It took 14 hours and 117 hands, but Irvine, Calif. resident Mike Shariati took down two-time World Poker Tour (WPT) champion Freddy Deeb to win the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event title this week. The 786 players who completed at California’s Bicycle Casino built up a prize pool of $2,630,349; Shariati, a first-time winner, walked away with $675,942.
Shariati battled against top professionals like Deeb, Joe Kuether, Allen Kessler, Thomas Marchese, and Joseph Cheong before finally coming out on top, pushing his life-time earnings to just shy of $1 million.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Shariati, a professional poker player and genetic engineer/researcher, told onlinepoker.net. “Deeb is my favorite player, I like watching him on TV. It was a great experience for me.”
Eventual fourth-place finisher Aaron Kweskin was in the lead when the final table of six was set. Shariati and Deeb were in second and third-place, respectively, and stayed near the top of the chip count until the remaining competitors fell to the side. After 82 hands, it was down to the final two.
The last hand saw Deeb go all in on a K♡, 10♡. Shariati called immediately with Q♡, Q♤. A board showing 10♡, 2♤, 2♡, 9♢, 5♤ put Shariati’s Queens ahead of Deeb’s pair of 10s, ending the seven-day tournament. Deeb’s runner-up finish gave him a $383,090 payday.
Prior to his Los Angeles win, the Iranian-born Shariati had his last big score in March at the World Series of Poker Circuit Event 35: $160 No-Limit Hold’em Mega Millions XII where he won $275,000.
Final Table Results:
The World Poker Tour’s next stop will be the Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City from September 20-25.
(Photo credit: Asim Bijarani, Creative Commons.)
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