Brady Holiman Wins WPT Choctaw Main Event for $470kAugust 8, 2018 10:47 am
The Choctaw Casino & Resort in Oklahoma recently played host to the World Poker Tour from July 19 to August 7, and featured more than 80 events with a combined guaranteed prize pool of $1.8 million. Topping the list, however, was its $3,700 Main Event, which took place from August 3-7 and drew an impressive sized field of 755 runners.
Amongst them was Brady Holiman, 37, a sales manager for a car dealership in Texas, who despite his amateur status managed to overcome his fellow competitors to take home the title, and a first place prize worth $469,185. Prior to his victory, Holiman had just $41,962 in earnings, almost half of which was accounted for by a 9th place finish at the 2016 WPT Choctaw $350 Monster Stack event for $18,782.
$3,700 WPT Main Event
The $3,700 WPT Choctaw Main Event proved a popular affair, and attracted enough players to create a prize pool $1.54 million in excess of its original $1 million guarantee. A total of 96 competitors would then see a return on their buy-ins, including Brian Altman in 96th ($2,932), Chris Moorman in 86th ($6,245), Artur Papazyan in 43rd ($10,415), Nick Pupillo in 30th ($13,990), Bryan Piccioli in 22nd ($16,515), and Men Nguyen in 11th ($36,230).
The final table featured a number of experienced pros, such as WSOPC and WPT title holder Tony Ruberto, and WPT Lucky Hearts winner Viet Van Vo. By far the most recognizable pro, however, was Anthony Zinno, who has amassed 3 WPT titles as well a WSOP bracelet throughout his illustrious career.
Nevertheless, Holiman was the big stack as the action got underway and thirty minutes and a few eliminations later he managed to add further to his stack after being dealt A-K and facing off against second chip leader Timothy Domboski. An ace on the flop subsequently saw Domboski crash out in 6th place, albeit with a $95,780 paycheck to ease his disappointment, while Holiman succeeded in commandeering 50% of the chips still in play.
An hour later, Holiman (Q-10) eliminated a short stacked Zinno (A-4) in 5th place, before the very next hand being dealt pocket queens and doing likewise to another short stack, this time Tony Ruberto (J-7), who then had to settle for a 4th place finish worth $166,605.
Next, Viet Vo (A-10) called Christopher Smith’s (K-10) all-in move from the small blind, with the Q-5-3-8-6 board that ensued proving no help for Smith who departed in 3rd place, leaving Holiman and Viet Vo to battle it out for the coveted WPT title.
Brady Holiman vs Viet Vo
Holiman held a 3-2 chips advantage at the start of heads-up play, and despite Viet Vo drawing even at one stage, Holiman managed pull ahead once more by the time the deciding hand was reached. Viet Vo must have been feeling pretty good after being dealt pocket kings on hand 17, especially after a raising war saw Holiman moving all-in preflop holding A-J. After making the call, however, Viet Vo watched the dealer produce a J-J-6 flop, followed by a 3 and 7 on turn and river to bring his WPT title aspirations to a close for now. Meanwhile, Holiman collected $469,185 for the win, and also received a ticket through to the season-ending Tournament of Champions.
Final Table Results
1: Brady Holiman $469,185
2: Viet Vo $320,725
3: Christopher Smith $223,370
4: Tony Ruberto $166,605
5: Anthony Zinno $125,630
6: Timothy Domboski $95,780
7: Jacob Haller $73,845
8: Casey Diener $57,580
9: Andrew Crookston $45,410
Next stop on the World Poker Tour is the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which will feature 21 events throughout its run from September 5-22. The $3,500 WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship Main Event will subsequently take place from September 17-22, and will feature a huge $3 million guaranteed prize pool. Anyone making it through to the final table can look forward to seeing their experience immortalized on TV.