Afriat wins on WPT, Lewis captures Aussie Millions main event

Two big poker tournaments concluded earlier this week, with big money being awarded in New Jersey and halfway around the world in Australia.

We’ll start in New Jersey, where Eric Afriat claimed his second career World Poker Tour title by winning the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The native of Montreal, Canada outlasted a field of 1,244 players in the $3,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament to cash $651,928.

This was Afriat’s second career WPT win, as he previously won the 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. He took home $1,081,184 for that win and with the addition of his winnings at the Borgata, his career live-poker earnings now sit at just over $2.5 million.

At the Borgata it came down to Afriat and Justin Zaki heads-up for the tournament title. The pair were pretty evenly matched through most of heads-up play until one hand turned the tide. With Zaki holding a minuscule chip lead, he went all-in with Kc-8h and Afriat called with Ad-Ks. When the board showed – 7d-3s-2d-9c-Kh – Afriat won the hand with his ace kicker. That gave him a huge 14-to-1 chip lead. The tournament ended one hand later when Afriat’s Ks-2s topped Zaki’s 10h-5d on the board Qc-7d-5s-2h-2c. For second place, Zaki earned $434,614.

Toby Lewis takes down Aussie Millions main event

While Afriat was on his way to winning in New Jersey, Toby Lewis added seven figures to his bankroll after winning the Aussie Millions main event. The 10,600 Australian dollars, No-Limit Hold’em tournament had a field of 800 players. For outlasting them all, Lewis pocketed 1,458,198 Australian dollars, or $1,156,205 US.

Lewis, from Britain, has three career wins on the European Poker Tour on his poker resume, and including his cash from the Aussie Millions, his live-poker earnings now sit at just over $4.3 million.

At the Aussie Millions, Lewis had a strong showing at the final table and with only three players remaining, a deal was reached to split the majority of the pot. Lewis, who was leading in chips at the time, got the biggest slice, while the rest went to Espen Solaas and Stefan Huber. From the pot, $75,000 was set aside to go to the winner, along with the championship title.

It came down to Lewis and Huber heads-up. Heads-up play lasted only 16 hands before Lewis came out on top, On the final hand, Huber went all-in with As-8d against Lewis’ Qd-10d. Lewis was set on the flop when the board showed Qs-Qh-8h-7s-5s. For second place, Huber ended up with $721,300 US.