Las Vegas poker boom: Wynn Spring Classic event smashes $1 million guarantee

Las Vegas poker boom: Wynn Spring Classic event smashes $1 million guarantee
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: March 16, 2021 12:37 PDT

Big attendance for $3,500 Championship pushes prize pool to $1,985,676

The first major poker series offered at Wynn Las Vegas in more than a year drew big numbers, including a $3,500 Championship event that nearly doubled its guarantee.

The $3,500 Championship wrapped up in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and a heads-up chop between the final two players sent both home with upwards of $323k.

Sung Joo Hyun came away as the official winner, earning $323,409 for the win. Runner-up finisher Matthias Auer (2nd - $323,408) took a nearly identical payout, as the two-way agreement between Hyun and Auer left $1 for the eventual winner.

That determination came forth through a best-of-three flip, according to PokerNews live reporting from the event. Hyun won that battle to secure the extra $1, and more importantly the official title of tournament champion.

Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 Championship final table results*

Place Player Name Country Prize
1 Sung Joo Hyun South Korea $323,409*
2 Matthias Auer Austria $323,408*
3 Will Failla United States $173,240
4 Eric Afriat Canada $121,450
5 Matthew Wantman United States $89,842
6 Mihai Manole Romania $69,588
7 David Cabrera Polop Mexico $55,291
8 Chris Moorman United Kingdom $45,760

Big names, big turnout at the Wynn Spring Classic

The three-day $3,500 Championship drew 614 total entries. That attendance shattered the $1 million guaranteed prize pool, awarding $1,985,676 total.

The top four finishers all took away six-figure prizes. Will Failla (3rd - $173,240) and Eric Afrait (4th - $121,450) were among those top four runners, followed by Matthew Wantman (5th - $89,842).

Afrait, a three-time winner on the World Poker Tour, marked one of many notable names in the hunt for the $3,500 Championship. Longtime tournament fixture Chris Moorman (8th - $45,760) added another final table appearance to a resume that includes nearly $6 million in career live tournament earnings.

The top 12 finishers included four former WSOP bracelet winners. Among those names were Hyun, Moorman, Ankush Mandavia (10th - 32,815), and Kevin Song (12th - $28,095).

Other big names near the top of the payout ladder included Qing Liu (11th - $32,815). Liu’s results so far in 2021 make him an early contender for live tournament player of the year.

Liu took down the WPT Venetian $5,000 Main Event just six days ago, earning $752,880 just down the street at the Venetian poker room. Liu followed that up with a sixth-place showing in the long-postponed WPT Gardens Poker Championship for $111,795 just two days later, although that result technically counts among Liu’s 2020 poker results.

Other big names in the money for the Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 Championship included Chino Rheem (14th - $24,366), Scott Stewart (21st - $15,919), Zhen Cai (32nd - $12,021), Jeremy Ausmus (33rd - $12,021), and Barry Shulman (34th - $12,021).

Many of the names on the 63-player payout ladder read like a who’s who of poker, and the Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 Championship has to be considered a resounding success. Another $1 million guaranteed event still remains to be played in the series , as Event #15: $1,600 No-Limit Hold’em kicks off March 18.

Featured image source: Twitter