Thursday, May 24, 2018

Darren Elias Makes History at Aria Casino, Captures Record Fourth WPT Title

Casino News Daily
Darren Elias Makes History at Aria Casino, Captures Record Fourth WPT Title

Darren Elias finally claimed a coveted fourth WPT title after a near miss earlier this season in Jacksonville. The player topped last night the elite field of the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic to become the only one to have ever captured four titles from the series’ Main Tour.

The WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic drew 162 entries to the tables of the host venue – Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. It was a star-studded field of former WPT champions, former WSOP Main Event champions, including 14-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, and a plethora of other accomplished pros and recreationals. They created a prize pool of $1,555,200 and the amount of $387,580 went to the winner.

Elias entered the final day of the event as the chip leader and with a massive stack. The player said that he was there for anything but the win, and he did his best to execute his strategy and claim the prestigious fourth title that put him ahead of Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, and Chino Rheem who are all holding three WPT titles.

It was an action-packed day at the host casino on Wednesday. Despite his advantage, Elias’ ride to victory was not a smooth one. Aside from him, the official six-handed final table of the event featured two players who were eying their third WPT titles (Jonathan Little and Sam Panzica), a player who was looking to claim a second title (Dietrich Fast), former WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, and female poker pro Kitty Kuo who has been smashing tables over the past several months.

Thrilling Heads-Up

Little and Panzica were the first to leave the final table, their hopes for a third title thus being brought to an abrupt end. The players collected $74,520 and $97,795, respectively. Fast was then eliminated in fourth place, good for $130, 895.

The most important hand of the final table occurred during three-handed play when McKeehen and Elias found themselves locked in an all-in confrontation that would end everything for one of the players. It was eventually McKeehen to bust in third place for $178,610, while Elias collected his chips to enter heads-up against Kuo with a 3:1 advantage.

Despite the huge gap, Kuo was not showing any signs that she was ready to give up on the title without a fight. As a result, the two-handed duel lasted three hours and over 100 hands. While Kuo never managed to take the lead during the match, she doubled several times and almost erased the gap.

On what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, Kuo announced all in for her last 600,000 and Elias called almost immediately. Elias tabled [Ah][10c] to his opponent’s [As][5d]. The [4d][Js][8h][7s][2c] arrived on the board to end Kuo’s participation in the tournament. The player took $248,380 for her performance.

As for Elias, the player is now heading into the WPT Tournament of Champions which starts today at Aria. Fresh off his latest triumph, he will play against the WPT Main Event champions from throughout the season for a chance to be crowned the absolute champion of Season XVI of the series.

The post Darren Elias Makes History at Aria Casino, Captures Record Fourth WPT Title appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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