Ireland’s Smyth turns $33 satellite entry into $428,391 payday
Daniel Smyth became the latest player to etch his name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup Wednesday, and realized the poker dream while doing it.
Smyth came away with the win in Event #5: $3,200 Knockout Championship at the 2020 WPT World Online Championships, after winning his way into the tournament through a $33 satellite. Smyth, out of Ireland, topped a field of 1,038 total entries and won $428,391 for the first-place finish.
Included in that $428,391 total is a $15,000 entry into the WPT Tournament of Champions. Smyth managed his way through a difficult final table lineup that included runner-up Manig Loeser, a top-100 player on the all-time live tournament earnings list.
Loeser took home $279,358 for the second-place showing. Other top finishers included Brazil’s Joao Maureli (3rd – $174,510), Pim Gieles from the Netherlands (4th – $118,980), and Croatia’s Pedro Marques (5th – $89,069).
Event #5: $3,200 Knockout Championship guaranteed at least a $3 million prize pool, and with 1,038 entries the tournament ended up awarding $3,105,000 total.
Small buy-ins, big paydays
Smyth was one of two players among the top three finishers to turn a minuscule entry fee into a six-figure payday. Maureli, the tournament chip leader going into the final table, won his way into the $3,200 Knockout Championship for free, via the WPT Ticket Drop giveaway.
The final day of the three-day event resumed with nine players returning to final table. Brazil’s Matheus Resende (9th – $32,725) was the first to hit the rail from the final nine, followed by Kazakhstan’s Shyngis Satubayev (8th – $24,254). Resende’s total earnings from the ninth-place finish, plus bounties won, actually earned the Brazilian a bigger overall payout than what Satubayev earned in the eighth-place finish.
The next player out was 2013 WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess (7th – $48,261). Riess hit the rail after losing an all-in preflop to Smyth, with Riess’ 7♦7♠ falling to Smyth’s J♣T♣ when Smyth found three clubs on the flop for a flush. Russia’s Artur Martirosian (6th – $63,874) exited the tournament just minutes later.
Smyth saw his stack dwindle to 11 big blinds and one point during five-handed play, but from there the $33 satellite winner began climbing his way back on a journey that led to his eventual championship win.
Smyth navigates through the final five
Marques went out next, getting all-in preflop with A♦J♠ but finding himself up against the A♠Q♣ of Loeser. Loeser hit top pair on the turn, sending Marques to the exit in fifth place.
The final four players included satellite and ticket winners Smyth and Maureli, along with Loeser, a legend in the realm of tournament poker with more than $11 million in career live tournament earnings. Gieles, a well-accomplished tournament player himself, rounded out the final four.
Loeser eliminated Gieles in fourth place, leaving Loeser to play against the two ticket qualifiers for the championship. Smyth took out Maureli next, setting up Smyth versus Loeser heads-up for the title.
Loeser went into heads-up play with a nearly two-to-1 chip lead. Both of the final two players held the chip advantage at times during the head-to-head battle, but Smyth came away with the win in the end.
The final hand saw Loeser go all-in for 14 big blinds with 8♦7♦, and Smyth call with K♠9♥. Smyth went into that hand with 86 big blinds, having Loeser well covered. The board ran out T♠A♠4♣9♦4♦ , sealing the win for Smyth.