Six-figure payouts at Bellagio, Borgata and Hard Rock

With Christmas just around the corner the families and friends of a few poker players may be expecting some nicer gifts after they cashed six-figure payouts in tournaments this week.

Last’s start things off at the Bellagio in Las Vegas where the preliminary tournaments at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic began earlier this week. The WPT main event at the Bellagio gets going next week, but thanks to some new high roller tournaments there was plenty of cash up for grabs already.

The first big money event on the schedule was a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller tournament. The event only drew 28 entries, but it still delivered a solid $128,800 cash to winner Ramin Hajiyev,

The first of two $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller tournaments followed, and some holiday spirit must have already been in the air, as Jason Koon and Isaac Haxton decided to chop the first and second place prizes when they reached heads-up. Koon had the chip lead and received a few more dollars with $289,950 going his way, while Haxton took home $271,050.

Elias and Newman win big out East

Our next two big winners were on the east coast, starting at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in the Borgata Fall Poker Open.

The $2,700 main event at the Borgata drew 473 players, but in the end Darren Elias was the last man standing. Elias, a three-time winner on the WPT, pocketed $293,062 for the win. That bumped his 2017 earnings over the $1 million mark, and pushed his career earnings to just over $5 million.

Elias fought tooth and nail for the latest win, including going heads-up for three hours against his final opponent Mark Kaganovsky. On the final hand of the tournament Elias got lucky when his K-J faced Kaganovsky’s 10-4 and the flop showed Q-10-10. A nine on the turn gave Elias a straight and when Kaganovsky didn’t improve on the river the tournament was over.

Our last six-figure winner this week was at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida in the $3,500 Rock ‘n’ Rock Poker Open Championship. The event drew 585 players, including a number of poker pros, but in the end a relative unknown from New York, Michael Newman, posted his first big poker win. 

The tournament had a $2 million guaranteed prize pool and Newman’s cut was $374,240. The win doubled his lifetime poker earnings to $757,457.