Dan Sepiol wins the WPT World Championship for $5,282,954

Terrance Reid
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Posted on: December 23, 2023 3:43 pm EST

The World Poker Tour has crowned its newest World Champion, and his name is Dan Sepiol.

In the second year of this marquee event held at the Wynn Las Vegas, Sepiol has won what has quickly become one of the must-attend tournaments of the year. He captured the top prize of $5,282,954, the largest single score of his impressive career.

Dan Sepiol
Dan Sepiol enjoys the final table experience

For tournament lovers, this was one of the toughest final tables you’ll ever see, featuring over $60 million in tournament winnings among all of them combined. That has to make the victory even sweeter for Sepiol.

WPT Championship final day results

1Dan Sepiol$5,282,954*
2Georgios Sotiropoulos$4,167,246*
3Andrew Lichtenberger$2,798,700
4Chris Moorman$2,095,300
5Ben Heath$1,583,100
6Artur Martirosian$1,207,000
*First and second place adjusted numbers after players agreed to a deal during heads-up play

Millions locked up; final day action

In World Poker Tour fashion, six players returned for the final day, each having locked up over $1 million for the endurance-proving run. Still, they each had their sights on the top prize, but there could be only one.

Sixth place: Artur Martirosian

Artur Martirosian came in as the short stack of the day. However, he wouldn’t bow out early or easily. He steadily chipped up to a workable stack through well-timed aggression. Hours went by before anyone would bust, and Martirosian chipping up made the first elimination tough to come by.

Then, he ran into a blind-versus-blind battle with Dan Sepiol. Sepiol raised to just over three big blinds from the small blind holding pocket sevens. Martirosian moved all in for about 27 big blinds with pocket fives. Sepiol made the call to put Martirosian at risk of being the first to leave.

Artur Mortirosian WPT
Artur Mortirosian exits the final table after running into a better pocket pair

Neither player improved on the runout, so Martirosian bowed out in sixth place for $1,207,000.

Fifth place: Ben Heath

The next player to find himself as the short stack was Ben Heath. He moved nearly all his chips in for a virtual all-in of about 6.5 big blinds. He found a caller in Georgios Sotiropoulos, the second-shortest stack, keen to do the work himself to secure a ladder.

Heath held queen-jack offsuit, but Sotiropoulos woke up with a suited ace-seven and decided that was enough to put Heath at risk.

Ben Heath
Ben Heath secured one ladder before exiting in fifth place

Sotiropoulos flopped an ace, and Heath couldn’t drill the gutshot that arrived with it. The Englishman exited in fifth place for $1,583,100.

Fourth place: Chris Moorman

England saw their second representative of the final day fall when Chris Moorman fell next in fourth place. Moorman received much love and recognition over the last few days for his work ethic and love for the game.

“I genuinely mean it when I say, ‘No one loves it more,'” said commentator Jesse Sylvia.

“I never really got the cards today,” said Moorman in a post-game interview. “Sometimes that’s how it goes, I didn’t find the spots to chip up. I secured a couple of ladders. I’m not unhappy with how I played at all.”

Moorman’s run came to an end when Sotiropoulos put him all in from the small blind for nearly 17 bigs holding king-queen offsuit. After thinking it over, Moorman committed his stack holding the dominated queen-jack offsuit.

Chris Moorman WPT Exit
Chris Moorman eliminated in fourth place

Despite flopping a gutshot and turning an open-ender, the river brought nothing but queen-high for Moorman, and he was eliminated in fourth place for $2,095,300.

Third place: Andrew Lichtenberger

Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger came into the final day as the chip leader, holding nearly 40% of the chips in play. Any hopes of him running over the table dissipated with each small and medium-sized pot he lost to his opponents in the early levels.

“It was going to go one of two ways today,” said commentators Henry Kilbane and Jesse Sylvia. “Either Andrew and Chris were going to take turns chipping away at the smaller stacks, or stacks would level out.”

They did the latter, and Lichtenberger shortly found himself without such an overwhelming lead.

The final blow came during three-handed play, surprisingly while Georgios Sotiropoulos was the short stack of the three. Lichtenberger limped for 2,500,000 with ace-king offsuit, as he had been from that position all day. Dan Sepiol raised to 8,500,000 with pocket jacks in the big blind. Lichtenberger three-bet to 32,500,000. Sepiol moved all in for 142,300,000 effective, and suddenly “Chewy” was at risk.

