Check Out Five of the Biggest Hands from the WPT Prime at Wynn Las Vegas

The World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas has been a tremendous success, and while the $10,400 Championship has taken center stage, the festival has already hosted a highly-successful tournament in the $1,100 buy-in WPT Prime Championship.

That tournament has achieved its final table of six with World Series of Poker bracelet winner Lara Eisenberg leading the way. The tournament began on Dec. 8 and more than doubled the lofty $2 million guarantee when 5,430 entrants took a shot at life-changing money. Play has been paused for a week and then the final six will return to action on Dec. 19, and the winner will take home $712,650. Each remaining player is guaranteed a minimum payout of $153,000.

WPT Prime Championship Final Table Chip Counts

Place Player Stack
1 Lara Eisenberg 39,200,000
2 Stephen Song 38,400,000
3 Albert Nguyen 32,200,000
4 Young Eum 19,900,000
5 Girogii Skhulukhila 18,800,000
6 Alon Messica 13,900,00

The tournament was live reported by the WPT Live Reporting Team. During that time there were some big and interesting hands, and PokerNews has compiled some of the best. Take a look at these game-changing hands from the WPT Prime at Wynn Las Vegas.

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Vikenty Shegal Can’t Fade Two Big Slicks

Vikenty Shegal
Vikenty Shegal

On Day 1c in Level 8 (600/1,200/1,200), a three-way all-in preflop hand took place. In it, Daniel Thomas was all in for 27,500, Vikenty Shegal for 51,100, while Elanit Hasas had the covering stack with approximately 55,000.

Elanit Hasas: {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}
Vikenty Shegal: {j-Hearts}{j-Clubs}
Daniel Thomas: {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}

Shegal was up against two opponents holding Big Slick, and she was just looking to hold to win a big pot. The {10-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} flop was safe enough, while the {j-Spades} turn actually improved her to a set. All she needed to do was dodge a queen on the river to survive, but that was easier said than done as the {q-Clubs} peeled off. With that, Shegal hit the rail in brutal river fashion.

Aces Versus Aces


On Day 2 in Level 19 (10,000/15,000/15,000), there was a flop of {j-Spades}{7-Spades}{4-Spades} when Ron Hunt and Huifang Zhang got it all in.

Huifang Zhang: {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs}
Ron Hunt: {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}

Both players held pocket aces, but Hunt was free rolling with the spade. He made the flush after the dealer burned and turned the {2-Spades}, and after the meaningless {4-Hearts} was put out on the river, Hunt doubled to 325,000 while Zhang was left with just 70,000.

That hand occurred with 210 players remaining, and Zhang managed to survive a bit longer off her short stack, eventually busting in 178th place for $3,370.

Huifang Zhang
Huifang Zhang

Former PokerNews Reporter Dispatches Poker Pro

Ben Ludlow
Ben Ludlow

It’s not every day a former PokerNews reporter has the opportunity to compete against the poker pros they once reported on. However, it happened on Day 2 in Level 21 (15,000/25,000/25,000) between former reporter Ben Ludlow took on Kristen Foxen.

Ther latter raised all in for 290,000 from the hijack holding the {a-Spades}{8-Diamonds} and Ludlow called from the big blind after looking down at the superior {a-Hearts}{j-Clubs}.

The better hand held after the board ran out {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. Ludlow won with aces and jacks to send Foxen to the rail in 159th place for $3,670.

An Ace from Space

Jeremy Felicetti
Jeremy Felicetti

Also on Day 2, albeit in Level 25 (30,000/60,000/60,000), a board showed {q-Clubs}{4-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{a-Clubs} and there was roughly 900,000 in the pot when Daniel Yu bet 400,000 from the small blind. Jeremy Felicetti responded by moving all in from the button for 2.46 million and Yu called.

Jeremy Felicetti: {a-Hearts}{4-Clubs}
Daniel Yu: {2-Spades}{2-Hearts}

Felicetti had two pair but was behind as Yu had a set. Felicetti needed either a four or ace on the river to survive, and he got there when the {a-Diamonds} spiked to fill him up!

Follow live updates from the WPT World Championship Here!

Flush Over Flush Late

Tom Middleton
Tom Middleton

On Day 3 with just 11 players remaining in Level 32 (150,000/300,000/300,000), Lara Eisenberg raised to 600,000 under the gun and Matt Hunt called out of the cutoff. Tom Middleton came along from the big blind and it was three-way action to the {q-Spades}{j-Spades}{2-Spades} flop.

Middleton checked, as did Eisenberg, and Hunt bet 500,000. Middleton called and Eisenberg woke up with a check-raise to 2 million. Hunt called and then Middleton hit the tank for a few minutes before jamming all in for 7.75 million. Eisenberg moved all in over the top for 9.725 million and Hunt took four minutes before folding.

Tom Middleton: {10-Spades}{4-Spades}
Lara Eisenberg: {a-Spades}{9-Spades}

Middleton was on the bad end of the flopped flush-over-flush cooler, and he was eliminated after the {6-Spades} turn and {3-Diamonds} river completed the board. Middleton was eliminated from the tournament in 11th place for $56,500 while Eisenberg went on to make the final table.

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

Listen to more about the WPT World Championship on the new PokerNews Podcast!

*Images courtesy of WPT.

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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