This time, there would be no near miss for Jesse Sylvia.
Four years after finishing second to Greg Merson in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, Sylvia captured the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open title in Atlantic City on Friday.
Sylvia, who has also had a couple of third-place finishes at the WSOP since 2012, won his first major title and the $821,811 first-place prize it came with after a massive meltdown from Colombian pro Farid Jattin, who held close to half the chips in play when the final six began, but was the first to exit the WPT stage.
WPT Borgata Poker Open Final Table
Sylvia struck the first blow against Jattin, tripling through Simon Lam and Jattin with a pair of fours against both players holding big slick.
Shortly after, Lam doubled through Jattin with ace-high versus king-high. Taha Maruf then won a 4.4 million chip pot off him, making a seven-high straight to knock him down to size. It wasn't long before Zach Gruneberg took the lead from Jattin when he dragged a six-million chip pot off him with a set of sevens.
Obviously reeling, Jattin then five-bet shoved the and Sylvia called with big slick, flopping an ace and finding Broadway on the river to double through him and take the lead himself.
Suddenly the short stack, Jattin finally ran two eights into Gruneberg's pocket aces. Gruneberg flopped a set to put the final nail in Jattin's coffin. A turned set of his own was too little too late as Jattin went from massive chip leader to first out in just 26 hands.
Chris Limo hit the exit fifth when he shoved a double-gutter on the turn into Sylvia's set of sevens and the set held. Lam took fourth when he pushed in short with a dominated jack and failed to improve versus Gruneberg.
Maruf busted third when he called off with two queens against a Gruneberg shove. Gruneberg had an ace, paired it and entered heads-up play with Sylvia just about even.
The heads-up match was a tight one most of the way until Sylvia made a jack-high flush to drag an 18.5 million chip pot and take control. He soon moved over the 30-million chip mark and kept his foot on the gas until Gruneberg's back was clearly against the wall.
Gruneberg called off with a queen to double once, but Sylvia kept the pressure on, and when he shoved the and Gruneberg called off with the , Sylvia flopped a jack and won the title.
Sylvia's prize money also included a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions, and alongside a WPT Champions Trophy, his haul also included a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch and a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones.
*Photo Courtesy of the World Poker Tour