No aces or kings to be found on the full runout, Sepiol’s jacks held to take down the biggest pot of the tournament, which left him with about 80% of the chips in play.

Andrew Lichtenberger
Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger rode his big stack to a third-place finish

“I’m just really grateful to run as deep as I did,” said Lichtenberger, grateful and humble as always.

Lichtenberger exited in third place, locking up $2,798,700 for his deep run. That left just two to battle for the title, the trophies, and the $5,678,000 million up top.

Heads up for it all: Sepiol takes on Sotiropoulos

Then there were two, neither of which started the day in the top-two chip leader spots. Still, it was Dan Sepiol who took about a 4.5 to 1 chip lead over Georgios Sotiropoulos into heads-up play.

Heads Up Dan Sepiol
Dan Sepiol is heads up

But, like Lichtenberger could tell you, a big lead doesn’t guarantee anything.

An early key hand came when Sepiol moved in for about 10 big blinds with jack-nine offsuit. Sotiropoulos found a suited ace-seven, made the call, and held to secure the double. Just like that, back to a stack of 22 big blinds.

Immediately after that, Sotiropoulos fired on the ace-king-four board holding five-seven. Sepiol called with king-deuce for a pair of kings. Sotiropoulos found the 6❤️ on the turn, bringing in the back-door straight draw. He bet again and was once more called by Sepiol. The river brought the magic 9♣, giving Sotiropoulos the straight. He moved all in for about half pot with the nuts. Sepiol called with his one pair.

Georgios is jeads up
Georgios Sotiropoulos is heads up

Both players jumped up in celebration, but only Sotiropoulos read the cards correctly. Sepiol mistakenly thought he had won, and both rails screamed in celebration.

“He’s got a straight, he’s got a straight,” sounded off tournament director Matt Savage.

Sepiol was somehow all smiles, though the players each agreed on a five-minute break to regroup. It was new game, as Sotiropoulos had secured two back-to-back doubles.

On the first hand back from break, it wouldn’t get any better for Sepiol. Both players flopped a pair, Sepiol with the better of the two, but Sotiropoulos rivered trips and got it all on the final street. Sepiol no longer had the chip lead.

It seemed like nothing was going right for Sepiol. After having his opponent 11:1 in chips, including having him all in in a 60/40 situation, suddenly he’d lost four crucial pots in a row to give up the chip lead. Still, he seemed stoic and calm in the face of such hardship.

Dan Sepiol mucks
Dan Sepiol

Then, a game-changing pot finally went to Sepiol.

On the 9♣J♦️2♠ flop, Sotiropoulos checked his Q♣J♠ over to Sepiol. Sepiol had flopped two pair with J♣2♦️. He bet 5,000,000. Sotiropoulos check-raised his top pair to 18,500,000. Sepiol called. The turn came the 10♦️. Sotiropoulos checked, then Sepiol bet. Sotiropoulos made the call with top pair and the straight draw.

The river came the 7♠. Sotiropoulos breathed heavily before leading with an all-in bet of 97,200,000 effective. Sepiol only thought for about 15 seconds before making the call to regain the chip lead. It was as if the nightmare run of hands had never happened.

The winning hand

Sotiropoulos raised the button with K❤️Q♣ to 7,000,000. Sepiol moved all in for about 66,700,000 effective with K♣3❤️, and Sotiropoulos called with the dominating hand.

The flop was a safe 4❤️J♣8♣, and it looked like Sotiropoulos would begin his climb into contention once more. The turn brought the miracle 3♦️, the biggest three outer of Sepiol’s career. One card away from the title.

Deuce on the river, roars from his rail, he was the newest WPT Champion.

What started over a week ago had finally come to fruition for Sepiol. Of nearly 4,000 entries, he was the last one standing. His name will forever find itself etched alongside every other WPT Champion on the Mike Sexton Cup.

Congratulations to Dan Sepiol for his epic victory and for taking home his biggest tournament score of $5,282,954!

Feature photo courtesy WPT | All other photos by Spenser Sembrat for Poker.org