The WPT500 poker tour kicked off its third season with a $1 million guaranteed event at the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas.
England’s Andreas Olympios topped a 3,956-entry field to take first place in a tournament that nearly doubled its $1 million guarantee, turning his $565 buy-in into a first prize of $260,000.
Olympios bests Hickey in just nine hands
Wesley Hickey started the nine-handed final table with the chip lead, with the eventual champion trailing far behind in ninth place.
However, by the time Drazen Ilich departed in third place, Olympios held 43 million chips to Hickey’s 16 million, having staged a remarkable coup at the final table.
He had started with just 15 big blinds, but a series of double-ups and eliminations allowed him to reach the heads-up stages with a significant chip lead. He had managed to build enough of a stack to eliminate Jonathan Opas in fourth place and then Robby Suerynck in fifth.
After Olympios and Hickey made it to heads-up, the tournament was over just nine hands later, having taken 134 hands to whittle the final table down to these last two players.
In the final hand, Olympios completed the small blind for 600,000 and called a raise to 2 million. The Ks-9s-2s flop proved explosive, as Hickey moved all-in with 9d-8d and found himself drawing very slim (just an 11.92% chance to win) when Olympios called with Kd-Js. Olympios managed to avoid disaster on the turn and river to lock up the win.
“Still can’t believe what happened yesterday! Huge thanks to everybody for the kind wishes and support,” Olympios tweeted after the win.
About the WPT500
The WPT500 is a biannual tournament series that takes place in the US and Europe. Boasting a buy-in of just $565 but with a seven-figure prize pool and thousands of players, it’s a great event for both professional and amateur poker players alike.
The next WPT500 event takes place at Dusk Till Dawn casino in Nottingham, UK, on October 24. Last year, 1,616 entrants took part in the fall event, with Richard Harris defeating Yani Yanev to take home a first place prize of £150,000.
Much like Season III’s Aria action, the heads-up affair in that event was short and sweet: Harris bested Yanev in just two hands to take the title.
WPT500 Season III – Aria final table
- Andreas Olympios – $260,000
- Wesley Hickey – $185,000
- Drazen Ilich – $135,000
- Robby Seurnyck – $100,000
- Jonathan Opas – $75,000
- Sanjay Mayekar – $58,000
- Khoan Ho – $45,000
- Guy Gorelick – $35,000
- Guy Cicconi – $27,100
Photo courtesy of WPT500