Alex Yen Wins 2022 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open ($975,240)
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Alex Yen arrived at the final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open with the chip lead. He left the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with a tournament title and $975,240.
For Yen, it was his first-ever major tournament win and far and away the biggest score of his poker career. He entered the $3,500 buy-in tournament in Hollywood, Florida with just under $400,000 in lifetime live tournament cashes according to The Hendon Mob.
The Lucky Hearts Poker Open, the first event of the WPT's 20th season, had 1,982 entrants. Entering Wednesday's session only six remained, none of whom was a previous WPT champion.
WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Final Table Results
Using the Big Stack to his Advantage
Yen had over 130 big blinds when the final table and his chip lead was never seriously challenged outside of a brief moment during heads-up play. Daniel Lazrus, a two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, won a race to bust Omar Lakhdari in sixth place ($208,025) early on.
Shortly after, Joshua Kay found himself on the short end of the 60/40 stick against Anton Wigg and was eliminated in fifth place ($272,830). A few hands later, Yen used pocket queens to bust Nicholas Verderamo, who went out in fourth place ($361,130).
Lazrus, who doubled moments earlier, lost a race against Yen and was sent home in third place ($482,380), setting up a heads-up match between Wigg and Yen.
When heads-up play began, Yen held better than a 2.5:1 chip lead, but Wigg, an accomplished pro with over $3.2 million in previous live tournament cashes, wouldn't go away without a fight. Early on in the match, he moved all in preflop with the and the hand held up against the of Yen.
At that point, the match was nearly even, and then Wigg would take a slim lead. However, Yen would then begin to take over the lead, and he never relinquished it. On the final hand, he flopped the joint with on a board of . When the came on the turn, Wigg jammed with and his opponent snap-called. The on the river ended the match and Alex Yen was crowned the newest World Poker Tour champion.
WPT Season XX will continue April 8 at this same casino with the $3,500 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
*Images courtesy of WPT.com