Zachary Smiley Triumphs at 2016 WPT Maryland Live for $356,536

Zachary Smiley has won the 2016 World Poker Tour Maryland Live main event, after beating a field of 554 players over four days on his way to capturing his first ever tournament title, and walking away with a top prize worth $356,536.
The $3,500 Main Event was held at Maryland Live!, the state’s biggest casino which in September generated $53.9 million in revenues from its 3,907 slot machines and 206 table games. The venue’s main event subsequently attracted a number of notable pros, with those cashing in at one of the tournament’s 63 money spots including Aaron Mermelstein, Jake Schwartz, Ryan Riess, Brent Roberts and Brian Altman.
By the time the final table had been reached, Smiley faced considerable opposition from some of the game’s most talented pros, including 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Benjamin Zamani, skilled female player Cate Hall with $548,215 in tournament winnings, and 2-times WPT champ Darren Elias.
As the final table got underway, the players were lined up as follows:
Ryan Belz 4,865,000 (81BB)
Darren Elias 4,515,000 (75BB)
Mario Silvestri 2,700,000 (45BB)
Ben Zamani 2,075,000 (35BB)
Zachary Smiley 1,255,000 (21BB)
Cate Hall 1,235,000 (21BB)
Ryan Belz (6-6) then eliminated Cate Hall (A-9) in 6th, while Zachary Smiley took care of Ben Zamani in 5th, before being dealt A-Q and sending Mario Silvestri (A-J) to the rail in 3rd to kick-off the heads-up phase of the competition.
As the final battle commenced, Smiley enjoyed a roughly 3-2 chip advantage over Belz, and a further 42 hands would be played before the deciding moment arrived with Smiley re-raising then moving all-in preflop holding pocket fives. Belz made the call with A-Q, and after the dealer laid out a 10-9-6-J-4 board, Belz finished in second place for a $239,412 payday, while Zachary Smiley was awarded the title, and a $356,536 first-place prize. The money and WPT title is likely to hold extra significance for Smiley, who only a few days earlier decided to drop out of medical school.
Final Table Payouts:
1: Zachary Smiley – $356,536
2: Ryan Belz – $239,412
3: Mario Silvestri – $153,983
4: Darren Elias – $113,905
5: Benjamin Zamani – $85,429
6: Cate Hall – $68,554

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