Canadian poker player Eric Afriat ended up victorious at the 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open, held at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. The event took place between 28th Jan and 2nd Feb 2018 and Afriat beat a massive field of 1,244 entries to secure the title.
With a buy-in of $3,500, the prize pool was a $3,967,000 one and Afriat was the best among all the participants, securing the top prize of $651,928 (~INR 4.2 crore), a $15,000 seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions at the end of the season, and his second ever WPT title; his first came back in 2014, winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
His win in 2014 earned him a massive prize of $1,081,184 which remains his highest career live cash till date. With this WPT Borgata win, he has taken his career winnings past the $2 million mark – $2,585,391. He will be looking forward to more such wins during the year.
“You win one WPT, but when you win the second WPT, I think you are considered a great poker player,” said Afriat after securing the title, having beaten USA’s Justin Zaki in heads up. Zaki also walked away with a respectable prize amount of $434,614. Afriat was not anywhere near the lead coming into the final table, but his aggressive play led him to winning this title.
The 48-year old Afriat is a real estate investor from Montreal and he also mentioned how he doesn’t like being famous. “I keep my poker confidential. I always did. But today it goes viral and there’s nothing I can do. I don’t want to be famous. It’s not my style.”
The main hand of the heads up was when Afriat moved all-in with A-K while Zaki had K-8. The board ran out 7-3-2-9-K and Afriat’s higher K-pair was enough for him to win the hand and take a 14:1 chip lead. The very next hand saw Zaki being eliminated in 2nd place and Afriat being crowned champion!
WPT Borgata final results:
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