Istvan Briski Wins WPT Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Main Event

In the penultimate World Poker Tour main event of 2023, Istvan Briski emerged as the last player standing. The 30-year-old Hungarian triumphed over a field of 1,447 total entries in the WPT Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open, a $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. This victory marked Briski’s inaugural WPT title, accompanied by the top prize of $647,300.

Expressing his elation, Briski shared with the tour’s reporters, “It’s amazing to be a WPT champion. I ran really well in the tournament. I made it all the way, and I’m very happy.”

This achievement represented the second-largest payday in Briski’s tournament career, following his $833,404 score as the fifth-place finisher in the 2022 World Series of Poker Online $5,000 main event.

With this win, Briski has accumulated over $2.2 million in lifetime tournament earnings, boasting four six-figure scores along the way.

Furthermore, Briski’s deep run in this event earned him 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points. Coupled with the 440 points from his third-place finish in the $777 buy-in Lucky 7’s event at the year’s WSOP, Briski’s total points now stand at 1,880. This places him in the 224th position in the 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

The event drew a substantial crowd, easily surpassing the $3 million guarantee with a total prize pool of $4,630,400 distributed among the 181 finishers. Numerous notable players made deep runs, including Brian Altman (72nd), Chance Kornuth (69th), Alex Foxen (59th), Anthony Zinno (47th), Kyle Julius (28th), Chad Eveslage (19th), and Alessio Isaia (17th) – all accomplished in their own right with various poker accolades.

Following two starting flights and three days of intense play, the field narrowed to the final six contenders. Istvan Briski led the pack, with Sandy Sanchez in second chip position. On the final day, Darryll Fish, the 2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open main event champion, was the first to exit, earning $157,800 for his sixth-place finish.

Matt Bond’s journey concluded as his A-9 suited clashed with Fred Goldberg’s pocket jacks, earning Bond $206,900. Goldberg, contending for the chip lead, faced a setback against Rayan Chamas (‘Beriuzy’), eventually finishing in third place with a $274,000 prize.

In a preflop clash of pocket pairs, Chamas eliminated Sandy Sanchez in third place, securing $366,500 – the largest score on his tournament resume. Heads-up play commenced with Chamas holding 41,500,000 chips to Briski’s 30,900,000. The final two players struck a deal, allocating $600,000 for second place and $647,300 for the champion, along with a $10,400 seat in the WPT World Championship.

Despite a brief resurgence from Chamas, Briski’s turned trips secured a significant lead. Chamas doubled up once but found himself all-in again with a 10♠️8♣️ against Briski’s Q♦️4♣️. The board favored Briski, and his queen-high secured the pot and the championship title.

Chamas’ runner-up finish elevated his recorded tournament earnings to nearly $1.6 million.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

PlacePlayerEarningsPOY Points
1Istvan Briski$647,3001440
2Rayan Chamas$600,0001200
3Sandy Sanchez$366,500960
4Fred Goldberg$274,000720
5Matt Bond$206,900600
6Darryll Fish$157,800480

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