Grateful Above All Else: Andrew Moreno Wins 2021 Wynn Millions ($1,460,106)
On Saturday, the $10,000 buy-in, $10,000,000 GTD Wynn Millions came to a close as the final nine players from a 1,328-entry field played down to a winner. The final table lasted approximately 11 hours, and in the end, it was Andrew Moreno walking away with the title and $1,460,106 in prize money.
Just before the Wynn Millions began, Moreno posted the following on social media:
“In April I decided to I wanted to really focus on playing and studying live poker tournaments. I created two main goals for myself. The first was to move my career earnings to over $1 million dollars. I accomplished that with my most recent win at the venetian $1,100 buy in where I bested a field of 637 players and took home $127,740.
“The second goal I have this year is to get that illusive 7 figure cash I’ve been chasing. To help me accomplish this I secured a tournament coach (wishes to remain nameless) that I am very excited about working with. A special thank you to Kristy Moreno. We’re such a great team together. I’m beyond grateful to share in parenthood with you. See you soon little man. Oh, and by the way, you’ve already cashed in a tournament and been in a winners photo with your parents. So please remember we are cool when you’re a teenager.”
Moreno, the husband of former PokerNews hostess Kristy Arnett (they’re expecting their first child), managed to accomplish his second goal in the Wynn Millions.
“I’m grateful above all else,” said Moreno, who began the final table seventh in chips. “I think just declaring what I wanted to do was really important to me because I believed in myself and I wanted to hold myself accountable … I’m just so shocked it happened so quickly.”
He continued: “I’ll be playing up until and through the WSOP until my son is born and then I’m taking a nice long break. This is what I will always remember. I’m just happy to have all these people here with me.”
2021 Wynn Millions Final Table Results
|9th||Lion Yiming Lee||USA||$202,765|
*Denotes three-way deal.
Prior to the win, Moreno had $1,056,155 in lifetime earnings according to The Hendon Mob. In May, he finished sixth in the MSPT Sycuan Casino in San Diego for $20,281, and then placed 22nd in June’s MSPT Venetian $1,600 Main Event for $18,627. Just four days later, he broke through with a win when he took down the Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series Event #58: $1,100 UltimateStack for $127,740, then the fourth-largest score of his career.
In 2015, he finished 28th in the WSOP Main Event for $211,821, and a year later took sixth in the 2016 WSOP Event #41: $1,500 Monster Stack for a previous career-high $219,632. In March 2019, Moreno came close to WSOP gold again when he finished runner-up to Sean Yu in the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino $1,700 Main Event for $130,295.
Final Table Action
It took 53 hands before the first final table elimination, which happened when Lion Yiming Lee lost a race with king-queen to the pocket sevens of France’s Julian Milliard-Feral. Two dozen hands later, poker pro Joe Kuether bowed out after shoving the small blind with queen-four and failing to get there against Jaime Cervantes, who called from the big with ace-seven.
Despite that win, Dervantes was the next to go on Hand #88 after losing a massive flip with pocket queens to the Big Slick of Toby Lewis. Lewis then dispatched Philip Shing in sixth place after the former shoved the small blind with king-eight and held against the latter, who called off with jack-nine suited.
At the dinner break, Clayton Maguire held a near 2:1 chip lead over Lewis and Salim Admon, while Moreno and Milliard-Feral sat on the short stacks. The latter wound up busting in a flip situation when ace-queen failed to get there against the pocket tens of Lewis, but Moreno started to climb out of his hole.
In a pivotal hand, his pocket queens held against the pocket nines of Salim Admon to send the latter out in fourth place. That hand gave Moreno a stack to compete against Maguire and Lewis, so it didn’t take long before the idea of a deal was discussed.
The final three players each locked up seven-figure scores while shaving 10% of the prize pool to continue to play for – the winner would receive an additional $313,000 and the runner-up $100,907.
Maguire, who began the final table as the chip leader, would go on to dispatch Lewis setting up a heads-up match against Moreno. After securing a double to take over the chip lead, Moreno had Maguire on the ropes. In the final hand, Maguire got his stack in with ace-king only to fall to the ace-queen of Moreno after two queens appeared on the board.
“It was probably the best event I’ve ever played as far as the structure and the room,” said Moreno. “The floors listen to the players a lot, and there was always an open-ended conversation. Everything about the tournament was pristine.”
PokerNews will be returning to Wynn on Tuesday to live report Day 2 of the $1,600 Mystery Bounty, which you can find by clicking here.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.