Once upon a time, poker was brought to America and developed as a card game on riverboats as players in its formative era played poker on the Mississippi River. In 2024, the game is still growing, as players on board the Valiant Lady cruise ship discovered as they took part in the $4,600+$400 WPT Voyage NLHE Championship. Four days of action produced a thrilling finale and gave Aram Oganyan the title for $214,245.

WPT Voyage $5,000 NLHE Championship Final Table Results:
1stAram OganyanUnited States$214,245**
2ndCarlo BasurtoMexico$202,885*
3rdAustin SrurUnited States$188,670*
4thFarid JattinColombia$100,000
5thDaniel SepiolUnited States$75,000
6thRomula DoreaBrazil$55,000
7thKasey MillsUnited States$42,000
8thIman DanUnited States$34,000
9thMarcelo GiordanoBrazil$28,000

* denotes three-way deal

** includes $10,400 buy-in into the season-concluding 2024 WPT World Championship at The Wynn Las Vegas.

Numbers Add Up as Voyage to Victory Begins

Since it was announced, the World Poker Tour’s foray into the high seas has captured the imagination of everyone in the poker industry. From players to organisers, everyone has been ready for the Valiant Lady to set sail with expectations high. It is right to say that the WPT have exceeded those expectations as the poker public’s desire for drama, fun and excitement have all been met in spades!

From Andrew Neeme being at the pajama-uniformed Meet Up Game and a pool party that saw the great and good celebrate on the red neon lit deck, the WPT Voyage has had it all. Even industry legend Robbie Strazynski of CardPlayer Lifestyle wrote a brilliant blog about exactly what being on board the Valiant Lady was like. Padel players have even had the chance to take on former tennis pro Vince Van Patten on the courts.

With wall-to-wall player parties, excursions to glamourous locations such as the Cayman Islands and activities all being enjoyed, you could almost forget about the poker! With a million-dollar guarantee on the line, the WPT Voyage No Limit Hold’em Championship was always going to grab the attention of players across the board… or rather. Ending with a prizepool of $1,347,800 on the line, it was fun from start to finish in the $5,000 by-in event with Aram Oganyan getting name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.

WPT Party shot

Colombian Pro Jattin Leads the Final Nine

With a total of 293 entries, just 37 made the money places on board the Valiant Lady as the $4,600+$400 buy-in promoted top-quality poker at the felt. The top 37 players got paid, with the 2013 WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess (33rd for $9,600), former WPT World Championship winner Eliot Hudon (22nd for $14,000), WPT Ambassdor Andrew Neeme (19th for $17,000), WPT presenter Tony Dunst (17th for $17,000) and Masato Yokosawa (10th for $28,000) all making money but falling short of the final table.

It was the Colombian professional Farrid Jattin who had the chip lead with 91 big blinds when the final nine convened at the last table in the tournament. Soon after the action got underway, one of two Brazilians at the final table felt, Marcelo Giordano, was the first player to bust, cashing for $28,000 in ninth place. One on the rail became two when Iman Dan’s pocket fours couldn’t hold against the ace-seven offsuit of Daniel Sepiol, the latter making a diamond flush on the turn despite only having one diamond in his hole cards. Sepiol chipped up but Dan stepped out, cashing for $34,000 in eighth place.

In seventh place, ‘Poker Mommaa’ herself, a.k.a. Kasey Mills, cashed for $42,000 when her pocket fives were shot down by Carlo Busarto’s pocket kings which made a full house by the turn. And a rollercoaster period was complete when Giordano’s fellow Brazilian Romula Dorea missed out on the really big money in sixth for $55,000.

Sepiol Slain, Oganyan the OG

“The Championship event of WPT Voyage did not disappoint.”

Daniel Sepiol had led the final table at a couple of points but whiffed the podium places in fifth for $75,000. All-in with pocket queens on a board of 7-6-5-T, Sepiol was ahead of Jattin’s pocket eights but a four on the river completed the straight for the Colombian and the field was down to four.

Despite scoring that scalp, Jattin was the next one to bite the dust as he cashed for $100,000 in fourth place. All-in with pocket aces, Jattin’s luck in the previous hand was levelled out as Basurto’s king-queen of spades hit not one but two kings on the flop to send play three-handed and into an immediate discussion about doing a three-way deal.

One hand ended the drama as after an ICM-based deal was agreed. All-in with six-three, Basurto came second as Austin Srur’s pair of queens with the lowest stack saw him bust in third. Both men lost out to the winner, Aram Oganyan, courtesy of his pocket deuces hitting a set on the flop and that was enough to give the American the top prize of $214,245.

“The Championship event of WPT Voyage did not disappoint,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska as the seaweed. “What a sight it was to see such a prominent group of players battle on board a world-class Virgin Voyages ship. In the end, we congratulated Aram for his achievement in joining the WPT Champions Club.”

Oganyan himself was beside himself to have gotten his name on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

“I feel amazing. This is so fun – unbelievable,” he said. “I won some flips at the end, got some bluffs through, and here we are. I thought poker on a cruise would be an amazing thing, and it is so amazing… everyone should do it.”

Following Oganyan’s superb trophy lift, others will be desperate to take part in the next WPT Voyage event.

Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.

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