Erkut Yilmaz Wins WPT Borgata Poker Open ($575,112)
Erkut Yilmaz held off a strong challenge from TK Miles to etch his name on the World Poker Tour Champions Cup, topping a field of 1,075 entries to win a first-place prize of $575,112 at WPT Borgata Poker Open.
Yilmaz came into the final day with a dominating chip lead but had to get by Miles in a heads-up match that lasted a few hours and saw Miles take the lead.
It's by far the biggest tournament cash for Yilmaz, who surpassed $1 million in earnings with the win.
*includes $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions seat
Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno, Jared Jaffee, Daniel Weinman, Michael Gagliano and PokerStars Team Pro Maria Konnikova were some of the players making deep runs into the 136 paid places but falling short of the final table.
As the last couple of tables played down to the final table, the poker world watched to see if Ali Imsirovic could continue his incredible heater. Coming off of Poker Masters Purple Jacket honors and a pair of high roller wins, Imsirovic advanced to the final 18. However, he took two rough beats at the hands of Aaron Kweskin when his queens and kings were both cracked by ace-rag all in preflop — once via trip threes and once via a four-flush.
Despite the beats, Imsirovic did limp into the final nine on a short stack, while Yilmaz found himself in roughly a three-way tie for the lead with Oleg Shnaider and Liam He.
Final Table Action
Unfortunately for the rising star Imsirovic, he couldn't run up his last few blinds. He jammed 11 big blinds in the cutoff with ace-nine but ran into the bullets of John Lakatosh.
While the shorter stacks continued to double through each other, Yilmaz zoomed up the chip counts, taking a dominating lead with over 170 big blinds eight-handed. He had just over half of the chips in play and more than double his nearest competitor.
Finally, shorter stacks lost all ins when Chris Grove and then Lakatosh were eliminated to prompt bagging for the final day and the official final table of six.
Anthony Maio was at his third major Borgata final table — he previously had third- and fourth-place finishes — but took just nine bigs into the final day. He lost them 11 hands in when he shoved king-jack and ran into Austin Wentling's kings.
Liam He was also short but found a good spot when he shoved with tens over an open from Shnaider, who had . Unfortunately for He, two jacks flopped and he had to settle for fifth.
Miles surged into the lead by winning a series of pots four-handed and capped it off with an elimination of Wentling when his flopped a queen against pocket nines to take Wentling's last eight big blinds or so.
Yilmaz moved back in front at 125,000/250,000/250,000, when Miles opened button for a min-raise, Shnaider shoved for 6 million and Yilmaz woke up with . He called and Miles mucked, and Shnaider saw he had three outs with . Shnaider was looking for a chop after four to a six-high straight hit the felt but the river paired the board and Yilmaz had 25 million to Miles' 17 million goings heads up.
Nothing too crazy happened for the first 40 hands or so, although Miles did move into a slight lead for a time. Eventually, though, Yilmaz took the advantage back and had Miles down to 10 million at 300,000/600,000/600,000.
Miles inched his way back up to almost 17 million again, and eventually the two saw a flop for the minimum. Yilmaz check-raised all in for several times the pot over a Miles bet, and Miles called with . He had the best of it but only slightly against . The turn brought a six and Miles didn't get any help on the river, forcing him to concede defeat, although he did bank a career-best sum of $383,399.