The recent World Poker Tour (WPT) event at Foxwoods casino may have been overshadowed by the festivities of the final table of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, but the tournament proved to have plenty of action and compelling storylines, including a second WPT victory in less than a year for Romanian-born poker pro Cornel Andrew Cimpan.
While many predicted a steep decline in attendance for the Connecticut event, the tournament managed to draw 353 runners. That is still a decline from the 412 players in last year’s event, but it is a drop of just 15% compared to other stops on the tour that have seen 25% drops so far in the tour’s eighth season.
The defending champion of the Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Jonathan Little, was not on hand to defend his title. He was in Las Vegas, helping to coach November Nine member Steven Begleiter to a 6th place finish and was unable to make it back East for the event. Last year’s runner-up, Jonathan Jaffe, was on hand and busted out shortly before the 36-person money bubble was reached. Some of the other players who took part in the event included Adam “Roothlus” Levy, Jason Mercier, Gavin Smith, Todd Terry, former World Poker Finals winner Nenad Medic, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Kenna James, who would just miss out on the televised final table in 7th place.
The six players who survived five days of poker to make the televised final table were all professionals with plenty of experience in high pressure poker situations. Cimpan and Markholt both had previous WPT victories to their credit while Soheil Shamseddin and Curt Kohlberg have been to WPT final tables before. The token internet pros at the table, Eric Froehlich and Matt “AllInAt420” Stout, were making their first WPT final table appearance, but they also boasted impressive poker resumes. Froehlich is a two-time WSOP bracelet winner and Stout has a WSOP Circuit ring and over $1.5 million in online winnings to his credit.
Despite the high pressure situation, the six pros were a talkative and boisterous bunch, cracking jokes in between big hands. Markholt missed out on most of the fun, busting out on the second hand of the day after coming into the final table as the extreme short stack. His 6th place finish marks his 20th career WPT cash—the most of any player in the history of the tour. Kohlberg would exit in 5th a little while later and Froehlich would follow in 4th place.
Stout held the substantial chip lead at the outset of three-handed play, but he would relinquish the chip lead to Shamseddin when the Texas-based pro rivered a full house against Stout’s made flush to double up. The two also clashed in an epic pot the previous day when Shamseddin cracked Stout’s pocket aces with pocket nines to take the chip lead away from him then as well.
Stout recovered from the big hit temporarily, but would hit the rail in 3rd place, setting up a heads-up match between the Season VII Los Angeles Poker Classic winner Cimpan and the Season VII Southern Poker Championship 3rd place finisher Shamseddin. Cimpan started as the short stack, but doubled in two crucial hands to stay alive and managed to finish off his opponent when his A-J held up against Shamseddin’s K-J. Cimpan’s second WPT win is worth $910,058. The victory also makes Cimpan only the 12th person in WPT history to rack up multiple tournament wins.
Here are the results from the final table at Foxwoods:
1st: Cornel Andrew Cimpan – $910,058
2nd: Soheil Shamseddin – $463,332
3rd: Matt Stout – $265,710
4th: Eric Froehlich – $232,496
5th: Curt Kohlberg – $199,283
6th: Lee Markholt – $166,069

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