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Dapo Ajayi Wins 2021 World Poker Tour Choctaw $3,700 Main Event

The Colorado Resident Defeated A Massive Field of 964 Entries To Win $588,610 and His First WPT Title


The 2021 World Poker Tour Choctaw $3,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event attracted 964 entries, blowing away the $1 million guarantee to create a final prize pool of $3,272,780. In the end, it came down to a heads-up battle between a pair of former WPT main event runner-up finishers for who would walk away with the title and the top prize worth more than half of a million dollars. 2019 WPT Montreal second-place finisher Dapo Ajayi emerged victorious, defeating 2018 WPT Choctaw runner-up finisher Viet Vo to secure a $558,610 payday.

“It feels great. It was a long battle. Vo is a really tough player, he has had a lot of success recently, so yea, it’s humbling”, Ajayi told WPT reporters after coming out on top.

In addition to the title and the money, Ajayi was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to catapult him into 54th place in the 2021 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker. Vo took home 1,140 points as the runner-up finisher. This was his fourth final-table showing of the year, and with $1,194,895 in year-to-date earnings, Vo has climbed into seventh place in the overall rankings.

The final day of this event began with just six players remaining and Vo atop the leaderboard. On just the third hand of the day, Michael Perrone ran AHeart SuitJClub Suit into the AClub SuitQClub Suit of Calderon. The board brought no help and Perrone was eliminated in sixth place ($118,090).

Will Nguyen’s run in this event came to an end when his ADiamond Suit3Club Suit clashed with the pocket nines of Hunter Cichy. Nguyen hit an ace right away, but the flop also brought a nine to give Cichy middle set. Nguyen improved to aces up by the river, but it was not enough and he hit the rail in fifth place with $154,885 for his strong showing.

Hunter CichyDespite securing that knockout, Cichy remained the shortest stack at the start of four-handed action. Just ten hands later, Cichy was the one all-in and at risk. He held pocket sevens against the AHeart Suit9Spade Suit of Albert Calderon. The flop and river kept Cichy ahead, but the ADiamond Suit on the river gave Calderon a winning pair of aces. Cichy earned $205,330 as the fourth-place finisher.

With that, Calderon took the chip lead into three-handed play. Ajayi got the best of Calderon in a few early clashes, resulting in him overtaking the top spot on the leaderboard in time for the next key pot. Calderon limped in from the small blind with QHeart Suit5Heart Suit and Ajayi checked his option in the big blind with AClub Suit2Spade Suit. The flop came down ASpade SuitAHeart Suit8Heart Suit and Calderon bet 200,000 with his flopped flush draw. Ajayi raised to 650,000 with trip aces. Calderon called and the JSpade Suit hit the felt on the turn. Calderon checked. Ajayi bet 2,300,000. Calderon check-raised all-in for 12,825,000. Ajayi thought it over before making the call. The 5Diamond Suit on the river brought no help to Calderon, and he was eliminated in third place ($275,085). This was his second WPT final table of the year, having placed fifth in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown main event for $326,750 back in May.

Ajayi took almost a 3:1 chip advantage into heads-up play with Vo. The two went on to battle for more than 100 hands, with Vo even overtaking the lead during the middle of their clash for the title. In the end, Ajayi was able to regain control and build a sizable lead by the time the final hand was dealt. Vo shoved from the button for around five big blinds with QSpade Suit3Spade Suit and Ajayi called with KDiamond SuitKClub Suit. The board ran out 10Diamond Suit5Heart Suit2Heart SuitKHeart SuitQDiamond Suit and Vo earned $372,415 for his second runner-up finish in this event.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Dapo Ajayi $558,610 1,368
2 Viet Vo $372,415 1,140
3 Albert Calderon $275,085 912
4 Hunter Cichy $205,330 684
5 Will Nguyen $154,885 570
6 Michael Perrone $118,090 456

Photo credits: WPT / Joe Giron.