Mike Shariati won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker and collected the first place prize of $675,942, his biggest poker prize so far.
The prestigious event was being played at the Bicycle Casino, Los Angeles. This $3,700 buy-in tournament attracted a field as large as 786 players, all of who wanted to win a WPT title. Freddy Deeb, one of the six finalists of the event, was eager to win the third WPT title of his career. If he had succeeded, he would have been placed in the ranks of players such as Anthony Zinno, Gus Hansen, and Carlos Mortensen, who have all won three WPT titles.
Deeb held the third biggest stack of chips and was close behind Aaron Kweskin, the chip leader, and Shariati, who held the second biggest stack of chips. Deeb started his journey towards a third WPT title by knocking Craig Chait in the sixth position just a few hands after starting the final table action.
The player to be eliminated next was Jablonski, and he was followed by Kweskin. This put both Shariati and Deeb in a great position, and it looked as if Deeb would emerge as the champion. Four hands after eliminating Kweskin from the table, Brent Roberts presented pocket nines, which were vanquished by Deeb’s aces. Since there was no way for Roberts to improve his hand, he had to fold in the third place and be content with the third-place prize of $251,035. This left Deeb playing heads-up against Shariati and enjoying a definite chip lead over his opponent.
The heads-up play lasted for 117 hands. After 50 hands, the two kept exchanging the chip lead. Then for some time, it looked as if Shariati was done for as he lost around 2 million of his 23.5 million chips. But Shariati was in no mood to fold. He held a Six of Kings against Deeb’s Three of Aces and eagerly sought for a pair in the river to survive the match. He obtained a six that allowed him to continue playing. Two hands later, Deeb got another opportunity to beat Shariati, but once again the latter survived.
The 201st hand was the last hand played. Deeb realized that his King of Hearts and Ten of Spades were too weak for Shariati’s pair of Queens. Since neither the river nor the turn helped him improve the situation, he had to finish as the runner-up of the tournament.