Art Papazyan Beats Phil Hellmuth to WPT Legends of Poker Crown

In a surprising result last night little known Californian Art Papazyan won the WPT Legends of Poker title after beating a stacked final table, including beating the new WPT "Raw Deal" Analyst, the legendary Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win $668,692, the WPT Champions Trophy, a Wild Bill Hickok trophy from the Bicycle Hotel & Casino, and a Hublot Big Bang Steel watch.

As well as Hellmuth who was eagerly looking for his first every WPT Main Event title there were two former two-time WPT Champions also at the final table in JC Tran and Marvin Rettenmaier so Papazyan certainly had his work cut out for him.

Hellmuth was the first to make an impact on the final table as he eliminated Adam Swan on just the 8th hand of the day. After raising from the cut-off, Hellmuth snap-called Swan when the shorter-stack jammed from the small blind. Hellmuth tabled QsQc against Swan's AdJh. A jack on the flop gave Swan some hope but there was to be no further help and Swan exited in 6th place, good for $91,825.

Half an hour later and Marvin Rettenmaier joined Swan on the rail after he got his late 895k in with QhTc from the button and was called by both Papazyan and Tran from the blinds. It was Tran who busted Rettenmaier after flopping a set of 8's, sending the German pro home in fifth for $120,775 and pushing Tran even further ahead as his stack past the 11m mark.

After an eventful opening 45 minutes play continued four-handed for the next six hours. Tran maintained the lead for most of this 151 hand stretch (temporarily surrendering it to Papazyan after the latter won a 4m chip pot vs Hellmuth), but the remaining three players (Hellmuth, Papazyan, and DJ Alexander) switched places several times during a hard-fought battle. Eventually it was DJ Alexander who succumbed when he tabled Ad2d. against Papazyan's Ah6h in a +6m chip pot. A six on the flop put paid to Alexander who left in 4th place, winning $161,490 for his troubles.

Shortly thereafter Tran lost his lead again, first to Papazyan and then to Hellmuth who had chipped up after taking down 8 of the 14 pots after Alexander's demise.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Above: Phil Hellmuth celebrates taking the chip lead for this first time in the tournament during three-handed play

Three-handed play lasted 13 hands and it more or less consisted of JC Tran bleeding chips before being finished off by Hellmuth. Tran got his last 3m in good with AdTs when Hellmuth called with KhQh but all it took was a King on the flop to end Tran's hopes of a 3rd WPT title and he left in 3rd for $217,040.

Heads-up play began with stacks almost even (11.825m for Papazyan, 11.05m for Hellmuth), and the smart money was on Hellmuth, who had just recently defeated both Doug "WCGRider" Polk and Dan "jungleman12" Cates heads-up to win Poker Night in America's 'King of the Hill' event. Papazyan, however, was clearly not reading the script.

It was a surprisingly quick heads-up match, lasting less than 25 minutes. The key hand took place 13 hands in with the stacks still fairly even at 12.3m to 10.5m in Papazyan's favour. Holding 5c4c Papazyan hits a dream flop of As3h2c to hit the nuts and must have been delighted when Hellmuth check-raised his flop bet to 950k. Papazyn then let Hellmuth hang himself a little, just check-calling Hellmuth's 1.2m turn bet after a harmless Jddropped. Hellmuth then made a crying check-call on the 7c river for 2.6m, sending a 10.8m chip pot Papazyan's way to give him a 17.7 to 5.1m chip lead.

It was all over on the very next hand, and at least Phil Hellmuth will have a bad beat to complain about as his fate was sealed after he got his money in as a big favourite, after Papazyan went all in with KcQs and Hellmuth had snap-called with AhKd. The flop came down QhTh8c and that was enough for Papazyan to take out The Poker Brat and claim his first WPT title. In fact, up until today Papazyan's lifetime tourney earnings totalled only $40,000 and he has still never played a tourney outside of Los Angeles. With an additional $668,6922 in his bankroll, however, we are sure that's not going to be the case for long! Phil Hellmuth collected $364,370  for his runner-up finish.

Check out the final hand below:


Final Table Results - WPT Legends of Poker

Art Papazyan 1,200.00 $668,692
Phil Hellmuth 1,000.00 $364,370
J.C. Tran 900.00 $217,040
D.J. Alexander 800.00 $161,490
Marvin Rettenmaier 700.00 $120,775
Adam Swan 600.00 $91,825



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