Frank Stepuchin Wins WPT Gardens Poker Championship

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Frank Stepuchin enjoyed every minute of his WPT Gardens Championship victory (Joe Giron / WPT photo).

When the World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship reached their final table 55 days ago, the poker world was given a chance to get to know a little bit about chip leader Frank Stepuchin. On Tuesday night, Stepuchin put on quite a show, eliminating four of his opponents while devouring tandoori chicken wings at the table on his way to winning the title and $548,825.

The final six players played for 90 minutes before finally seeing an elimination. From the hijack, Jonathan Abdellatif moved all in for 590,000 with AdKs. Action folded to Stepuchin in the big blind and he called with 8h6h. The 6c3c3d flop gave Stepuchin the lead and the 6d turn gave him a boat. The Ac river provided nothing but a needle for Abdellatif as he was eliminated in sixth place.

It took less than an hour before the next player was sent to the rail and once again, it was Stepuchin doing the work. Ray Qartomy moved all in from UTG for his last 335,000 with 7h7s and Stepuchin called from the small blind with JcJh. The board ran out 9s8s2dTc3c and Qartomy was out in fifth place.

Shannon Shorr then took over the role of executioner. From UTG Shorr raised to 105,000 with KcKh before Brent Roberts moved all in from the small blind with TcTh and Shorr insta-called. The Ac7s5s flop changed nothing and neither did the 6c turn before the Kd river gave Shorr an unneeded set to bust Roberts in fourth place.

A blind versus blind battle set up the next elimination. Shorr folded his button, Stepuchin bet 1,530,000 from the small blind with KdQc and Sung called off his last 775,000 with 7c7h. The JdJhTc flop gave Stepuchin all kinds of outs. The Ac turn gave Stepuchin Broadway but Sung still had four outs to a full house. The As river was not one of them and Sung was out in third place.

Heads up play began with Stepuchin holding 85% of the chips in play. Shorr was able to chip up a little bit, but Stepuchin wasn’t going to be denied his victory. Shorr raised to 160,000 from the button and Stepuchin called and then check-called Shorr’s bet of 210,000 after the 8d7s5c flop. The turn was the As and Stepuchin checked again. Shorr bet 650,000 before Stepuchin moved all in for 7,165,000. Shorr called and turned over 8h5s for two pair while Stepuchin showed Ad4c for top pair with a straight draw. The river was the 4c to give Stepuchin a better two pair and $548,825 along with his first WPT title.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Frank Stepuchin – $548,825
  2. Shannon Shorr – $355,885
  3. Steve Sung – $259,880
  4. Brent Roberts – $192,465
  5. Ray Qartomy – $144,595
  6. Jonathan Abdellatif – $110,225