Brian Altman had one of his best years yet on the live tournament circuit in 2021, and appears to be carrying that momentum with him into the new year. The 33-year-old poker pro already had three World Poker Tour main event titles on his resume. After his most recent title run, he now also has a trio of World Series of Poker Circuit gold rings to his name. On Monday, Feb. 14, Altman closed out a victory in the 2022 WSOP Circuit Isle Casino Pompano Park $1,700 buy-in main event, defeating a field of 725 and a tough final table to earn the hardware and the top prize of $204,935.
“I am very excited to get my third ring, and now I get an invite to the ‘tournament of champions,” Altman said to WSOP live reporters after closing out the victory.
This was the 14th time that Altman recorded a six-figure score in a live event. The win pushed his career earnings over the $6 million mark.
In addition to the title and the money, Altman was also awarded 912 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to see him join the top 20 in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
Altman entered the final day of this event with a big lead, sitting with 9,800,000 of the 21,690,000 total chips in play with seven players remaining. He extended his advantage even further by scoring the first knockout of the day when his AHeart SuitQClub Suit overcame the KClub SuitKDiamond Suit of Michael Graffeo in a preflop showdown. Altman flopped an ace and held from there to eliminate Graffeo in seventh place ($31,139).
Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Athanasios Polychronopoulos won a classic preflop race when his A-K outran the pocket queens of Paul Snead. An ace on the turn spelled the end of Snead, who earned $40,294 as the sixth-place finisher.
WPT champion Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla came into the final day as the shortest stack but managed to double up early to remove himself from the bottom of the leaderboard. He further added to his growing stack by eliminating Raymond Brint in fifth place. Brins shoved from the small blind with K-4 suited and Failla called with A-8 suited. Neither player improved by the river and Failla’s ace-high earned him the pot. Brint secured $52,745 for his deep run.
Failla also handled the next elimination, with his pocket kings holding up against the pocket sevens of Timothy Little (4th – $69,842). Failla was ultimately on the wrong side of a preflop battle of pocket pairs when his tournament came to an end. His 99 were unable to come from behind against Polychronopoulos’ JJ. Failla took home $93,528 for his third-place showing. The score increased his lifetime earnings to more than $6.4 million.
With that Polychronopoulos set up a heads-up showdown with Altman for the title and the ring. Polychronopoulos jumped out to an early lead, but Altman won a big pot with a six-high straight to regain the lead. In the final hand Polychronopoulos shoved from the big blind with K2 after Altman had limped in from the button. Altman quickly called with AQ and the board ran out A1046J to lock up the pot and the title for Altman. Polychronopoulos was awarded $126,653 as the runner-up.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points|
Photo credits: World Series of Poker.