Chino Rheem, the three times WPT champion, made his way to the $25,000 buy-in PokerGo Tour Heads-up Shutdown event title by defeating four-time WPT champion Darren Elias in the finals. The champion overcame 32 entries and earned the top prize of $400,000 out of the $800,000 prize pool.
Chino Rheem’s lifetime earnings have increased to more than $12 million. He has five seven-figure scores, including around 1.8 million, which he received for his seventh place in the 2008 WSOP main event. Rheem is also the champion of the 2019 European Poker Tour PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event, where he accumulated around $1.5 million.
Rheem managed to beat Bill Klein to reach the semifinals, where he got rid of recent Wynn Millions second-place finisher, Isaac Kempton. Justin Young, WPT champion, also made his way to the semifinals but was defeated by Elias. Both the semifinalists earned $100,000 as a consolation prize.
The Heads up play
The final play continued for around 100 minutes. Elias’s stacks increased from 25,000 to more than 300,000, after taking the lead in a short time. The circumstances changed quickly when Rheem won a 340,000 chip pot. Rheem went for all-in (river) for 63,500 into a pot of 220,000 when the cards were A (clubs), K (clubs), 6 (Hearts), 3 (spades), and 8 (clubs) board having A (diamonds), J (clubs). Elias went for the call after analyzing the situation carefully with K (spades) 10(Hearts), which ended up in Rheem’s lead.
Elias moved all-in for 70,000 with his Q (spades) and 5 (Hearts) with blinds at 3,000/6,000. Rheem called with A (Spades), 8 (Hearts). Elias’s journey came to an end when the board ran out of 10(Hearts), J (spades), 7 (Diamonds), 2 (Clubs), and 9 (Diamonds). He earned $200,000 for his runner-up position.
Rheem expressed his joy and praised Darren for his great play. Both players know each other for a long time and went back and forth in the match. Rheem said that we made some bad decisions and calls, and got sticky with each other while having the pairs, Rheem added.
Short History of the finalists
Both finalists are well known for their remarkable success history. Rheem’s lifetime lives tournament earnings have now crossed $12.3 million, and Elias’s earnings are around $10 million. Rheem took the title of the $15,000 buy-in pot Omaha event at the US poker back in March, where he cashed $271,350. He secured 2nd place in the $15,000 no-limit hold ’em tournament in the same series and earned $210,000. Rheem is among the 7 players with three WPT titles and ranks eighth in earnings with five final table appearances.
Elias has four WPT titles and is willing to score his fifth by participating in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Shutdown Final table. He holds the chip lead and is already guaranteed a minimum of $215,000. Elias has 13 WPT final table appearances and is at 10th place in Poker Tour career lifetime earnings.
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