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This Week’s Big Winner: Tony Tran Beats Jake Schwartz Again To Win His Second World Poker Tour Title

by Card Player News Team |  Published: May 06, 2020


Tony Tran emerged victorious from a field of 250 entries to win the 2020 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, earning his second WPT title and the top prize of $279,270. Incredibly, Tran’s heads-up opponent in this tournament was none other than Jake Schwartz, who also finished runner-up to Tran in his previous title run at the 2018 WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble.

The final table also featured reigning WPT Player of the Year and the tournament’s defending champion Erkut Yilmaz, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Shankar Pillai, and Germany’s Robert Heidorn, who bubbled the 2019 WSOP main event final table.

“I feel really good that I’m actually a champion again. It just shows that the first one was not a fluke,” Tran told WPT reporters after securing the win. “I don’t think it compares to the first one, but the second one is definitely good because I think there are only a few that actually have [at least two] WPT titles.”

In fact, the 32-year-old real estate investor from Philadelphia became just the 25th player in tour history to secure two or more wins.

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

The Action

Rabichow raised to 80,000 from under the gun, and Tran called from the button. Yilmaz then three-bet to 345,000 from the small blind, forcing Rabichow to fold. Tran responded with a shove, and Yilmaz made a quick call with pocket jacks. Tran held pocket queens, however, and they held as the board fell ADiamond Suit 6Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit QClub Suit 7Spade Suit.

The Action

After doubling up Schwartz, Yilmaz was left with less than nine big blinds and decided to commit them with 9Club Suit 5Club Suit after a shove from Tran in the small blind. Tran was behind with 8Diamond Suit 7Diamond Suit, but was able to connect as the board ran out 6Heart Suit 6Spade Suit 3Spade Suit 7Spade Suit KDiamond Suit. Yilmaz, who won this very same event in 2019 for $303,920 en route to winning WPT POY honors, had to settle for a $61,685 consolation prize for fifth place.

The Action

Rabichow moved all in from the button for his last 1,175,000, and Tran made the call from the big blind with AClub Suit JClub Suit. Rabichow had his suits covered, but was at least drawing live with KClub Suit 4Club Suit. Unfortunately for him, the flop fell QDiamond Suit QHeart Suit JHeart Suit to leave him drawing to three outs. They never came, and Tran went on to improve to a full house. Rabichow, who has been on a heater in the last year with a runner-up finish at the partypoker Millions North America main event, picked up another $85,800 for his deep run.

The Action

Heidorn moved in for his last 1,625,000 on the button and Tran woke up with pocket tens in the big blind to make the easy call. Heidorn was a 4:1 underdog with his pocket deuces, and the German poker pro couldn’t catch up as the dealer produced a board of ADiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 3Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit. Heidorn banked $122,105 for his third-place finish, while Tran took a big lead into his rematch with Schwartz.

The Action

Tran entered heads-up play with a 4:1 chip advantage and held onto it despite a double up from Schwartz during their 28-hand showdown. On the final hand, Tran raised the button to 250,000, and Schwartz moved in for his last thirteen big blinds with JHeart Suit 10Heart Suit. Unfortunately for him, Tran called with a dominating QClub Suit 10Spade Suit, making him a big favorite to take the title. The flop fell JDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit 8Club Suit, giving Schwartz one of his three needed outs, but it also gave Tran a straight, and a stranglehold on the pot. The turn and river fell 5Diamond Suit 7Spade Suit, and Schwartz was once again eliminated in second place, this time earning $177,680. Tran picked up his second win on the tour, the trophy, and the $279,270 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Tony Tran — $279,270
2. Jake Schwartz — $177,680
3. Robert Heidorn — $122,105
4. Kevin Rabichow — $85,800
5. Erkut Yilmaz — $61,685
6. Shankar Pillai — $45,390