A 31-year-old Syracuse, NY Alarm Company Account Executive, who played poker for a living online before Black Friday, took down the 2016 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam $200 No-Limit Hold'em Event #2 Sunday night.
Mike Latour, who came all the way up from the bottom of the leaderboard at the start of the final table to dominate short-handed play, earned the $21,246 first-place prize outright after ultimately defeating a field of 562 entries.
The event drew big numbers over four starting flights Friday and Saturday, smashing the $50,000 guarantee to create a $92,378 prize pool. A total of 90 players survived the opening heats and quickly moved past the 55-player money bubble and onto the final table Sunday evening.
Local star Blake Napierala had the chip lead when the final table began, but after Cara Brewer busted in 10th place, Napierala was on the wrong end of three big hands and ultimately finished ninth. Latour got some of those chips hitting an open-ender against an overpair and was back in the thick of it by the time John Stempien busted in eighth. Latour then sent Tomasz Werstler home in seventh while Rodolfo Navas began building a massive chip lead.
Thomas Mader next busted John Huening in sixth by coming from behind to flop a set of jacks, then Abe Reinhardt ran big slick into a Latour pair to go home fifth. After that Matt Devins fell to Latour's kings to go out fourth, and Latour inched closer to even with Navas.
Three-handed play saw the hand of the tournament with Latour turning a straight, and getting both a 1 million-chip check-raise and 1.1 million-chip value bet through with Navas unable to fold pocket aces. Latour had a 2-to-1 lead on the table after that, and when Mader ran into Navas' pocket aces to go out third, Latour took that same lead into heads-up play.
A few hands in, Navas switched gears and started shoving, but ultimately ran into Latour's pocket kings and took runner-up.
That ends PokerNews' coverage of the 2016 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam $200 No-Limit Hold'em Event #2, but the Live Reporting Team will return to Seneca Niagara this Thursday, July 28 to present coverage of the $300 Pot-Limit Omaha $15,000 Guaranteed Event.