The World Poker Tour has crowned (or belted?) a new champion at Playground Poker Club just outside of beautiful and historic Montreal, Quebec. Jared Mahoney has won the 2015 partypoker.net WPT Montreal for $433,410 CAD as well as a seat in the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
It was a long road for the new champion who had just $70,000 in lifetime tournament cashes before this event. Action concluded on a late Day 5 of the tournament after a grueling week of poker.
A total of 697 entries took to the tables at a price of $3,850 each on the three Day 1s that kicked off the event before just 294 players returned for Day 2. It took a few more days before the field was reduced to six and the official final table was set.
Mahoney was the short stack to begin the day while Brian Altman was the chip leader by a large margin when play resumed on the televised WPT final table on Thursday, and was the only player with a previous WPT title. Darryll Fish came in as the second-best stack and was another big favourite as a player with plenty of experience and talent for this table.
The first player eliminated was AJ Gambino when he put all his chips in with to Fish's and an ace hit the flop. By the river, Fish had further improved to a heart flush, causing the first elimination of the day. Gambino earned $87,520 CAD.
Next out was the only Canadian on the final table of this Canadian WPT stop. Carter Swidler was all in preflop with to Altman's and was a favorite, but didn't manage to hang on through the runout that included two jacks. Swidler’s payout of $108,410 CAD was the best of his career in live tournaments, but he has had great success online over the years.
Altman had a brutally tough level when he found himself going from the chip leader with more than half of the chips in play to eliminated in about 15 minutes. He doubled up two opponents and then pushed all in with and ran into Mahoney's . The board ran and Altman hit the exit in fourth place for $144,780 CAD, unable to pick up his second WPT title.
Rainer Kempe was looking for his first WPT win after having a tremendous late summer and fall at several tournament sereis, but the German’s hopes were stolen when he pushed all in with and was called by Mahoney's . The flop couldn't have been more dramatic if you could've chosen the cards from the deck yourself. The gave Kempe two pairs but a flush draw to Mahoney. The flush came in on the turn and Kempe didn't find the boat he needed on the river. He was eliminated in third place for $195,940 CAD.
Heads-up play between Fish and Mahoney began with Mahoney holding a narrow chip advantage, but the two of them swapped small pots back and forth, exchanging the chip lead with almost every hand.
Several levels later, Fish three-bet all in with but Mahoney had woken up with , making the easy call and winning all the chips in the tournament on the board of . Fish fell just shy of his first WPT title — an accomplishment he said is long overdue. His great run earned him $304,343 CAD.
Mahoney won the top prize of $433,410 CAD plus the WPT Tournament of Champions entry as well as a Hublot watch and the signature Playground Poker Club trophy belt, not to mention the prestige of the WPT title that will always accompany his name.
2015 partypoker.net WPT Montreal Final Table Results
Some of the other players who were eliminated earlier in the tournament included Darren Elias (11th - $31,910), Jason Mann (14th - $25,810), Scott Davies (28th - $13,370), Anthony Zinno (31st - $13,370), Mike Linster (39th - $11,490), Jeff Madsen (40th - $11,490), Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (50th - $9,850), Freddy Deeb (58th - $8,210), Liv Boeree (70th - $7,030), and Mike McDonald (71st - $7,030).
Watch PokerNews’ Caitlyn Howe as she speaks with WPT Montreal champion Jared Mahoney just minutes after he won the title:
*Lead photo courtesy of Joe Giron and WPT.