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Brian Altman Becomes The First Player To Ever Win The Same World Poker Tour Main Event Twice

The Poker Pro Topped A Field of 843 To Win The 2020 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, Having Previously Won The 2015 Running Of This Exact Event


Brian Altman has written his name in the poker history books by becoming the first player to ever win the same World Poker Tour main event twice. Altman defeated a field of 843 entries to take down the 2020 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, just five years after having won the same tournament in 2015. The poker pro from Longmeadow, Massachusetts earned $482,636 for his latest victory in this huge event, which is held each year at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood.

“This is incredibly special. It’s amazing to be the first person to win the same WPT event twice, and kind of cement myself in history with this event. Obviously it’s fantastic to get big wins, but playing these events I’m happy to put myself in a position to go deep, be chip leader, and make final tables,” Altman told WPT reporters after coming out on top. “Winning a second WPT title feels amazing. It’s incredibly special. It doesn’t always work out. I’ve had maybe a dozen or so situations where I’ve gone deep and thought I was going to win and I didn’t. But that’s how tournaments go. To continually put myself in a position to win tournaments, it feels special.”

In addition to securing the title and the money, Altman was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his fiurst POY-qualified score of the Year, but it alone was enough to see him climb into fifth place in the 2020 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

The final day of the tournament began with Altman in the lead, with John Dollinger hot on his heels. The two sat with 139 and 137 big blinds when play resumed, while the next largest stack, belonging to Nadeem Hirani, represented 67 big blinds.

Dollinger secured the first knockout of the day. Peter Walsworth shoved over his continuation bet on a 3Club Suit2Club Suit2Diamond Suit flop holding AHeart Suit7Diamond Suit. Dollinger made the call with 9Spade Suit9Club Suit and was able to hold from there, with the 5Diamond Suit and the 5Spade Suit completing the board. Walsworth earned $98,686 as the sixth-place finisher.

Nadeem Hirani slid down the leaderboard after losing a key pot against Altman, who had been bluffing until he runner-runnered a straight. Hirani was left short after that. He got his last chips in calling a blind-versus-blind shove from Altman, who had JHeart Suit10Diamond Suit. Hirani was ahead with ADiamond SuitKClub Suit, but the board ran out 10Spade Suit6Heart Suit2Spade Suit7Club Suit3Spade Suit to give Altman the winning pair of tens. Hirani had to settle for $129,438.

The next elimination saw Nadya Magnus, who broke onto the poker scene as the ‘loose cannon’ star of the PokerStars Big Game televised cash game show, get her last chips in with AHeart SuitQSpade Suit up against the ADiamond SuitKClub Suit of Altman. Neither player improved and Magnus was sent to the rail in fourth place ($171,642).

Chanracy Khun was left as the clear short stack, with Altman and Dollinger battling it out for the lead. His run in this event came to an end when he called the small-blind shove of Dollinger with ADiamond Suit2Heart Suit. He was ahead of Dollinger’s 10Heart Suit8Heart Suit, but the KDiamond Suit10Club Suit9Heart Suit10Spade Suit7Spade Suit runout gave Dollinger trips to secure the pot and the knockout. Khun cashed for $230,086 as the third-place finisher.

With that Dollinger took roughly a 5:3 chip lead into heads-up play against Altman. It took only two hands for Altman to wrest the lead away, winning a key pot with trips to move into pole position. By the time the final hand was dealt, Altman had extended his advantage to roughly 2.5:1. Dollinger began the hand by limping in from the button for 250,000. Altman raised to 800,000 from the big blind. Dollinger quickly shoved for 9,175,000 with the ASpade Suit8Diamond Suit. Altman snap-called holding ADiamond SuitAClub Suit. The board came down KClub Suit9Spade Suit7Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit10Diamond Suit to lock up the pot and the title for Altman. Dollinger earned $311,751 as the runner-up.

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

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Brian Altman $482,636 1368
2 John Dollinger $311,751 1140
3 Chanracy Khun $230,086 912
4 Nadya Magnus $171,642 684
5 Nadeem Hirani $129,438 570
6 Peter Walsworth $98,686 456

Winner photo credit: Joe Giron / WPT.