South Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino wrapped its latest 22-event festival in the early morning hours of Thursday. The stop, which saw 17 players cash for $100K or more, culminated with the $3,500 WPT Poker Showdown Championship and ended with a prolonged heads-up duel between a rising star and a former WPT Player of the Year.
Fielder Denied History
The Main Event, which was filmed for television and will air in the future, attracted 1,309 entries, which surpassed the $3 million guarantee by creating a $4,188,800 prize pool. That meant a $696,740 payday awaited the winner, and that man was 25-year-old UK online pro Scott Margereson.
It wasn’t an easy road to victory for Margereson, who had to defeat a final table that included Iowa’s Jeff Fielder, Charity Series of Poker founder Matt Stout, and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Brian Hastings.
As for Fielder, he was looking to become the first player to win both a WPTDeepStacks title and a WPT Main Tour title. Unfortunately for him, he was the first to bust on Hand No. 45 of the final table.
It took place in Level 30 (50k/100k/15k) when Faraz Jaka raised to 210,000 under the gun and Margereson called from the cutoff. Fielder came along from the button, Hastings did the same from the big, and four players saw a flop of 10♥10♣4♠.
Hastings checked, Jaka bet 325,000, and both Margereson and Fielder called. Hastings got out of the way and the dealer burned and turned the 7♣. Jaka checked, Margereson bet 1.35 million, and Fielder called. Jaka folded and it was heads up to the river, which was the 6♣.
Margereson waited 45 seconds before moving all in and Fielder snap-called off with the 5♣4♣ for a runner-runner flush. It wasn’t good however as Margereson had flopped a full house with the 4♥4♦. Fielder earned $144,775 for his sixth-place finish.
Domo Arigato, Mr. Robotic
Heads-up play between Margereson and Jaka, the WPT Season XVIII Player of the Year, lasted 82 hands and came to a head on the 232nd hand of the final table. It happened in Level 38 (300k/600k/100k) when Margereson moved all in holding the Q♥J♠ and Jaka called off for 12.375 million with the A♣8♣.
Jaka got it in good but he fell behind when the Q♦J♥9♣ flop delivered Margereson two pair. The 7♥ turn left Jaka looking for a ten on the river, but it wasn’t in the cards as the A♥ peeled off instead.
“I don’t think I adjust anything at all,” Margereson told WPT officials after the win. “I just play the spot as close to as optimal as possible. I honestly go hand-by-hand, I’m very robotic, even online.”
Others to cash the tournament include Joseph Cheong (11th for $54,139), Jeff Gross (19th for $28,879), Minnesota’s Dennis Stevermer (30th for $20,042), and Natasha Mercier (42nd for $14,536).
The 2018 WPT Poker Showdown marked the fifth largest Championship in WPT history. That puts the Seminole Hard Rock first (1,795 entries in 2014), second (1,476 entries in 2015) and fifth on the WPT’s all-time attendance list.
Season XVI of the WPT will close out with back-to-back tournaments in Vegas. The first is the WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship, which will be followed by the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic at Aria.
Final Table Results
1 Scott Margereson (Chesterfield, U.K.) $696,740
2 Faraz Jaka (Delray Beach, FL) $454,496
3 Brian Hastings (Fort Lauderdale, FL) $336,466
4 Joey Couden (Coconut Creek, FL) $251,523
5 Matt Stout (Las Vegas, NV) $189,880
6 Jeff Fielder (Des Moines, IA) $144,775