Albert Knafo Wins WPTDeepStacks Venetian Main Event ($532,392)

Albert Knafo

The 2021 WPTDeepStacks Venetian $2,400 Main Event was the latest huge live poker event, with 1,512 entries generating a mouth-watering $3,288,600 prize pool. Albert Knafo defeated Steven Sarmiento heads-up to win the WPTDeepStacks trophy which came with a whopping $532,395 top prize and a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package that was added for the winner.

A few months ago, not too many people in the poker world had heard of Albert Knafo, who at that point in time only had a single entry for just $790 on his The Hendon Mob profile.

That all changed in a big way a month ago with Knafo finishing on the podium in the MSPT Venetian Event #41: $1,100 No-Limit Hold'em for $177,695. Last night, Knafo collect a prize of triple this amount and will have his name ever etched in WPTDeepStacks history as its latest champion.

2021 WPTDeepStacks Venetian Final Table Results

1Albert KnafoUnited States$532,395*
2Steven SarmientoUnited States$383,595
3Austin SrurUnited States$249,375
4Doug LadaUnited States$185,275
5Jim GilbertUnited States$139,180
6Eli ElezraUnited States$112,235
7Shawn DanielsUnited States$91,865
8Marc BernalUnited States$72,350
9Thomas BoivinBelgium$54,280

*$3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package added for the winner.

Final Table Action

According to the updates at the WPT website, the final day began with just 10 hopefuls remaining and was down to a final table of nine players soon enough. Keven Stammen ran his ace-ten suited into the cowboys held by Eli Elezra to finish in 10th place for $54,280.

Sarmiento began the final table with a commanding chip lead with nearly double the stack of his nearest opponent, Elezra, and nearly quadruple that of eventual winner Knafo.

Cowboys were also involved in the first two eliminations at the final table. During the first hand, Austin Srur limped before he three-bet jammed with his pocket kings, and Thomas Boivin was out the door in ninth place for $54,280 after calling with eights and bricking the board.

Shortly after, the cowboys held by Marc Bernal didn't hold against Sarmiento's ace-jack to exit in eighth place for $72,350. Shawn Daniels hit the rail in seventh place for $91,865 not long after Bernal's demise. Daniels jammed with queen-ten suited with a flush draw and two overcards, and wasn't able to get past the set held by Daniels who began the hand with treys.

The action was still hot and heavy even though no players were eliminated for quite some time. Sarmiento padded his chip lead before extending it further by eliminating Elezra in sixth place for $112,235 when his tens won a flip against Elezra's suited big slick.

Knafo began to chip up with a double against Srur before he eliminated Jim Gilbert in fifth place for $139,180 when his ace-nine suited held against king-ten suited.

Sarmiento then won a flip to eliminate Doug Lada in fourth place for $185,275 when his ace-queen suited improved to trip aces against Lada's sevens. Shortly after, Knafo ousted Srur in third place for $249,375 when his king-queen dominated king-jack.

Knafo Comes from Behind Against Sarmiento

Sarmiento was clearly in control for most of the final table and entered the heads-up battle with nearly double the chips of Knafo. The lead went back and forth with Knafo holding a small chip advantage when the final hand took place.

Sarmiento opened the button to 1.3 million with blinds at 300K/600K. Knafo three-bet to 4 million before he called a four-bet to 10 million by Sarmiento.

Knafo jammed the Q96 rainbow flop and Sarmiento quickly called for the 9 million remaining in his stack.

Steven Sarmiento: QQ
Albert Knafo: J10

Sarmiento flopped the nuts with a set of queens but had to fade eight outs to a straight draw. It appeared the Sarmiento would likely double up and leave Knafo on the ropes after a blank 2 appeared on the turn.

However, the 8 spiked the river to complete Knafo's straight and Sarmiento was eliminated in second place for $383,595.

WPTDeepStacks Heads to Sochi

Next up on the tour is the WPTDeepStacks Sochi by partypoker LIVE on Aug. 9-14 at the popular Casino Sochi resort in Russia. The festival boasts 13 numbers events highlighted by the WPTDeepStacks Sochi ₽119,000 (~$1,605) Main Event.

The Main Event boasts four opening flights before players battle it out for two more days until the next WPTDeepStacks Main Event champion is crowned.

Photo courtesy of WPT.

  • Knafo comes from behind heads-up against Steven Sarmiento to win the WPTDeepStacks Venetian for $532,395.

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