Dramatic WPT Venetian win puts Chad Eveslage at top of POY leaderboard

Jon Pill
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Posted on: July 9, 2021 1:03 am EDT

The World Poker Tour Venetian ended yesterday with Chad Eveslage in the podium position. Eveslage got $910,370 for his win, as well as his name on the Mike Sexton Cup, and enough Player of the Year points to rocket him to the top of the leaderboard. In the process, he dethroned Brain Altman who is now in second place.

The WPT Venetian saw 1,199 entries build a prize pool of $5,545,375 all told. This made it the highest turnout and prize pool for a WPT $5k event. Adding another 2021 entry to the WPT record book.

The WPT tweeted about Eveslage’s win. “The heater continues,” the @WPT account wrote. “Chad Eveslage wins #WPTVenetian in dominant fashion to ship his first WPT title at @VenetianPoker. Eveslage wins $910,370 and is the new WPT Player of the Year points leader. Congrats, Chad!”

“I guess I think pretty highly of myself sometimes,” said Eveslage when asked about his victory. Then he added, more humbly, “but people better than me have played more and not won. So I’m pretty fortunate.”

Final table play began with the following chip stacks:

SeatPlayerChip count
# 1.Chad Eveslage17,725,000 (142 big blinds)
# 2.Tim McDermott4,500,000 (36 big blinds)
# 3.Kitty Kuo2,700,000 (22 big blinds)
# 4.Mike Liang18,225,000 (146 big blinds)
# 5.Daniela Rodriguez2,250,000 (18 big blinds)
# 6.Kyna England2,575,000 (21 big blinds)

“POWERFUL women”

The three Day 1s started with plenty of action. Phil Hellmuth entered all three days and busted out brutally, not only every single day, but also in his first hand in the WSOP Online, which he was playing at the same time.

His bad luck didn’t stop him from cheering on the three women who made it to the final six. “POWERFUL women in poker,” he wrote. “Love to see three women in the final six players at the Venetian @WPT [Less than 5% of the entrants were women!]”

By the end of Day 3, the big stories involved Michael Mizrachi’s breach of etiquette and the increasing likelihood that this would be the third WPT event to crown a female champion.

Sure enough, Day 3 came to a close with half the FT being ladies. Though their work was cut out for them. They had the three shortest stacks at the table.

Eveslage played well, making the right moves at the right time. And the cards fell his way.

“This whole tournament I kept going all in and winning,” said Eveslage. “I think I’m really good but anybody would have won with my luck. It feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone, where the guy is in the casino and he can’t lose.”

It didn’t take long for that luck to carry him into heads-up play with Mike Liang.

Final hands

The first hand of heads-up play was uneventful. Both players were fairly even. The stacks were 115 big blinds effective. It looked like it might be a long battle.

Then on hand two, Eveslage picked up the Q9♣, and the action got fast. By the river, the pot was big enough that Liang could comfortably shove his stack in. He covered Eveslage, but with the board reading J♣T♠TK8♠, there was no getting away from his turned straight.

Eveslage called, and Liang flipped over Q♣T♣ for trip-tens. Eveslage raked in the chips, and Liang was down to 11 big blinds.

Liang hung in there for another dozen hands or so before his Ax9x ran into Eveslages pocket queens, and the tournament came to an end.

WPT Venetian final table results

1stChad Eveslage$910,370
2ndMike Liang$606,890
3rdKyna England$448,755
4thTim McDermott$335,200
5thDaniela Rodriguez$252,945
6thKitty Kuo$192,855
7thAri Oxman$148,580
8thNacho Barbero$115,685
9thMichael Mizrachi$91,035

Featured image source: Flickr by WPT