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Nick Walker Wins the 2017 WNYPC Opening Event

Nick Walker
  • Walker was as deserving of the glory as any of the final three.

2014 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event champion Nick Walker has done it again, taking a different event, the opening event on the 2017 WNYPC schedule at the Niagara Falls Poker Room Sunday night.

1Nick Walker$17,404
2Colin Reid$22,326
3Sahar Khajavi$20,404
4Matt Heiligenthaler$23,000
5Joe Elhage$7,629
6Tim Campbell$5,734
7John Fluder$4,819
8David Battaglia$4,015
9John Brock$3,212

After four starting flights over two days at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Resort, 96 players returned to play down to a champion Sunday. The event drew a total of 638 entries, creating a $100,000 guarantee-smashing $160,617 prize pool with plans to pay the top 63.

The field reached the money fairly quickly Sunday and moved on to a final table of 10 just before the dinner break. Matt Heiligenthaler became the first player up and over one million chips at the final two tables and took over two million and the lead into the final.

Heiligenthaler actually dominated play at the final table as well, and after Leo Kaplin fell in 10th, John Brock took ninth and David Battaglia bowed out in eighth, his lead almost doubled.

It may have come as the result of a flip, but Walker was as deserving of the glory as any of the final three.

John Fluder's run ended with a seventh-place finish. After Tim Campbell took sixth, and Joseph Elhage, fifth, talk of a chop ensued.

Heiligenthaler initially refused, but when Colin Reid pulled close, even through sheer attrition, a deal was struck.

Matt Heiligenthaler took $23,000 and Colin Reid earned $20,000. Sahar Khajavi got $18,000 and Nick Walker took $15,000. They saved the trophy and an additional $5,124 for the winner, while setting aside $2,196 for the runner-up.

Moments later, Reid took control of four-handed play, winning a huge flip against Heiligenthaler.

Heiligenthaler was the one in the danger zone after that and soon ran two Broadway cards into Sahar Khajavi's kings to lose almost all of his chips. He busted unceremoniously on the next hand.

They played three-handed for a while before striking another deal to chop the remaining money and flip for the title. Walker won the title and the trophy after playing solid enough to book the win all day long. It may have come as the result of a flip, but Walker was as deserving of the glory as any of the final three.

Event #1 is over, but PokerNews' coverage of the 2017 WNYPC continues Monday with a $10,000 Guaranteed $150 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event beginning at 5 p.m.

2016 WNYPC

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