Rapid Reaction: Stammen Rises in the East
Once Keven Stammen faded a few all-in situations approaching the money bubble of the 2014 World Poker Tour World Championship, his rush began — a rush that saw him finish on top after beginning Day 3 of the event 65th out of the final 68 players.
Patience Is a Virtue: Stammen could have easily freaked out, as so many players do, when he was forced to grind out a stack of just 10-15 big blinds for in the critical moments leading up to the money bubble. Stammen, who has plenty of experience playing online, didn't get uneasy or rattled.
So often you see players drop below 20 big blinds and overreact, especially those that come from online backgrounds. Instead, Stammen waited patiently for a couple good hands and good spots to find some timely double ups, and it paid off in the end.
Two Out of Three: The victory notched Stammen the second leg of poker's Triple Crown to his résumé (he won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet in 2009).
Widening the Gap: Importantly, this win helped Stammen to increase his lead in the 2014 GPI Player of the Year race by a projected estimate of 150-200 points and push him in the range of 800-850 points. That will be well clear all of his chasers and around 70% of the way to the point total that Ole Schemion won the 2013 GPI Player of the Year title with.
Kaverman's Big Splash: Byron Kaverman, the runner-up of the event, made his seventh cash of the season. This set the record for most cashes in a single season on the WPT. By pocketing the $727,860 he earned in this event, Kaverman landed the largest score of his career and pushed his live tournament earnings to over $2.6 million.
Guarantee Missed: The WPT Championship relocated from its long-time home at the Bellagio in Las Vegas to Borgata in Atlantic City for this season, and the event increased its field size by 125 percent over the previous year. Despite the big increase, the event fell short of the $5 million guarantee by six entries.
Three Near Doubles: Three players to finish in the money — Jordan Cristos (27th), Eric Afriat (11th), and Tony Dunst (3rd) — nearly won their second WPT title of Season XII.
Korotki Scores Twice: Abraham Korotki won the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship for $256,508 just days prior to placing sixth in the WPT Championship for $235,341.
A Title Without a Title for Pahuja: Mukul Pahuja locked up the 2014 WPT Player of the Year during the WPT Championship, but he did not win an event despite cashing six times during Season XII. He did make three final tables, though. Stammen cashed the same amount of times, made two final tables, and won the WPT Championship.