The World Poker Tour took to the Emperors Palace Hotel Casino in South Africa this week for its newest stop on tour. The event attracted 230 players, included a number of notables, and lasted five days. On Friday, Dominik Nitsche added a WPT title to his trophy case after winning the $206,153 first-place prize.
On Day 1a, 74 players entered the field and only 34 made it to Day 2. Nitsche finished on top of that field, which included two former World Series of Poker Main Event champions — Joe Cada and Chris Moneymaker. The latter, the 2003 WSOP champion, was eliminated during Level 6 with the blinds at 200/400/50. According to the WPT Live Updates team, Moneymaker was finished off when his couldn't beat Emmanuel Kistan's .
For Day 1b, the field was a bit larger as 148 entrants came to play. Of those in the mix were Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, McLean Karr and Felipe Ramos. Moneymaker was also back for Day 1b after a re-entry but busted for a second time. At the end of play for the day, Sunil Devachander topped the pack as 80 advanced to Day 2.
On Day 2, the field was whittled to 27 players who were all officially in the money. Jacques Londt became the tournament bubble boy during Level 18 with the blinds at 3,000/6,000/1,000. He was eliminated at the hands of Ryan Price on the following hand.
The two players found all the chips in preflop with Price holding the to Londt's . On the flop, there wasn't much there for Londt as the dealer spread the . The turn was the and did give Londt a flush draw to help improve his chances, but all the did on the river was provide Price with a full house to win the pot and eliminate Londt in 28th position. Price finished the day as chip leader.
On the penultimate Day 3, the tournament played down from 27 to the official WPT final table of six. Once again, Nitsche found himself on top of the remaining field with the title left to play for on Day 4. Some of those who were eliminated on Day 3, but all made the money, included Warren Zackey (23rd – $6,626), Ayaz Manji (22nd – $6,626), Gareth Kalil (13th – $8,834) and Peter Khan (10th – $10,307). Price and Devachander were eliminated in eighth place ($18,405) and seventh place ($25,031), respectively.
Making the final table behind Nitsche, who held 2.915 million in chips, were William Ross (1.285 million), Jason Strauss (1.27 million), Jerome Bradpiece (930,000), Wesley Weigand (455,000) and Andrew Anthony (365,000).
Anthony began the day as the short stack and was the first to go in sixth place. His fell to Bradpiece's after the chips went in preflop and the board ran out . Strauss then hit the rail in fifth place, followed by Weigand in fourth.
Three-handed play between Nitsche, Bradpiece, and Ross didn't last long before Ross fell in third place. He was eliminated by Bradpiece to cut the field to two. Bradpiece and Ross found all the chips in preflop, but Bradpiece's were a bit better than Ross' . The flop, turn and river ran out , and Ross was out the door.
When heads-up play began, Nitsche had the chip lead with 4.05 million. His opponent, Bradpiece, held 2.8 million.
Shortly into the duel, Bradpiece took the chip lead from Nitsche, but toward the beginning of the second level during heads-up play, Nitsche stormed back with a big win to really grab the lead.
It was Level 28 with the blinds at 30,000/60,000/10,000, and Bradpiece made it 130,000 to go on the button. Nitsche reraised to 375,000, and Bradpiece called. On the flop, Nitsche led for 350,000, and Bradpiece called to see the come out on the turn. Nitsche bet 450,000 this time, and Bradpiece called. The completed the board on the river, and Nitsche bet 575,000. Bradpiece called, but could only muck after Nitsche tabled for top pair, top kicker. That pot moved Nitsche over five million and knocked Bradpiece to under two million.
On the final hand, Nitsche jammed all in over a button raise from Bradpiece. Bradpiece called with and was up against Nitsche's . The board ran out in Nitsche's favor when it came and the tournament was his. For his second-place finish, Bradpiece took home $121,477.
Final Table Payouts
*Includes $25,000 WPT Championship seat
Next up on the WPT will be the bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble taking place November 9-13, 2012.
Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.