David Larson wins WPT Rolling Thunder main event

It was an ongoing battle from the short stack position, but David Larson recorded his first World Poker Tour title this week by winning the WPT Rolling Thunder main event at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California.

Larson was one of a 440-player field in the $3,500 main event. As the last man standing, he cashed $295,128, which was by far the biggest payday of his poker career. Prior to that win, Larson’s live-poker tournament earnings were just over $30,000. His largest cash previously was $5,400 in a WPT DeepStacks event.

To give his poker bankroll such a big boost, Larson had to go through a tough grind on the final day of the tournament. Entering the six-handed final table, he sat last in chips, with only 18 big blinds to his name. That quickly changed as he made a key double-up in an early hand with pocket queens. Larson then went on to issue the first elimination of the day. He sent D.J. Alexander to the rail after his pocket 10s held up against Alexander’s K-9 suited.

Larson kept grinding but didn’t send another player packing until the final table was reduced to three. Following a big double-up, he faced off with Joe McKeehen. With all of McKeehen’s chips in the middle and the board showing Jh-5s-4h, Larson was ahead holding Ah-7h to McKeehen’s Qc-9c. The turn brought the Kc and the river the 4s, giving Larson the hand, eliminating McKeehen in third place.

Larson vs Steinman heads-up

It came down to Larson and Ian Steinman heads-up for the tournament title. Entering heads-up play, Larson still had a battle ahead of him, holding 4.6 million chips to Steinman’s 8.53 million. It only took him five hands to change that.

On the fifth hand of heads-up play, Larson hit trip-sixes on the flop to take down a big pot and take over the chip lead. He would not relinquish it.

On the final hand with the blinds at 75,000/150,000 and Larson still holding a solid chip lead, he bet out 375,000, Steinman re-raised 1.1 million, and Larson made the call. The flop showed Ad-Js-6c. After checking, Steinman called Larson’s bet of 400,000. The turn card was the Ah and both players checked. The river brought the Qs and Steinman bet 500,000. Larson moved all-in and Steinman called, showing pocket kings. It wasn’t enough as Larson had As-6d for a full house.

For the second-place finish. Steinman walked away with $201,428.