In January 2014, David Paredes navigated a field of 1,229 entrants to finish runner-up in the Season XII World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open for $499,549. A little more than a year and a half later, the Massachusetts native returned to Borgata for the 2015 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event, which attracted 1,027 entrants and created a prize pool of $3,287,427.
Amazingly, Paredes made another deep run, and this time he was able to close it out against a tough final table to capture the $723,227 first-place prize, the biggest cash of his career. Paredes now has $2,253,258 in all-time tournament winnings.
Final Table Results
Notable finishes: Jean Gaspard (9th - $60,817), Matt Affleck (15th - $27,943), Darren Elias (17th - $18,081), Jonathan Little (25th - $14,793), Jonathan Duhamel (34th - $12,821), and Shannon Shorr (39th - $11,506)
According to updates from the event, it took 43 hands before the first final table casualty. It happened when 29-year-old Roman Valerstein got his stack all in preflop with the and was up against the of Jim Gilbert. The board ran out a clean , and Valerstein was ousted in sixth place for $146,291, which brought his lifetime earnings up to $956,246.
On Hand #72, with the blinds at 60,000/120,000/20,000, Jerry Payne moved all in for 1.71 million from the button and Gilbert called from the big blind holding the . Payne tabled the , and watched helplessly as the fishhooks held after board ran out . Payne, a poker pro from Dayton, Ohio, took home $180,808 for his fifth-place finish.
After the blinds went up, 35-year-old Maurice Hawkins, who had more than $1.5 million in tournament earning prior to his run, took his leave in fourth place, the result of running pocket tens into the aces of Paredes. For more on Hawkins, click here.
It took another 90 hands for the next player to fall, which finally happened in Level 35 (200,000/400,000/50,000). It happened when Paredes raised to 850,000 from the button and Joe Kuether, the most accomplished player at the final table, moved all in from the small blind for 9.5 million. Paredes, who once again woke up with aces, snap-called and had Kuether's in bad shape. The board failed to help Kuether, and he earned $262,994 for his third-place finish.
Heads-up play began with Paredes holding a nearly 2:1 chip lead over Gilbert, and it took just 18 hands for him to clinch victory. In what would ultimately be the final hand of the tournament (Hand #198), Gilbert limped for 400,000 only to have Paredes raise to 1.2 million. Gilbert woke up with an all-in check-raise to 11.05 million, and Paredes made a quick call.
It was a bad spot for Gilbert, and he failed to get lucky as the board ran out . Gilbert, a 27-year-old poker pro from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, earned $434,598 for his runner-up finish, while Paredes etched his etched his name on the WPT Champions Cup for the first time.
The WPT Borgata Poker Open may be over, but the next stop is already underway as the WPT Maryland Live Main Event is taking place now through September 29. PokerNews will bring you a recap of that event upon the completion of play.
*Lead photo courtesy of Joe Giron and the WPT.