WPT: Tony Tran Wins bestbet Bounty Scramble

Tony Tran won the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble on Monday night for his first career WPT title. (Joe Giron/WPT photo)

Almost everybody who has entered a poker tournament has experienced this at some point; you look down at your stack and notice you’re desperately short. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before you’re eliminated.

Earlier this week Tony Tran was in that position in the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble. Staring at just two big blinds with the blinds fast approaching him, Tran was all but out. And then he just couldn’t lose a pot. Tran completed the comeback story Monday night, beating Jake Schwartz heads-up to win the bestbet Bounty Scramble, $341,486 and a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions.

Tran started the final table fifth in chips with only Dominique Mosley behind him. Things didn’t start off strong for Tran though. After picking off a Ray Qartomy bluff, Tran found himself in the middle of a hand that could have seen his tournament end relatively early.

Mosley moved all in for 340,000 from the cutoff and Tran defended from the small blind. Schwartz re-raised to 850,000 from the big blind and Tran made it 1,400,000. Schwartz took his time before moving all in for 5,185,000. Tran folded, showing AhKd, and then felt relief as Schwartz tabled AcAs. Mosley flipped over JsTs and then watched the board run out 5h4c2d3d7d to cement his elimination in sixth place.

Nine hands later, with Schwartz in control of nearly half of the chips in play, another player was sent packing. From UTG, Schwartz raised to 110,000 before Ping Liu announced he was all in for 920,000 from the cutoff. Ray Qartomy re-raised all in for 1,305,000 and Schwartz folded. Liu turned over Ac4c and needed some help after Qartomy showed JdJh. The Kh8c5h flop changed nothing for Liu and once the 9s turn and 6d river completed the board, he was eliminated in fifth place.

Qartomy’s run only lasted another two hours. Down to just nine big blinds, Qartomy moved all in from the button and Tran tank-called from the big blind. Qartomy was behind with KcQh to Tran’s Ad7s. The Td8h2s flop left Qartomy with some hope, but the As turn left him with just four outs to Broadway to stay alive. The river was the 5c and he was eliminated in fourth.

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, Tran took over the chip lead before sending another player packing. Schwartz folded his button and Kelly Minkin completed from the small blind before Tran raised to 480,000 from the big blind. Minkin responded by moving all in for 2,260,000 and Tran snap-called, tabling AhKc in the process. Minkin showed Ac3c and needed some help to stay in the tournament. The As4c3s flop gave Minkin two pair, but the 4h counterfeited Minkin’s hand and the 9h river completed her elimination in third place.

Heads up began with Tran holding 59% of the chips in play and it took just 90 minutes for him to complete the comeback. Tran raised to 300,000 from the button and Schwartz moved all in for 2,305,000. Tran snap-called and again tabled AsKd which put him ahead of Schwartz who showed Ad5d. The Kh8h5s flop paired both players and Schwartz was unable to improve on the 4c turn or 3s river and was eliminated in second place.

This year’s bestbet Bounty Scramble drew 356 players, up slightly over the 323 runners it drew in 2017.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Tony Tran – $341,486
  2. Jake Schwartz – $228,590
  3. Kelly Minkin – $146,973
  4. Ray Qartomy – $95,684
  5. Ping Liu – $73,734
  6. Dominique Mosley – $60,981