Ben Farrell Wins 2019 Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas at ARIA for $155,000
4 July 2019
PokerBrave (1115 articles)

The $570 buy-in 2019 Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas attracted 1,932 runners to ARIA Resort & Casino over eight starting flights, and on Thursday the final table of nine returned to play down to a winner.

Englishman Ben Farrell began with the chip lead and used it to navigate his way to the end, earning $155,000 in prize money and his first major live title.

Farrell’s path to victory was an unlikely one as he didn’t jump into the tournament until the last level of the final turbo flight.

“I only played the last turbo flight and registered at the last second.”

“I only played the last turbo flight and registered at the last second,” he told WPT officials before the final table. “At one point I only had 10,000 chips, only 12 big blinds, and was texting my girlfriend that I’d be done soon.”

The opposite happened as Farrell, an experienced online player, caught fire to bag up the flight’s chip lead, and he kept that momentum rolling throughout the tournament. Prior to the win, Farrell had $286,221 in live tournament winnings with his former best score being $49,346 in the €10,300 partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona.

“It feels really good,” Farrell told WPT officials after the win. “I’ve been working on my game mainly by talking with friends. I’m mainly an online player, so I haven’t had many results live. But I’ve had a lot of close runs, so I always knew that I’d eventually win a tournament. I just had to put in the volume and keep studying.”

He joined the likes of Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Craig Varnell, Sean Yu, Andreas Olympios and Jon Borenstein as a champion of the WPT500 Las Vegas.

Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Ben Farrell $155,000
2 Nikita Luther $109,300
3 Sung Joo Hyun $75,000
4 Min Ji $55,000
5 Trey Morris $40,000
6 Eduards Kudrjavcevs $30,000
7 Jakub Wojtas $22,000
8 Ritesh Shah $17,000
9 Jim Pannella $14,000

Others to capture a portion of the $966,000 prize pool were Mukul Pahuja (12th – $11,500), Gayle Knorr (16th – $7,000), Sam DeSilva (27th – $4,000), Greg Caubet (40th – $3,500), Harry Lodge (45th – $3,000), Adrian Moreno (52nd – $2,700), Mo Nuwwarah (66th – $2,100), John Caldwell (69th – $2,100), and Jimmy Kebe (73rd – $1,800).

Final Table Action

On Thursday, nine players returned to the ARIA with Farrell holding a slight chip lead over both Sung Joo Hyun and Adda52 Pro Nikita Luther. Coming back with just six big blinds, it was no surprise to see Jim Pannella hit the rail first after running king-jack smack dab into the ace-king of Jakub Wojtas.

Ritesh Shah followed him out the door in eighth place after bricking with pocket tens against Farrell’s kings all in preflop. Wojtas took his leave in seventh after losing a flip with ace-queen against Hyun’s black eights, and then Eduards Kudrjavcevs bowed out in sixth losing with king-jack to Farrell’s ace-queen suited.

“I’ve played so many tournaments and so many hands, I try not to let emotions get in the way.”

Farrell scored another elimination when his ace-seven held against the ace-five of Trey Morris, while Luther took care of Min Ji when he ace-queen held against the latter’s ace-jack.

During three-handed play, Hyun briefly took the chip lead from Farrell but it didn’t last long. In fact, after capturing it Hyun slid hard before jamming his last eight bigs preflop with seven-six suited only to see Luther call with eight-seven suited. The board ran out with three clubs and Luther improved to a flush to score the knockout.

Luther began heads-up play with a slight chip lead over Farrell but she failed to maintain it as all things went Farrell’s way. He got lucky to double with ace-queen against ace-king all in preflop thanks to a queen on the turn, and then he proceeded to pull out to an 8:1 chip lead.

“I’m happy it went that well at the end,” Farrell said of the game-changing hand. “I wasn’t super happy about calling it off, but I had to. I guess I’m kind of numb to it. I’ve played so many tournaments and so many hands, I try not to let emotions get in the way.”

In the final hand of the tournament, Farrell moved all in with ace-five and Luther called off holding king-queen. An ace on the flop essentially locked it up for Farrell and Luther was left drawing dead on the turn. Luther took home $109,300 for her runner-up finish.