Eyster wins big on World Poker Tour
The World Poker Tour brought an end to its 2015 campaign with its biggest event of the year, and it was the American, Kevin Eyster, who walked away with the $1.5 million first prize after a sensational run throughout the tournament.
The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic attracted over 630 entries, all paying the $10,400 entry fee for the no-limit hold’em main event. With the prize pool increasing to over $6 million, competition was fierce throughout the event. But it was Eyster who went on to claim his second WPT title, two years after winning the No Limit Hold’em – Championship Event.
For most of us, playing poker is usually restricted to online. The birth of online casinos has seen a huge increase in people playing the likes of poker, blackjack and roulette. Whether you’re playing blackjack by 32Red online, or poker with friends, you’ll know the excitement that comes with a big win.
But it’s rare you’ll ever win the sort of jackpot Eyster collected at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. While blackjack is rightly one of the most popular games when it comes to online casinos such as 32Red and 888casino, it doesn’t generate the sort of audience figures as poker, and plenty were in the betting capital of the world to witness the end to the World Poker Tour season.
Eyster is one of a number of top poker professionals who learned the game playing online, and it’s clear that the current generation of champions have reaped the benefits of the internet. With so many people now playing poker, blackjack and other casino games, more and more and beginning to take up poker professionally.
Having turned professional in 2007, the youngster has slowly been climbing the ranks and racking up significant wins to establish himself as one of the most exciting players coming through the ranks. With over 20 WSOP cash finishes to his name, this latest win is further proof that we could be looking at a future star on the poker scene.
It wasn’t just a lucrative weekend for Eyster in terms of money, earning 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points to take him up to 72nd in the overall leaderboard. If there was any doubt as to just how talented the Coloradoan is, victory at the event ensured he continued his record of winning at least one big event for the past couple of years.
Having won his first WPT title in 2013, Eyster followed that up by recording his first ever World Series of Poker bracelet in 2014, which saw him add another $622,998 to his career earnings, that figure now stands at over $4 million following his latest triumph.
Entering the final day second out of six players still in the tournament, Eyster and Jake Schwartz put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack, only for Bill Jennings to stage a late rally that saw him sat across from the eventual winning competing for the title.
As the heads-up play got under way, there were only three big blinds separating the two, with Eyster controlling 9,875,000 to Jennings’ 9.3 million. Thirty-seven hands later, which saw few changes in the lead, the 26-year-old held a significant advantage, and one which helped him secure the biggest win of his career.
With the blinds standing at 200,000 and 400,000 with the ante of 50,000, Eyster bumped the raise up to 800,000 from the button which was instantly called by Jennings, who then check-called 600,000 after the flop and then checked again on the turn.
This was the moment that Eyster took his opportunity, betting 975,000 and luring Jennings to move all his 5.3 million chips in, which was then quickly called. Unveiling an Ace and a Queen, Eyster watched on as his opponent’s King and Nine failed to land, handing him the pot and the title, while Jennings had to console himself with the $929,745 that came with finishing runner-up.
Ahead of what already looks set to be a fascinating 2016, this win will give Eyster a huge confidence boost that he can mix it with the best at the major tournaments. While he might be some way away from Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel, he is definitely on the right path.
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