One month after deciding to focus more on his tournament play, Andrew Moreno shipped the $10,000 buy-in Wynn Millions for $1,460,106.
The Wynn Millions promised a prize pool of at least $10 million. More than 1,300 players registered for the tournament, creating a pot that far surpassed its guarantee — $12,483,200.
Numerous big-name pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak, Johnny Chan, Erik Seidel, Bryn Kenney, and Alex Foxen fired at least one bullet in what is poker’s biggest event all summer. Many of those players failed to even cash. Negreanu did cash (114th place), but actually lost money as the $27,099 he received didn’t cover the four bullets he fired ($40,000).
There were also a number of big-name pros who ran deep, including Connor Drinan (82nd place for $34,708), Jason Koon (79th for $38,179), Robert Mizrachi (67th for $41,997), Foxen (57th for $46,406), Kristen Bicknell (53rd for $51,650), and Maria Ho (20th for $97,274). None of those great players, however, could find a way to stop Andrew Moreno.
Nine players returned to the Wynn on Saturday at noon in search of the $2 million first-place prize. Each remaining player was guaranteed at least $202,765, but the pay jumps on Day 5 were massive.
Lion Yiming Lee was the first out the door and Joe Kuether would soon follow, receiving $240,302 for eighth place. Next to go was Jaime Cervantes, the seventh-place finisher ($289,361), and then Philip Shing busted in sixth place, good for $360,140. Julian Milliard-Feral, the first of two non-Americans to bust at the final table, will head back to France with $456,629 and a fifth-place finish.
After Salim Admon was eliminated in fourth place, which paid $619,160, the final three players agreed to a chop. Per the deal, 10% of the remaining prize pool was set aside for the winner ($313,000) and runner-up ($100,907) on top of the agreed upon chop. Clayton Maguire, who was the chip leader at the time, was guaranteed at least $1,342,850. Toby Lewis, second in chips, received $1,235,204, and Moreno was guaranteed $1,147,105.
Lewis, from the United Kingdom, faded quickly and busted in third place when he lost a flip to Maguire. That set-up a heads-up match between Moreno and Maguire, the chip leader at the time and the biggest stack following Day 3 and Day 4.
Sucking out for the win
On the 24th hand of heads-up play, luck was on Moreno’s side. The San Diego resident, who already had Maguire in a deep hole after dominating heads-up play, called an all-in bet for 5.5 million with A-Q.
That’s a strong hand in heads-up play. Well, unless your opponent has A-K, which was the case in this hand. The board ran out K-5-Q-Q-8, giving Moreno the pot and all 53,120,000 chips in play. He received a total of $1,460,106, while Maguire went home with just a smidge less ($1,443,757) due to the three-way chop arrangement.
Moments after the final card was dealt, Moreno shook hands with Maguire and then proceeded to hug his brother and wife, fellow poker pro Kristy Arnet.
— Johnnie VIBES (@JohnnieVibes) July 4, 2021
For Moreno, it was his second tournament win in Las Vegas this summer. He also shipped the $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Ultimatestack at the Venetian Deepstack Championship Poker Series in June for $127,740. That newfound focus on tournament play is more than paying off for the SoCal poker pro.