The 2014 World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event wrapped up Tuesday as the six players at the final table competed to see who would take the crown of the year’s first WPT event in Florida. Fittingly, it was Floridian James Calderaro who ended up on top, beating Shannon Shorr heads up to win $271,103.
Calderaro began Day 4 in good shape with 2,649,000 chips, behind only Dimas Martinez, Jr. (3,558,000) and Shorr (3,478,000). While that was not the smallest of gaps to overcome, it was more than doable (obviously) and still smaller than the gap between Calderaro and the next player down, Tim Kegel, who had 1,271,000 chips.
It took only six hands to see the first elimination and not surprisingly, it was Evan Dollinger, the shortest stack at the table, to go. After a raise by Calderaro and a re-raise by Martinez pre-flop, Dollinger shoved for close to 600,000 chips. Calderaro got out of the way, but Martinez made the call with 7-7. Dollinger was looking good with T-T, but a 7 flopped to give Calderaro a set and Dollinger was eliminated in sixth place.
It wasn’t for about another hour, on Hand 34, that the next elimination occurred. In that hand, Shorr raised pre-flop with 2♥-2♠, Kegel moved all-in for 405,000 with A♣-K♣, and Shorr called. It was a race. The board ran out K♥-J♥-8♦-9♥-7♥, giving Shorr the flush after Kegel paired his King on the flop.
Hand 78 was also quite active pre-flop. Keven Stammen raised to 90,000, Calderaro three-bet to 240,000, and Martinez, who had seen his stack slashed earlier, moved all-in for 1,615,000. That was too rich for Stammen’s blood, but Calderaro, after seeing how much Martinez was wagering, made the call. It was another race: Martinez with A-K and Calderaro with T-T. Neither man’s hand improved and Calderaro scooped a huge pot while knocking Martinez out of the tournament in fourth place.
If you have read from the beginning you have probably figured out that Stammen was the next to go, but he fought valiantly against the two big stacks before finally succumbing. In another pre-flop all-in, Stammen put his tournament life on the line with A-K and was doing great against Calderaro’s A-9 until a 9 fell on the river, dooming Stammen.
Going into heads-up play, Shorr had the lead on Calderaro, 6,715,000 to 5,750,000. It was a long heads-up match, around 100 hands. Shorr seemed to be in command for the first third, extending his lead to 2-to-1 at one point, but on Hand 133 of the final table, Calderaro forced Shorr out of a big hand to pull almost even. On the next hand, he took the lead and quickly built his stack up to over 7,000,000.
Calderaro maintained a sizeable edge for a long time, increasing his chip count to the mid-8,000,000’s, before relinquishing the lead on Hand 197 when Shorr won a 2,810,000 pot with runner-runner trip Tens against Calderaro’s flopped two pair.
Calderaro remained unfazed, though, and took the lead back just a few hands later. Shorr flipped the tables again, but on Hand 207, with the chip stacks 6,500,000 to 5,965,000 in Shorr’s favor, Calderaro hit a sneaky two pair with T-7 against Shorr’s pocket Aces to double-up and cripple Shorr. Two hands later, he finished the job. Calderaro went all-in with 9♦-8♦ and Shorr called with A♦-J♥. The flop came out 5♣-5♠-3♦, innocent looking enough. But the K♦ on the turn and 6♦ on the river gave Calderaro the runner-runner flush and the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open title.
2014 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event – Final Table Results
James Calderaro – $271,103
Shannon Shorr – $190,039
Keven Stammen – $122,197
Dimas Martinez, Jr. – $90,366
Tim Kegel – $67,842
Evan Dollinger – $54,355