Zachary Smiley Upstages Zamani, Hall to Win WPT Maryland

WPT Maryland Zachary Smiley
Zachary Smiley: WPT Photo

Former med student Zachary Smiley outlasted big names Ben Zamani, Darren Elias and Cate Hall to take down WPT Maryland for $356,536.

It’s been an interesting time for Smiley as he dropped out of medical school just two weeks ago and now finds himself a WPT champion.

Hall was the first player to bust from the final table but it wasn’t without a fight. Hall doubled up early before finally busting with A-9 to Ryan Belz pocket sixes. She finished 6th for $68k.

Incredibly Hall was making her second straight appearance at the WPT Maryland final table. She finished 5th in 2015.

Elias Drops 4th, Zumani Strengthens POY Lead

Florida-based poker pro Ben Zamani is in the midst of an incredible run that includes three WPT final tables in 10 weeks but he never really got going at the final table of WPT Maryland.

Benjamin Zamani
Runaway POY leader Ben Zamani.

Zamani hit the rail in fifth after his pocket eights failed to hit a miracle against Belz pocket queens.

On the bright side Zamani is building an seemingly-insurmountable lead in WPT Player of the Year 2,500 points.

Darren Elias is another bonafide WPT star (he famously won back-to-back events in 2014) and had to be considered one of the odds on favorites to win Maryland as he entered with the second biggest stack.

It wasn’t to be this time around for Elias as he made a play with K 6 and got snapped off by Mario Silvestri with ace-king to finish fourth for $113,905.

That helped set the stage for the eventual heads-up between Smiley and Belz. By this point Smiley had acquired a nearly 2-1 chip advantage and never gave up that lead over a one-hour heads-up match.

Here’s a complete look at the payouts for WPT Maryland (first place includes $15,000 seat into the Tournament of Champions):

1st: Zachary Smiley – $356,536
2nd: Ryan Belz – $239,412
3rd: Mario Silvestri – $153,983
4th: Darren Elias – $113,905
5th: Benjamin Zamani – $85,429
6th: Cate Hall – $68,554

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