Joey Weissman, shown during the 2021 U.S. Poker Open, won the inaugural BetMGM Poker Championship on Sunday night at Aria. (Enrique Malfavon/PokerGO) Joey Weissman went wire to wire at the final table to win the inaugural BetMGM Poker Championship on Sunday night at Aria.
The professional poker player from Syosset, New York, defeated Paul Hoefer heads-up to take home the $224,236 first prize.
“This is the stuff we wake up for,” Weissman told PokerNews. “Every day we wake up, most of the time we lose. As my good buddy (Patrick Leonard) says, you wake up, you suffer, you go to sleep, you wake up, you suffer, you do it again. This is the day you wake up for, though. Some days you win.”
The $3,500 buy-in No-limit Hold’em tournament featured a $1 million guarantee prize pool and drew 343 entrants. That included 68 players who qualified online at BetMGM Poker and were awarded packages featuring travel expenses and a five-night stay at Aria.
Benji Felson of New Jersey was the last qualifier standing after winning a $500 online satellite and finished fifth.
Weissman, who entered the final table with the chip lead, was responsible for the final three eliminations. But none was more spectacular than his hand against fourth-place finisher Michael Wang.
Weissman held ace-jack of diamonds against Wang’s pocket queens and flopped a straight draw on a board of 7-king-10. The 10 of diamonds on the turn paired the board, but also added a flush draw for Weissman.
The river card was the queen of diamonds, which made Weissman a royal flush to take down Wang’s full house. Noel Rodriguez was next to hit the rail in third place for $104,272 when Weissman flopped a full house while again holding ace-jack.
Weissman held more than a 5-to-1 chip advantage at the start of heads-up play and never allowed Hoefer to become a threat despite two double-ups by the German. On the final hand, Weissman spiked an ace on the river for a better pair.“I know from firsthand (experience) that people come back in heads-up and win,” Weissman said. “So you’ve just got to stay focused, you […]