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Patrick Serda Bests Ema Zajmovic Heads Up to Win WPT Montreal Title for $668K

Patrick Serda

The World Poker Tour wrapped up its latest stop on Sunday with the CAD$5,300 buy-in WPT Montreal at Playground Poker Club. The tournament attracted 792 entries buying in for C$5,300, making for a hefty overlay as C$5,000,000 was guaranteed. The event culminated with a stacked final table that included Sorel Mizzi, Upeshka De Silva, and Ema Zajmovic, the first woman to win an open WPT event.

Zajmovic came close to capturing her second WPT title, but Patrick Serda, who recently became a father, stopped her one spot short to claim the title for himself along with a $668,388 top prize and a $15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

"I’m not really sure why it feels like this but I worked for it more this time around."

“It’s great; it feels a lot better than previous wins,” Serda told WPT officials after the win. “I’m not really sure why it feels like this but I worked for it more this time around. I coolered Sorel three-handed, obviously, but a lot of my other spots weren’t standard and I feel like, especially, on Day 3 and 4, I overcame some adversity and tough spots.”

It was the second-largest score of Serda’s career after the $750,216 he received for finishing runner-up to William Kassouf in the EPT13 Prague High Roller after a heads-up deal. It went down as one of the wildest deals in poker history as Serda had more chips than Kassouf, who was willing to sacrifice money for the trophy.

Serda’s other scores are more modest including $49,165 for finishing third in the 2018 Aussie Millions Event #22: A$5,000 Six Max, $39,610 for winning the 2013 Manitoba Lotteries Poker Open, and $30,267 for taking second in a €1K Turbo event at the EPT10 Monte Carlo Grand Final.

WPT Montreal Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize in CADPrize in USD
1Patrick SerdaCanadaC$855,000*$668,388
2Ema ZajmovicCanadaC$556,000$424,893
3Sorel MizziCanadaC$410,000$313,320
4Kauvsegan EhamparamCanadaC$305,450$233,424
5Upeshka De SilvaUnited StatesC$230,250$175,956
6Jiachen GongCanadaC$175,500$134,116

* First-prize amount includes the winner's $15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

Some notables to cash the tournament leading up to the final table were Jonathan Little (8th - $80,623), Simon Deadman (13th - $41,267), Mike Leah (18th - $27,893), Rich Alsup (29th - $19,869), Marvin Rettenmaier (45th - $14,978), and Mukul Pahuja (65th - $10,775).

It took 40 hands for the first player to bust the final table and it happened when Jiachen Gong got his stack of 33 bb all in preflop with ace-queen against Zajmovic, who held the same hand, and the short-stacked Kauvsegan Ehamparam, who held ace-king. The board ran out with four spades, and Ehamparam tripled in the main pot thanks to his {a-Spades} while Zajmovic busted Gong thanks to her {q-Spades}.

It’d take another 46 hands before De Silva bowed out in fifth place after getting his stack in holding pocket fours only to run them smack dab into Mizzi’s jacks. Six hands later, Ehamparam was at risk with queen-jack and failed to win a race against Zajmovic in a blind-versus-blind battle.

On Hand #113 of the final table, Mizzi moved all in for 3.2 million from the button and Serda reshoved for 12.6 million in the small blind. Mizzi had sixes and was crushed by Serda’s pocket nines. No boxcar came and Mizzi had to settle for third place.

Ema Zajmovic came one spot shy of her second WPT title.
Ema Zajmovic came one spot shy of her second WPT title.

Heads-up play began with the final two players pretty much even in chips but it was still over in a dozen hands. On Hand #125, which took place in Level 33 (100,000/200,000/200,000), Zajmovic raised to 500K on the button and Serda three-bet her to 1.6 million.

Zajmovic responded with a four-bet to 3.8 million and Serda called to see a {7-Spades}{6-Spades}{10-Spades} flop, which both players checked. When the dealer burned and turned the {a-Clubs}, Serda check-called a bet of 3 million and watched the {3-Hearts} complete the board on the river.

Serda checked for the third time and Zajmovic jammed for 8.5 million. Serda burned a couple time extensions before calling with the {7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} for just a pair of sevens. It was good as Zajmovic had missed with her {k-Diamonds}{9-Spades}.

It was the second time this year Zajmovic finished as runner-up in a WPT event after she took second in the WPT Amsterdam for $123,598 back in April.

The WPT continues later this month with the $3,500 buy-in WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Images courtesy of WPT.

  • Patrick Serda denies Ema Zajmovic second title on way to winning @WPT Montreal for $668,388.

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