Corey Wade Wins the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event ($471,686)
American Corey Wade is the latest player to etch his name on the Mike Sexton World Poker Tour (WPT) Champions Cup after defeating a field of 1,165 entries in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa $3,500 Main Event for $471,686.
Wade agreed to a three-way deal with Fred Paradis (second - $441,686) and Brock Wilson (third - $411,678) before defeating Pardis en route to the title. Wade not only collected the biggest cash prize but also was awarded airfare, accommodations, and entry into the December WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, which guarantees a $15 million prize pool, the largest in live tournament history.
While Wade wasn't a household name in the poker world until now, he did have a close call over the summer with a runner-up performance in the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #58: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better for $179,010. Wade has now notched $781,767 in winnings, which is good enough to place him in eighth place on The Hendon Mob Arkansas All Time Money List.
2022 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event Final Table Results
*Reflect three-way deal at the final table
The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa $3,500 Main Event attracted 1,165 entries to generate a $3,728,000 prize pool. The five-day event was scheduled to award the top 146 players at least a min-cash worth $5,950. However, two players were ousted on the money bubble with Matthew Wantman and Kent Buckingham finishing in 146th and 147th places to split a min-cash for $2,975 each.
Final Table Action
According to the WPT Blog, The action was down to a final table of just six hopefuls on the fifth and final day with Steven McKoy entering the action as the table captain followed by Wilson and Paradis. Eventual winner Wade began with the second lowest stack but still had room to maneuver with 33 big blinds.
Wilson was hot out of the gate to take a significant chip lead and it appeared that Wade would become the first player on the rail when he got his ace-nine in against the tens held by David Tuthill. Fortunately for Wade and unfortunately for Tuthill, the ace-nine got there after an ace spiked the flop. Paradis also almost didn't make it to the podium as well as he had to fade Wade's flush draw with one card to come on the river with his top pair to survive and double up.
While there was tons of action throughout the final table, it took 131 hands for a player to hit the rail and what a cooler it was. Tuthill got it in with kings like just about every poker player would and was unfortunately up against Paradis' rockets. No miracles came and Tuthill was the first casualty at the final table while Paradis snagged the chip lead. Shortly after, the action was down to just four players after Seth Berger unsuccessfully jammed ace-eight into Wade's queens.
During four-handed play, Paradis was able to pad his lead to have nearly half the chips in play. Wade cut into the lead after eliminating the final day chip leader McKoy in fourth place when his sevens won a flip against king-queen.
Rare WPT Deal
It is almost unheard for there to be a deal at a WPT Main Event, but one did occur at the Main Event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa. According to WPT rules, deals are prohibited if the tournament is a part of a streamed broadcast or filmed for later broadcast. As neither of these was in place, Wade, Paradis, and Wilson were able to negotiate an official deal to flatten the payout structure. Of course, the winner was still incentivized as there was money still to be played for along with the last player standing walking away with an entry and travel expenses to the WPT Championship at the end of the year along with bragging rights.
Wilson was the first player to benefit from the updated payout structure. He jammed with nine-seven suited on the turn with third pair and didn't improve on the river after Wade called with king-queen for top pair.
Wade began the 75-hand heads-up marathon with an approximately 3:2 chip advantage before extending it further. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Wade as Paradis snagged a commanding chip lead after getting paid off with a flush to double his stack.
The action was hot and heavy and Wade managed to snag the chip lead back before doubling Paradis again. Wade maintained his composure and held triple the stack of Paradis when the final hand took place.
Wade jammed with queen-nine suited and Paradis called with ace-five, a quite normal scenario when playing heads up in a Texas Hold'em tournament. The stacks would have been close to even if the ace-five held and it seemed likely it would after an ace spiked a flop. Unfortunately, a queen was also on the flop and a second queen came on the river in a dramatic fashion to secure the win for Wade.
A huge congrats to Corey Wade for his WPT victory and joining the likes of poker legends Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen, and Daniel Negreanu as a member of the exclusive WPT Champions Club. Best of luck to Wade in the WPT Championship at the Wynn Las Vegas!
*Images and hands courtesy of the WPT Blog