Josh Hale wins WPT Legends of Poker Main Event

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 31, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

It was a fairy-tale week for amateur poker player Josh Hale. Heading into the final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event, the San Diego resident had to be feeling confident as he took a substantial chip-lead into the final day of the tournament. Still, Hale was cashing in his first major tournament and was pitted against some of the top players in the game.

The action at the final table was all over the place, perhaps best evidenced by the wild six-hand ride of Ali Eslami, who went from crippled (down to a single Big Blind) only to double-up, triple-up, and double-up yet again, building his stack back up to over 1.5 million chips before doubling up yet again! Unfortunately Eslami’s wild run wasn’t destiny as he was eventually eliminated in 4th place.

Eslami had a breakout 2011, winning a WSOPC Regional Championship tournament, making a WPT final table, as well as three final tables at the 2011 WSOP. Eslami’s 2012 campaign has been solid as well with two WSOP final tables and now a 4th place finish in another WPT Main Event.

Eslami’s wild ride aside, the day belonged to the amateur poker player Hale, who relinquished his chip-lead at different points throughout the day but in the end was able to capture the WPT Legends of Poker title by defeating Max Steinberg in heads-up play for the $500k first-place prize-money along with the title of WPT Champion.

After his win Hale told reporters,

“I felt pretty good about the way I was playing poker,” adding, “There were a couple [of] interesting tournament spots that I may have played wrong, just because I don’t play a lot of tournaments. But I think my overall, fundamental poker game was good. I was never really nervous.” “My plan going heads up against Max was to get it in bad and then suck out, which I did. So I feel pretty good about that. I stuck to my plan,” he joked.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:

1. Josh Hale – $500,000

2. Max Steinberg – $293,490

3. Raouf Malek – $192,400

4. Ali Eslami – $133,700

5. Greg Mueller – $97,100

6. Jeff Madsen – $75,400

The next stop on the World Poker Tour will be another historic event dating back to the earliest days of the WPT, the Grand Prix de Paris which will be held at the Aviation Club in Paris, France, with the Main Event scheduled for September 10th through the 15th.


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