ($12million+) and Marvin Rettenmaier ($6million+) who all sat down at the final table alongside him.
For Hellmuth it would be a chance to finally add a WPT title to his 14 WSOP bracelets and the ‘Poker Brat’ was in fine form, taking out Adam Swan on only the 8th hand of the final table.
It was destined to be a long tough battle, however, JC Tran holding a big chip lead for a long time after knocking out Marvin Rettenmaier in 5th spot, and it would be 6 hours and 151 hands later before the next elimination, DJ Alexander finally succumbing to Papazyan in an ace-rag battle as the blinds increased.
It was big Phil who finally got rid of JC Tran, spiking a king on the flop to end Tran’s hopes and leave Papazyan as the only person standing between himself and a WPT title, a short break for pre-heads-up interviews offering respite from a long night on the felt.
It didn’t take too long for Papazyan to shatter Hellmuth’s dreams, however, a flopped boat crippling Phil’s stack and then next hand, as WPT’s live feed described it…
‘Phil Hellmuth raises to 600,000, Art Papazyan moves all in, and Hellmuth calls all in for 5,075,000 with A♥ K♦. Papazyan turns over K♣ Q♠ and Hellmuth needs his hand to hold to stay alive.
The flop comes Q♥ 10♥ 8♣ and Papazyan pairs his queen while Hellmuth picks up a gutshot straight draw. The turn card is the 5♥ giving Hellmuth additional outs to a flush draw. Hellmuth needs an ace, a jack, or any heart to stay alive.
The river card is the 3♠, Art Papazyan wins the pot - and the WPT title - with a pair of queens. Phil Hellmuth finishes as the runner-up, earning $364,370.’
So Art Papazyan takes down the WPT Legends of Poker, earning $668,692, which includes his $15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. He also received the WPT Champions Trophy, a Wild Bill Hickok trophy from the Bicycle Hotel & Casino, and a Hublot Big Bang Steel watch.
* First-prize amount includes a US $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
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