Nitis Udornpim entered the stacked final table of the WPT Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event as one of the short stacks. However, with laughs and smiles and smart moves, the player managed to fight his way back and eventually take down the tournament for his best live poker accomplishment.
Udornpim collected a $319,415 payday for his victory in the prestigious event and had his name etched on the one and only WPT Champions Cup. He also joined the elite WPT Champions Club that includes some of poker’s brightest talents.
The WPT Maryland at Live! Casino kicked off on September 28 to draw 495 entrants. The tournament’s field generated a prize pool of $1.584 million and the top 62 finishers scooped up a payout, min-cashes starting from $5,715.
The final day of the event started with six players left, all eyeing the top prize and some eyeing their first WPT title, while others were hopeful to add another accomplishment to their already impressive WPT record.
Three-time WPT Main Tour Main Event winner Anthony Zinno and one-time WPT champion Brian Altman were among the six finalists. However, none of the two was destined to capture last night’s title. It was Udornpim’s to win.
The latest WPT champ is a 25-year full-time poker player who hails from Bangkok, Thailand but now calls Baltimore, Maryland his home. Udornpim flew all the way from a visit in Thailand to enter the WPT Maryland’s Main Event on Day 1A.
As mentioned earlier, Udornpim wasn’t off to an easy start of the final day of action. The player was among the short stacks with 1.22 million chips, while Stephen Deutsch, his eventual heads-up opponent, was leading the way with just under 8 million.
Udornpim, who referred to a cockroach in his efforts to survive the tough final table, had a happy comeback after winning an all in against Altman. Udornpim tabled [As][Kc] against Altman’s [Jc][Jh]. A [Kh] on the river saved Udornpim and rocketed him to second with just three players left.
Two hands later the two clashed into each other again and that was Altman’s final hand in the tournament. With the former WPT champion out of the race, it was between Udornpim and Deutsch to determine the winner of the WPT Maryland.
The heads-up match kicked of with Deutsch as the chip leader. However, Udornpim managed to quickly capture the lead and eventually take down the tournament, sending his final opponent to the rail. Deutsch collected $202,905 for his failed attempt at the WPT title.
As for Udornpim, he secured his largest live tournament cash of $319,415 and his first WPT Main Tour Main Event title. Of his big victory, the player said that it “feels great to be a WPT champion.” The new member of WPT’s Champions Club added that he “couldn’t have run any better” and that his performance made him pretty excited with the end result.
Udornpim’s first-place prize includes a $15,000 ticket into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
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