Darren Elias Claims Record 4th WPT Title

Darren Elias Claims Record 4th WPT Title

Darren Elias has made World Poker Tour history after claiming a 4th career title whilst competing at the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic in Las Vegas. Prior to his win, Elias had been tied with Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Anthony Zinno, and David “Chino” Rheem on three titles, but now pulls away from his illustrious competitors to occupy a top spot of all of his own.

Last October, Darren Elias came close to securing a fourth WPT title after entering the final table of the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in pole position. Unfortunately for him, Elias was subsequently caught on the wrong end of some negative variance and ultimately had to settle for a third place finish worth $135,548, behind Samuel Panzica II and eventual champion Paul Petraglia.

This time around, the stars were clearly aligned in Elias’s favor, and posting news of his record breaking victory via twitter, the New Jersey pro also took the opportunity to thank his fans for their overwhelming support. This prompted a number of well wishes from some of his more than 4.5k followers, including WSOP and WPT title holder David Williams, who tweeted back:

“Been saying you’re the best since we first played together at the Borgata many years ago. Congrats man!”

Six Million Dollar Man

Darren Elias cashed in at his first live tournament back in 2008, and in 2014 he recorded his best year to date after earning $1,317,085, including winning the WPT Borgata Poker Open for $843,744, and the WPT Caribbean for $127,680. In 2017, he then took down the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $335,436, followed this year by the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic for $387,580, and to date Elias has now amassed $6,024,703 in live winnings.

In addition, Elias has won a further $3,804,230 playing online tournaments, with his biggest win coming in 2012 after overcoming a field of 297 players at the PokerStars WCOOP-22: $10,300 NL Hold’em [High Roller] for $574,695.

WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic

The WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic was held at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, with 162 players paying its $10k price tag to create a prize pool worth $1,555,200. Amongst the notable players finishing in one of its 21 money spots was Jared Jaffee in 16th ($22,580), Kevin Eyster in 13th ($26,100), Manig Loeser in 12th ($30,845), Stephen Chidwick in 9th ($37,255), and Phil Hellmuth Jr in 7th ($57,935).

Final Table

The final table of six was stacked with some of the game’s most accomplished players, including four WPT title holders, the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, and last woman standing Kitty Kuo, who is currently one of Taiwan’s biggest poker money earners.

After bouncing Phil Hellmuth from the competition in 7th place, Elias entered the final table on a huge 177-big blind stack, towering over competitors such as Jonathan Little (25bbs) and Dietrich Fast (67bbs).

Sam Panzica (A-4) then got fortunate to eliminate Little (A-J) in 6th place, but the 2-time WPT champ later dropped to a shortstack himself before his A-Q four-bet shove was picked off by Elias (6-6) for a 5th place finish worth $97,795.

Next, Dietrich Fast (A-A) was all-in against Kuo (Ad-10d) on a Kc-3d-6d flop, with a Qd on the turn then sealing his fate in 4th, after which McKeehen moved all-in holding Ad-Qd against Elias’ Ac-2c. Fortunately for Elias, the board ran out 7d-2c-Kc-5c-8s to see off McKeehen in 3rd spot, and as Elias later pointed out:

“We had been battling in that spot, button versus big blind. I figured I had a good hand to put pressure on him. He made a good call. He was playing for the win, and I respect that. He just got unlucky.”


Elias entered heads-up play holding a 3-1 chip advantage over Kitty Kuo, but 103 hands would then ensue before the deciding moment arrived with Kuo, at this stage down to 10bbs, going all-in holding A-5 to her opponent’s A-10. The rest, as they say, is history, and commenting upon his tough final opponent, Elias said:

“She was short most of the time. With the strategy she was playing, if I didn’t get good cards it was going to take awhile. We were both limping. She was limping a ton. I didn’t really want to press the action if I didn’t have to. The blinds kept going up and she just wouldn’t die. She played tough.”

Nevertheless, Kuo only qualified for the $10,000 buy-in event via a $1,000 satellite, with the $248,380 runner-up prize she subsequently received for her hard fought efforts representing her best score to date. As a result, she now boasts $1,847,367 in career earnings, with 2018 already proving to be her most successful to date with $447,111 in live winnings.

Final Table Results

1: Darren Elias $387,580
2: Kitty Kuo $248,380
3: Joe McKeehen $178,610
4: Dietrich Fast $130,895
5: Sam Panzica $97,795
6: Jonathan Little $74,520