The World Poker Tour’s first ever Tournament of Champions came to a conclusion on Sunday and when the confetti had fallen it was Farid Yachou standing alone as the winner.
Despite some mixed reactions to the inaugural Tournament of Champions (TOC), 64 World Poker Tour (WPT) champions from past and present anted up inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Under the terms of the event, all current champions were given free entry to the $15,000 while past champions were required to buy in for the full amount.
When the numbers had been counted and verified the total prize pool topped $1,060,000 in cash plus a few thousand more in bonus prizes.
Day 1 saw an all-star cast of pros sit down for a shot at WPT glory, but by the close of play, the 64 entrants had been whittled down to a more manageable 31.
Following the demise of Marvin Rettenmaier, Dan Smith, Phil Laak and an assortment of similarly notable pros, it was Yachou who topped the chip counts at the close of play.
Collecting just over 6,000 more chips than Michael Mizrachi, Yachou went into the penultimate day with the momentum firmly on his side and he didn’t let things slip.
Although he was surrounded by a veritable murder’s row of talent, the Moroccan (whose win at WPT Amsterdam this season is his only major live result) made his way to the final table with 22 big blinds.
However, with five players between him and the title and just one of those holding a smaller stack, the odds were against Yachou in the final stages. That fact didn’t seem to bother the fledgling pro though as he quickly found a spot to double his stack.
With his luck on a downside, Darren Elias made a move with Q-10 but couldn’t catch a slice of luck when he found himself all-in and behind Yachou’s pocket jacks.
That elimination after 38 hands opened the floodgates and by the time hand 60 rolled around the former chip leader Michael Mizrachi became the third place finisher.
Heading into the final stages of the event, Yachou and Vlad Darie were virtually even in chips but within 12 hands the final pot was pushed in the direction of the former after his after his As 2d caught the best piece of the 8h 2h 2c 10c 8d board.
In addition to scooping the WPT TOC championship trophy, Yachou banked $381,600 as well as a 2016 Corvette courtesy of Monster, a Hublot King Power Unico watch, a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones and an array of additional prizes.
1. Farid Yachou – $381,600
2. Vlad Darie – $224,190
3. Michael Mizrachi – $140,450
4. Jonathan Jaffe – $95,400
5. Noah Schwartz – $74,200
6. Darren Elias – $58,300