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David Larson Wins 2018 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event

Defeats Field of 440 Entries To Win $295,128 And First WPT Title


David Larson has won the 2018 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event. He outlasted a field of 440 total entries who turned out to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort to win $295,128 and his first WPT title. The San Jose, California resident’s largest previous cash was for just $11,500.

In addition to the money and the title, Larson also earned 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points, enough to move him into 40th place. This was his second final-table finish of the year, having finished seventh in the World Series of Poker Circuit Thunder Valley $365 buy-in bounty event earlier this year.

Larson came into the six-handed final table as the shortest stack, with just 18 big blinds. He got off to a great start, doubling up early and then eliminating D.J. Alexander in sixth place ($56,417). Five-handed play lasted for more than 60 hands. Ian Steinman then knocked out Andreas Kniep (5th – $69,650) and Ping Liu (4th – $97,510) to take the lead into three-handed play. 2015 World Series of Poker main event champion Joseph McKeehen had the next largest stack, with Larson remaining the short stack.

Things then changed dramatically in a matter of hands, starting with Larson doubling up through McKeehen with the ADiamond SuitKSpade Suit that be picked up in the big blind. Steinman had folded and McKeehen moved all-in with QHeart Suit7Diamond Suit, having Larson’s ten big blinds or so well covered. Not long after that Larson flopped a set of sevens against McKeehen’s top pair and won another sizable pot, leaving McKeehen on the short stack. A few hands later Larson sent McKeehen to the rail in third place with $131,081.

Steinman took nearly a 2-to-1 advantage into heads-up play, but after only six hands Larson had closed the gap and overtaken the lead.

By the time the final hand arose Larson had pulled out to nearly a 3-to-1 advantage. With blinds of 75,000-150,000 and an ante of 25,000 Larson raised to 375,000 from the button and Steinman reraised to 1.1 million. Larson called and the flop brought the ADiamond SuitJSpade Suit6Club Suit. Steinman check-called a bet of 400,000. The AHeart Suit hit the turn and both players checked. The QSpade Suit completed the board and Steinman bet 500,000. Larson moved all-in and Steinman called with the KSpade SuitKClub Suit, only to have Larson show the ASpade Suit6Diamond Suit for aces full of sixes. With that Larson secured the pot and the title, sending Steinman to the rail with $201,428 for his runner-up showing.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 David Larson $295,128 1080
2 Ian Steinman $201,428 900
3 Joseph McKeehen $131,081 720
4 Ping Liu $97,510 540
5 Andreas Kniep $69,650 450
6 D.J. Alexander $56,417 360
7 Paul McCaffrey $43,322 270
8 Glenn Larson $43,322 180
9 Pat Lyons $30,228 90

Winner photo courtesy of WPT / Joe Giron.