Tony Tran wins WPT Rolling Thunder for $279,270

Tony Tran took down the WPT Rolling Thunder title this week and in doing so made a little bit of WPT history, his heads-up opponent Jake Schwartz the same player he beat 18 months ago for his first World Poker Tour victory.

By: Andrew Burnett

That happened at the 2018 WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville, Florida, and when they resumed for the final table at Rolling Thunder some 506 days on, Schwartz was again chip leader, with Tran nursing a short stack.

They were just two among six players who had survived from an initial 250 entries, the prizefund sitting at $1,162,500 – more than half of that designated for the remaining half dozen.

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

It took a while to get going, but Tran kicked things off with a KO of Shankar Pillai in 6th spot…

Tran: K♠ K♣
Pillai: 7♠ 7♣
Board:  9♦ 4♠ 3♣  Q♠ 9♠

…and then ousted Erkut Yilmaz in 5th place, leaving the remaining quartet about evenly matched in chips, although they would all swap places several times before Kevin Rabichow hit the rail in 4th.

Robert Heidorn was the last man standing between a Tran and Schwartz rematch, and again Tran appeared with a bigger pair at the crucial moment.

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Tran: 10♠ 10♦
Heidorn: 2♥ 2♦
Board: A♦ 9♦ 8♠ 3♥ 4♦

That meant it was Jacksonville revisited, with more than $450k on the line and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions as a bonus for the winner.

They say it never happens, but lightning did indeed strike twice, Schwartz again unable to fend off a rampant Tran, the final hand illustrating that when it’s your day, it’s your day!

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Tran: Q♣ 10♠
Schwartz: J♥ 10♥
Flop: J♦ 9♦ 8♣
Turn: 5♦
River: 7♠

“I feel really good that I’m actually a champion again,” Tran told WPT reporters after his epic win. “It just shows that the first one was not a fluke.”

Final results

1 Tony Tran $279,270
2 Jake Schwartz $177,680
3 Robert Heidorn $122,105
4 Kevin Rabichow $85,800
5 Erkut Yilmaz $61,685
6 Shankar Pillai $45,390



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