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Running from March 8 to 12, the four-day-long World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event attracted 280 entries generating $1,302,000 in the prize pool. Topping the field was Erkut Yilmaz who captured his second WPT title, along with a handsome payday of $303,920.
Yilmaz carried the third-biggest stack at the start of the final table and steadily worked his way up to reach the heads-up against Jim Collopy. After a long and drawn out heads-up battle, Yilmaz emerged victorious and walked away with a seat worth $15,000 to the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions.
This is the second WPT title that Yilmaz has won during Season XVII, and he is now the points leader in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with 2,300 total points. Yilmaz won his first WPT title at the WPT Borgata Poker Open back in September. This win has taken his career live tournament earnings up to $1,870,954.
“I feel like I’m in a dream right now, it feels great. I can’t believe it happened again, and so soon,” said Yilmaz right after the victory.
Talking about his supportive rail, he said, “It means a lot, they’re all my good friends. Actually, I only have friends in Sacramento, I don’t have any other friends in any other states, I’m so glad I got this title in Sacramento.”
“It was a very tough final table, all the players played great. The heads-up match was long, and he was playing great. I got lucky in a couple of spots and I won the tournament so I’m very happy,” said Yilmaz about the heads-up finale he played against Collopy.
Indian-origin Ajay Chabra was also a part of the star-studded six-player final table. He played exceptionally well to reach the top three, eliminating Jerry Robinson along the way. He eventually finished third for $130,345 (₹90,65,429).
The top 35 places were assured payouts and the notables among them were Joseph Cheong (8th for $38,190), Indian-origin Shankar Pillai (9th for $29,410 – ₹20,45,450), Jake Schwartz (14th for $18,700), Elio Fox (16th for $15,460), Indian-origin player Jasthi Kumar (23rd for $11,385 – ₹7,91,821) and Upeshka De Silva (27th for $10,155).
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Jim Collopy – 5,715,000
2. Dylan Linde – 1,675,000
3. Erkut Yilmaz – 1,635,000
4. Ajay Chabra – 1,135,000
5. Jerry Robinson – 795,000
6. Anthony Zinno – 245,000
Final Table Recap
Jerry Robinson (6th) was the first player to depart from the final table as he fell prey to Ajay Chabra. Robinson was quickly joined at the rail by WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Zinno (5th) who was eliminated by Jim Collopy.
Dylan Linde, who had won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event in December 2018 and was also a part of India’s Poker Sports League (PSL) Season 2 winning team Goan Nuts, saw his deep run come to an end when he faced off against Collopy. Linde’s found no help on the board , while Collopy rivered a pair of aces with . Linde exited in fourth place.
Three-handed play continued for almost four hours before Ajay Chabra hit the rail. Chabra’s were cracked by Collopy’s which improved to a pair of aces on the runout .
Erkut Yilmaz (6,300,000) and Jim Collopy (4,900,000) started the heads-up with the former having a slight edge over Collopy. Following more than 2 hours of play, Yilmaz finally trounced Collopy and clinched the title.
On the final hand, Yilmaz raised with , pressuring Collopy to move all-in with . Yilmaz called and the community cards spread out . While Collopy had picked up a pair of jacks on the flop, it wasn’t enough to defeat Yilmaz’s pair of aces. Yilmaz went on to claim his second WPT title along with a $15,000 seat in the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions!
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Erkut Yilmaz – $303,920*
2. Jim Collopy – $200,780
3. Ajay Chabra – $130,345
4. Dylan Linde – $95,530
5. Anthony Zinno – $68,860
6. Jerry Robinson – $50,720
*includes a $15,000 seat in the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions
Content & Images Courtesy: World Poker Tour