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This Week’s Big Winner: Eric Afriat Wins Fallsview Poker Classic For His Third WPT Title

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 08, 2020

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Eric Afriat has won the 2020 World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 CAD no-limit hold’em main event. After coming close in 2019 with a runner-up finish in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the Canadian outlasted a field of 549 entries in the event to win his third WPT main event title, becoming just the sixth player in the tour’s history to win three or more events.

“When I finished second,” said Afriat, “I was depressed. I came in as the chip leader heads-up, and I was excited. I said, ‘This is it, it’s my third title.’ But I left empty-handed, and it hurt so much. But who hurt the most was my son. He told me, ‘Daddy, you didn’t come back with the trophy.’ I said, ‘I’m going to get you another trophy.’ I told my wife, ‘That’s the motivation I needed to go and win another trophy.’

The 2014 Hard Rock Poker Showdown and 2018 Borgata Winter Poker Open champion now has more than $3.1 million in career earnings in WPT events, making up the majority of his $3.7 million in total live tournament cashes. He also has a sixth-place finish in the 2010 Bellagio Cup and a ninth-place showing at last year’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

“It’s surreal. It just feels incredible. Three-time WPT champion,” Afriat told WPT reporters after securing the victory. “When I sat down, I said to myself, I just want to win in Niagara Falls. I just want to win in my country. To win in Canada, with the Canadian flag, it’s amazing. It’s a great, great feeling. I haven’t been happy like this in a long time.”

The final day of this event began with 15 players remaining, with Afriat sitting in tenth chip position when play resumed. Afriat managed to survive to six-handed action as the shortest stack, bringing just 15 big blinds to the WPT final table.

Here are the five hands that propelled Afriat to the title.

Tournament: WPT Fallsview Poker Classic
Buy-In: CAD$5,000 ($3,769)
No. of Entries: 594
Prize Pool: $2,020,930
1st Place Prize: CAD$508,021 ($394,120)

The Action

With 15 players remaining, Afriat found himself short stacked and opened to 90,000 from the hijack. Brar then three-bet to 275,000 and Afriat shoved for his last 845,000. Brar quickly called with pocket jacks, and Afriat was behind with his suited ace. Fortunately for him, the board ran out AClub Suit KSpade Suit 5Club Suit 6Spade Suit 10Diamond Suit to give him two pair and the double.

The Action

Sitting five-handed, Afriat raised to 500,000 from the button, which was more than half of his stack. Carpentier-Perrault then moved all in from the big blind, and Afriat called off the rest with pocket deuces. Carpentier-Perrault was well ahead with pocket aces, but the board fell 8Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 2Club Suit 5Club Suit 4Spade Suit to give Afriat a full house and new life in the tournament.

The Action

Afriat limped in on the button and Hien Nguyen raised to 360,000 from the small blind. Afriat then moved all in for 1,500,000. Hien Nguyen immediately called with pocket aces, and Afriat saw that he had been coolered with his pocket kings. Nonetheless, the dealer brought out the KClub Suit on the turn to see Afriat come from behind once again to double up.

The Action

Afriat raised to 270,000 from under-the-gun and Kiriopoulos three-bet shoved for his last 2,200,000 from the small blind. Afriat quickly called with pocket jacks, and Kiriopoulos was in rough shape with 10Spade Suit 9Spade Suit. Afriat flopped top set when the dealer brought out the JDiamond Suit 7Club Suit 5Spade Suit, but Kiriopoulos still had life with a gutshot straight draw. The 2Spade Suit on the turn added a flush draw, but the 7Heart Suit on the river was a brick. It wasn’t the $382,894 he banked a year earlier for the win, but Kiriopoulos had quite the run defending his title and was eliminated in fifth place, earning $93,917.

The Action

Carpentier-Perrault raised to 500,000 on the button and Afriat three-bet to 2,000,000. Carpentier-Perrault then shoved for his last 9,520,000, and Afriat ultimately made the call with pocket sevens. Carpentier-Perrault showed ADiamond Suit 5Club Suit and needed some help, but was still drawing thin as the flop fell QHeart Suit 10Diamond Suit 2Diamond Suit. The turn was the 8Diamond Suit, giving him the nut flush draw, but the river was the 2Club Suit, ending his tournament run in second place. He earned $265,805. Afriat dragged the last pot of the event, and along with it picked up the trophy, his third WPT title, and the $394,120 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Eric Afriat — CAD$508,021 ($394,120)
2. Marc-Olivier Carpentier-Perrault — CAD$356,180 ($265,805)
3. Adam Hui — CAD$229,013 ($170,905)
4. Trung Hien Nguyen — CAD$163,965 ($122,361)
5. Demo Kiriopoulos — CAD$125,850 ($93,917)
6. Zuhair Al-Pachachi — CAD$103,217 ($77,027)
7. Paul Brar — CAD$84,939 ($63,387)
8. Robert Petronio — CAD$67,736 ($50,549)
9. Sam Zhu — CAD$50,802 ($37,911)