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WPT -- Daniel Alaei Wins Doyle Brunson Classic Championship

Alaei Takes Home his First WPT Title and $1,428,430


Daniel Alaei Celebrates his Victory with his FatherThe final table at the World Poker Tour Five-Diamond Doyle Brunson World Poker Classic took place on Saturday at Bellagio and it was loaded with talent. Every player that made the final day of the tournament was a professional and two of them were former WPT champions. An enthusiastic crowd filled the audience and excitement hung in the air before the final table. Here were the chip counts when play began:

Seat 1 — Daniel Alaei — 3,925,000 (pictured right)
Seat 2 — Faraz Jaka — 5,385,000
Seat 3 — Josh Arieh — 1,710,000
Seat 4 — Steve O’Dwyer — 1,050,000
Seat 5 — Scotty Nguyen — 4,900,000
Seat 6 — Shawn Buchanan — 2,800,000

Play began slowly between the final competitors. They all knew that the collection of skill seated at the final table commanded their respect, and a measured approach set the pace of play. The first elimination did not take place until the 47th hand of play and the first player to fall was Steve O’Dwyer in sixth place ($202,362). Scotty Nguyen sent him home with a set of jacks. Five-handed play was an even longer trek. Nguyen moved all in preflop with pocket nines on the 104th hand of play and Faraz Jaka woke up behind him with pocket kings. The kings held and Nguyen was sent home in fifth place ($249,976).

Action picked up after that and just five hands later Shawn Buchanan moved all in with K-8 preflop under the gun and Daniel Alaei was waiting behind him with A-K. The board missed both players and Buchanan was eliminated in fourth place ($333,302) by the strength of Alaei’s ace-high. The elimination of Buchanan also ensured that a first-time WPT champion would be crowned at the final table.

The faster pace of eliminations continued when the heads-up final was set 122 hands into the final table. Jaka moved all in preflop with A-6 on the hand and Alaei woke up behind him with pocket kings. Alaei then flopped a set of kings and Jaka was eliminated in third place ($571,374). Alaei gained some chips, but he still faced a huge deficit heading into the final match against Josh Arieh. Here were the chip counts when heads-up play began:

Josh Arieh: 12,990,000
Daniel Alaei: 6,780,000

Alaei quickly turned the tables when he doubled up with pocket queens two hands into the match against Arieh, who held A-K. Alaei’s stack shot up to 14.6 million after the hand and Arieh was left with 5.13 million. Things were far from over though. Arieh was all in next with A-7 in the hole. Alaei had him covered and dominated with A-Q, but Arieh spiked a 7 on the turn to survive and he evened up the chip counts. A few pots later the final hand took place. Arieh moved all in on a 10-5-2 flop and Alaei made the call. Arieh held pocket sevens and Alaei was ahead with 10-8. The turn and river provided no assistance to Arieh and he was eliminated in second place ($952,290).

Alaei won the tournament to take home $1,428,430 and his career tournament earnings are now close to $4 million. Alaei adds his first WPT title to a trophy case that includes two World Series of Poker gold bracelets. Alaei was also awarded a $25,000 seat in the 2010 WPT Championship, a WPT bracelet, and a champion’s Rolex from Bellagio.

Here are the final results:

1: Daniel Alaei — $1,428,430
2: Josh Arieh — $952,290
3: Faraz Jaka — $571,374
4: Shawn Buchanan — $333,302
5: Scotty Nguyen — $249,976
6: Steve O’Dwyer — $202,362

Here is a look at the elimination hands as featured in’s live updates:

Steve O'DwyerSteve O’Dwyer Eliminated in Sixth Place ($202,362)

Steve O’Dwyer (pictured right) moved all in from the small blind for 1,935,000 and Scotty Nguyen instantly called with pocket jacks. O’Dwyer shrugged and turned over ADiamond Suit 6Diamond Suit, but lost when the board came JHeart Suit 7Spade Suit 6Spade Suit ASpade Suit 4Heart Suit.

O’Dwyer was eliminated and exited from the tournament area.

Scotty NguyenScotty Nguyen Eliminated in Fifth Place ($249,976)

Josh Arieh raised to 350,000 from under the gun and Scotty Nguyen (pictured left) moved all in for his last 1,365,000. Faraz Jaka then moved all in for 5,180,000 and Arieh folded.

Jaka showed pocket kings and Nguyen was in trouble with pocket nines. The board ran out ADiamond Suit JDiamond Suit 8Club Suit 2Heart Suit 8Spade Suit and Nguyen was eliminated.

Shawn BuchananShawn Buchanan Eliminated in Fourth Place ($333,302)

Shawn Buchanan (pictured right) moved all in from under the gun for 1,540,000 and Daniel Alaei isolated all in for his last 3,745,000. Everyone folded and Buchanan showed KHeart Suit 8Diamond Suit, which was dominated by Alaei’s AClub Suit KDiamond Suit.

The board came 9Heart Suit 7Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit 9Spade Suit JDiamond Suit and Buchanan was eliminated.

Faraz JakaFaraz Jaka Eliminated in Third Place ($571,374)

Faraz Jaka (pictured left) moved all in from the button for 2,590,000 and Daniel Alaei called in the big blind.

Jaka showed ASpade Suit 6Heart Suit, but Alaei woke up with pocket kings. The board ran out KSpade Suit 10Club Suit 4Heart Suit 8Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit and Jaka was eliminated.

Josh AriehDaniel Alaei Wins WPT Doyle Brunson Classic Championship ($1,428,430) — Josh Arieh Eliminated in Second Place ($952,290)

After winning two small pots, Daniel Alaei had Josh Arieh (pictured right) covered when the final hand went down. Alaei raised to 700,000 and Arieh called.

The flop came down 10Diamond Suit 5Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit and Alaei bet 900,000. Arieh moved all in and after about 15 seconds, Alaei called with 10Heart Suit 8Diamond Suit. Arieh showed pocket sevens and needed help to stay alive.

The turn and river came 6Heart Suit 8Club Suit and Arieh was eliminated, giving Alaei the tournament win.



over 11 years ago

This will sound dumb to many i suppose, but who is that pictured with Daniel Alaei holding cash at the top of this article??? I don't recognize him. duhhhhhrrrr I predicted Alaei to win before the final table.


over 11 years ago

magic, mouse over the picture and a caption will pop up telling you who it is. If you can't get the popup, it's Alaei's father standing next to him.


over 11 years ago

Josh is with FT? That just does not look right. When did this happen?


over 11 years ago

FTP, like Pokerstars, operates like Don Corleone; they make them an offer they can't refuse, because they want every high profile player they can get to hawk their bogus online poker games. When they offer a genuine guy like Arieh $250K per month to pimp their site, what is he going to do? Hell, I'd pimp an online poker site for that kind of money and forget about playing poker all together.

Has anyone noticed that Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon (two of the main principals behind FTP)have virtually disappeared from the tournament circuit?...Why?...Because they are making a fortune off all the morons who keep playing online poker on their websites! They could care less about winning a poker tournament.