The World Poker Tour’s sensational Legends of Poker tournament welcomed six players back for its final day, and it was the former fourth-place finisher in the same event 11 years earlier who claimed the crown. With a frenetic finish and over half a million dollars going to the winner, it was a final table packed with stars as legends of the modern game such as Matthew Wantman and Adam Hendrix both challenged for the title.

Hendrix Tuned Out in Opening Exchanges

Adam Hendrix came into the action super short stacked but got a double in the second hand of the day. Sadly for him, that was the very definition of a false dawn as he busted in the third hand. After the flop came T-4-2, Aaron Motoyama bet 425,000 into a pot of a little over 900,000.

Hendrix check-raised but got calls not only from Motoyama but Matthew Wantman, and after the jack on the turn, Hendrix shove was only called by Wantman with a set of fours. Hendrix had been at it with ace-king, but still had a draw to the Royal Flush or a more common Broadway straight or a flush. The river was the three of clubs, however, not matching the diamonds in his hand and Hendrix cashed for $119,000 in sixth place.

It was Lei Lei who busted in fifth for $156,000. Again Wantman was cast in role of executioner, snap-calling Lei Lei’s shove. The at-risk player had moved all-in with ace-jack, but Wantman had called with pocket kings and on the board of K-4-3-T-5, easily survived to reduce the field to four after two early eliminations at his hand.

Third Exit Inside a Dozen Hands Stuns Table

If players thought that the action would slow down after two bust-outs inside the first two orbits, they couldn’t have been more wrong. In the 11th hand of the final table, the starting field of six players was chopped in half as just three men survived the opening dozen hands. Aaron Motoyama was the unfortunate soul to miss out, calling off his stack with pocket nines with the flop having come 8-3-2.

Sadly for Motoyama, he needed to sweat the flush draw for two cards, with the eventual winner Joshua Pollock shoving with queen-ten of diamonds for a flush draw and an overcard. That card came in on the queen turn, meaning Motoyama was drawing to a nine and a nine only, but he couldn’t find his two-outer, busting in fourth for $207,000.

With three players left, Wantman and Qartomy were both chasing Pollock at the top of the chipcounts, with the eventual champion holding 71 big blinds. In a busy week of poker action that saw New Zealand’s David Yan win over $985,000 by taking down the WSOP Super MILLION$ event on GGPoker, it represented yet another big-money race to the title.

Pollock Piles on the Pressure

“Going into the final duel, Pollock had a considerable chip lead [but] the lead changed hands on a number of occasions…”

Joshua Pollock had the chip lead, but he wouldn’t have it all his own way. The World Poker Tour’s recent innovations have included a lot of work with NFT’s, but much in the same way that the StormX Invitational is set to return this October, there is always a need for consistency in poker and the six-handed final table again paid out fans with drama and excitement to the last elimination.

Three players busted inside 11 hands, but it took another 69 hands to reduce the field to a heads-up battle for the bragging rights and half-million-dollar top prize. In that 80th hand of the final day, Wantman shoved from the small blind with ace-deuce and Pollock called from the big blind with ace-nine. The board of K-T-9-T-6 saw Wantman’s chances end after the turn as he drew dead to the river and collected his third-place prize of $280,000.

Going into the final duel, Pollock had a considerable chip lead, with 19.2 million chips representing 64 big blinds, with Ray Qartomy on 12.5 million (42 big blinds). The lead changed hands on a number of occasions, but in the end, it took 49 hands to find a winner heads-up when Pollock’s pocket eights were good enough to hold against Qartomy’s ace-eight with all the chips in the middle pre-flop. The board of 9-5-4-J-Q ended the event in favor of the dominant player and while Qartomy collected the $380,000 runner-up prize, Pollock got his name on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

World Poker Tour 2022 Legends of Poker Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Joshua Pollock U.S.A. $573,350*
2nd Ray Qartomy U.S.A. $380,000
3rd Matthew Wantman U.S.A. $280,000
4th Aaron Motoyama U.S.A. $207,000
5th Lei Lei U.S.A. $156,000
6th Adam Hendrix U.S.A. $119,000

 

* Top prize includes $10,400 seat into season-ending WPT World Championship.

 

 

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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