Poker Coverage:

Brian Altman Wins 2021 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event For His Third WPT Title

The Poker Pro From Longmeadow, MA Outlasted A Field of 1,165 Entries In The $3,500 Buy-In No-Limit Hold'em Event To Win $613,225


Brian Altman defeated a field of 1,165 entries to win the 2021 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Tampa $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The poker pro from Longmeadow, MA earned $613,225 and his third WPT title for the win, becoming just the seventh player to win three or more main events on the tour.

“This is a really special World Poker Tour title for me. I’m joining the exclusive club of three-time champions, which only a few people have done. To be among that company makes me feel really proud,” Altman told WPT reporters after securing the victory.

Altman now sits in a six-way tie for second place on the WPT titles leaderboard, joining Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, Eric Afriat, and Chino Rheem in having three wins on the main tour. Darren Elias currently sits alone atop the standings with four WPT titles. Altman, who won the WPT Player of the Year award for the tour’s 18th season, is now within one title of the top spot.

“To earn my fourth title and chase Darren [Elias] down would be pretty awesome. He’s a buddy of mine, and I appreciate him taking this one off and giving me a better shot to win, so kudos,” said Altman.

All three of Altman’s WPT title runs have taken place at Seminole Hard Rock properties. His two previous wins came in the same event: the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open which is held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. He took down that event in 2015 and 2020, becoming the first player to ever win the same WPT main event twice.

Altman now has more than $5.4 million in career live tournament earnings after this win. In addition to the title and the money, he was also awarded 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his his second win and fourth final-table finish of the year. With 2,928 total POY points and $1,014,326 in year-to-date earnings, Altman has climbed into fourth place in the 2021 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

The new year started off well for Altman, who secured a win and a seventh place finish in a pair of $1,100 buy-in preliminary events at the WPT Venetian series. In May he finished third in the long-delayed 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Open, which had set a final table more than a year earlier but had been delayed due to COVID-19. Altman earned $333,012 and 960 points for his strong showing in that event.

In his latest title run Altman secured the chip lead heading into the final day’s action. He extended his lead by winning a preflop race against T.K. Miles, with his AClub SuitKClub Suit prevailing over his opponent’s pocket jacks. Altman hit a king on the turn and held from there to send Miles to the rail in ninth place ($61,325).

Altman then proceeded to knock out Steven Queen (8th – $77,900) and David Berman (7th – $100,030) to narrow the field to just six contenders. Will Berry’s run in this event came to an end when his AClub Suit10Heart Suit ran into the AHeart SuitJHeart Suit of 2014 WPT Montreal winner Jonathan Jaffe. Berry failed to improve and was eliminated in sixth place ($129,825).

Jonathan JaffeJohn Haas was the next to fall. He got all-in preflop with ASpade SuitJDiamond Suit against the KDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit of Gabriel Abusada. The board brought three diamonds to give Abusada a winning flush, eliminating Haas in fifth place ($170,275).

Jonathan Jaffe’s quest for his second WPT title fell just short this time. He ran pocket sixes into the pocket eights of Altman preflop and was unable to come from behind. Jaffe earned $225,675 for his fourth-place showing, whole Altman took a sizable lead into three-handed play.

Like Jaffe, Zachary Smiley was also looking for his second victory on the WPT. The 2016 _ WPT Maryland_ main event winner got his last seven big blinds in with QDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit from the small blind. Altman called with ADiamond SuitQHeart Suit and the the runout improved neither player. Smiley took home $302,200 as the third-place finisher, the second-largest score of his career.

Heads-up play began with Altman holding better than a 3:1 chip lead over Gabriel Abusada. That lead was narrowed down to just a 3:2 advantage by the time the next major hand arose. With blinds of 150,000-300,000 and a big blind ante of 300,000, Abusada moved all-in for 18,525,000 from the button with 6Spade Suit6Club Suit. Altman called with JDiamond SuitJClub Suit and the board ran out KDiamond Suit9Heart Suit7Spade Suit10Spade Suit5Club Suit. Altman’s pocket jacks held up to earn him the pot and the title. Abusada was awarded $408,825 for his runner-up showing.

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

Place Player Earnings Card Player POY Points
1 Brian Altman $613,225 1,440
2 Gabriel Abusada $408,825 1,200
3 Zachary Smiley $302,200 960
4 Jonathan Jaffe $225,675 720
5 John Haas $170,275 600
6 William Berry $129,825 480
7 David Berman $100,030 360
8 Steven Queen $77,900 240
9 T.K. Miles $61,325 120

Photo credits: World Poker Tour / Joe Giron.