On the same day his favorite golfer finally conquered his demons and won The Masters, Daniel Weinman captured a huge victory of his own. Weinman emerged as the champion of champions for Season 15 of the World Poker Tour, conquering the 66-player Monster Tournament of Champions for $381,500 in prize money and a host of other goodies provided by the WPT and its sponsors.
It's the second-biggest score of Weinman's live tournament career after only his win at WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $892,433, which qualified him to be here at Seminole Hard Rock in Florida for the special event.
"I feel incredible," Weinman said. "This is such a tough tournament; to come out on top is super special."
In the process, Weinman forced Michael Mizrachi to settle for just short of first place again after "The Grinder" placed third in this event in 2016.
Official Final Table Results
Does not include additional prizes from sponsors
Weinman entered the final table as the chip leader. According to the live updates, it took 41 hands before a player bowed out, and that player turned out to be Dylan Wilkerson. He ran into a nasty cooler when his kings fell to the aces of Daniel Santoro, and though Wilkerson had his opponent covered, he was unable to run it back up.
A few hands later, another domino fell as Erik Seidel got less than 10 big blinds in with against of Santoro. The latter paired his jack on the flop.
Santoro took over the chip lead and played executioner again when he sent David Ormsby packing with ace-king against ace-four.
Mizrachi had less than 20 big blinds at that point but battled back with a couple of doubles through Weinman. Three-handed play wound up lasting over 70 hands.
Santoro lost a critical pot to Mizrachi when the latter's queens held against all in preflop, and Santoro soon found himself scrapping with about 20 big blinds. King-queen then proved to be Santoro's undoing when he called off his 20 big blinds against a Weinman shove and found he needed to improve against . A flop of was promising enough, as was a turn, but the river sent the pot to Weinman.
Weinman entered heads-up play with over 90 big blinds, a huge lead of about 5-1. Mizrachi wouldn't go down easily though and pulled nearly even shortly after spiking a lucky double on the river with against .
Weinman righted the ship with a huge bluff. The two saw a flop for the minimum at 15,000/30,000/5,000, and Weinman checked and called 35,000. He came out betting with 60,000 on the turn, and Mizrachi called. On the , Weinman checked. Mizrachi bet huge, 400,000. Weinman moved all in just before the Action Clock mandated he use a time extension.
Mizrachi would have to call his remaining 1 million and had no time extensions remaining. He decided to fold, saying he had a flush, and Weinman showed .
"I really felt in control until he doubled, and then he won the next few pots," Weinman said of the moments leading to the huge hand. "There's a chance that he could have said call, and it would have been over."
A few hands later, Weinman won a flip with ace-eight against fives and it was all over in his favor.
In addition to the prize money, Weinman won the following list of extras from corporate sponsors:
- 2018 Audi S5 Coupe
- Monster gold wireless headphones
- Hublot watch
- Custom table from BBO Poker Tables
- Seat in Tiger's Poker Night
- One-week stay with Wyndham
For Weinman, it's the culmination of a long journey from grinding the WSOP Circuit, where he worked to build his bankroll for years but couldn't find that life-changing score.
"Going from playing online and playing smaller circuit tournaments, and then occasionally playing these bigger buy-ins and hoping to min-cash or go somewhat deep so you can win some money...," he said, trailing off. "To have a $900,000 score in February and then follow it up with this, it's incredible."
All the while, Sergio Garcia was busy finally climbing the mountain and winning his first major.
"I barely even knew," Weinman said. "I'm a huge Sergio fan; he's my favorite player."
They both picked up fresh hardware today, and now, maybe Weinman will follow in Garcia's footsteps and play the legendary course at Augusta in his home state. It's something he's wanted to do for a while now, and he has a ride that won't look out of place now.
"It's a soccer mom car," he said of his KIA Sportage. "I think the Audi will be a nice little upgrade for me."