Jack Hardcastle became the second World Poker Tour champion crowned this week after the UK-based online pro won the $3,200 WPT Montreal Online Main Event on partypoker for a career-high score of $447,859 as well as a seat in the $15,000 2021 WPT Tournament of Champions.
The WPT has been firing on all cylinders in the past 24 hours, with two Main Tour titles up for grabs. On Tuesday night, Ilyas Muradi took down the first WPT live event of the year after winning $605,000 at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida. Now, Hardcastle will join him in having his name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup after outlasting the 888-player field of the WPT Montreal Online Main Event.
It didn’t take long after cards were “in the air” before the fireworks to begin. Upeshka De Silva was recently in the news for making the final table of the U.S.-based 2020 World Series of Poker. However, after testing positive for COVID-19 the day before play was set to take place, he was disqualified and paid out ninth place money. It didn’t take him long to bounce back and make another major final table and this time, with it being online, he was guaranteed to get to play.
But De Silva started the day as the short stack and after an open by Rayan Chamas with , De Silva three-bet jammed with his . While often a chop, the board ran out giving Chamas the flush and ending De Silva’s day early in another ninth-place finish for $37,024.
After an open by Hardcastle, Germany’s Andrei Kriazhev three-bet with the . Next to act, Marcel Kunze four-bet shipped his short stack with . Action folded back to Kriazhev who made the quick call and the duo watched as the flop came keeping Kriazhev in the lead but giving both a gutshot straight draw. The hit the turn, giving Kriazhev the straight and leaving Kunze drawing dead to the river. Kunze was eliminated in eighth place for $46,684.
Jakob Meigel had managed to ladder up from his eighth-place starting position, but an hour into the final table, was still grinding a short stack. He raised with the , leaving himself a few big blinds behind. Hardcastle three-bet with the and when folded to, Meigel put the rest of his chips in the middle. The board ran out allowing Hardcastle’s king kicker to play and sending Meigel out in seventh place for $58,650.
The final six played for nearly another hour before Charles Chattha raised on the button with . Out of the blinds, Hardcastle three-bet with and Chattha pushed nearly 40 big blinds all-in. Hardcastle snap-called and the flop came , giving Chattha some straight outs. However, the turn came the and the river was the sending Chattha to the rail in sixth place for $74,119.
Kraizhev found himself short and in need to make a move. Leaving himself just a few chips behind, Kraizhev raised with the . Felix Schulze then raised with and when folded back to him, Kraizhev put his remaining stack in the middle. Schulze hit his ace right away on the flop and when the hit the turn, Kraizhev was drawing dead. The river hit and Kraizhev was ousted in fifth place for $95,672.
Just minutes after a break, a big hand took out another player. Dan Shak raised with the and Schulze flat called with his . From the small blind, Chamas three-bet holding the and after Shak folded Schulze made the call. The flop came and Chamas, hitting second pair, open-shipped his big stack. Schulze snap-called with top pair, top kicker and the hit the turn. Schulze was in great shape to double up but the river was the awarding the hand to Chamas and sending Schulze out in fourth place for $139,163.
Shak, who started the day as the chip leader, had been active and steady. But with three players left, he found himself as the short stack when his bluff was picked off by Hardcastle. Just minutes later, Hardcastle shipped his stack holding into Shak who had in the big blind. Shak made the call. The flop came giving Shak plenty of additional flush outs. But the turn and river were of no help and Shak added $212,458 to his extensive bankroll for finishing in third place.
When heads up play began, Hardcastle held a significant chip lead over Chamas and he continually applied pressure. But Chamas hung around and evened out the stacks at one point. But some key calls and strong bluffs by Hardcastle allowed him to again grab a large lead.
On the final hand of the tournament, Chamas opened with and Hardcastle called in the big blind with . Hardcastle paired his nine on the flop and made the call when Chamas put out a bet on the flop. The came on the turn and Chamas fired again, which Hardcastle called. The river was the , giving Hardcastle two pair and when Chamas shipped the rest of his small stack, Hardcastle made the quick call ending the tournament.
Chamas finished as the runner-up and took home $308.703 while Hardcastle collected the $447,859 first-place prize and became the latest member of the WPT Champions Club.
WPT Montreal Online Main Event Final Table Payouts
1. Jack Hardcastle – $447,859.32
2. Rayan Chamas – $308,703.22
3. Dan Shak – $212,458.57
4. Felix Schulze – $139,163.79
5. Andrei Kraizhev – $95,672.65
6. Charles Chattha – $74,119.22
7. Jakob Miegel – $58,650.26
8. Marcek Kunze – $46,684.79
9. Upeshka De Silva – $37,024.08