Australian David Tang won the first ever WPT main event in his home country this week, taking home AU$647,470 (around US$425,000). Tang’s total tournament winnings before the big score were $93,771.
The winner almost didn’t play the event. Tang tried to cancel his flight to the Gold Coast so that he could watch the Australian Football League Grand Final in Melbourne. When he was unable to get a refund on his ticket, he reverted to his original plan and played the event. The decision worked out, as Tang ended up with the biggest score of his career.
“I’m still a bit stung, but it’s awesome. I wasn’t expecting to get this far,” Tang said after his victory.
The event’s runner-up, Po Ho claimed a payout of AU$421,635 for his second-place finish.
Tang’s name will be engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, the first time the honor has been awarded in Australia. He also wins a seat in the WPT Championship at The Wynn in Las Vegas in December, an event that features an incredible $15 million guarantee.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
The WPT’s first trip Down Under took it to the Star Gold Coast in Queensland, and capped a 13-event series that ran at the casino from September 15-27. Tang outlasted 709 other entrants who each paid AU$5,400 to create a prize pool of over AU$3.5 million.
Some notable players who traveled to the series include Robert Campbell, Sean Ragozzini, Marin Finger, and the husband-wife duo of Kristy Arnett Moreno and Andrew Moreno.
WPT ambassadors Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme also made their way to the Gold Coast where they hosted a $2/5 Meet Up Gam (MUG) that drew so many players that the Star needed to double the number of tables it reserved for the event.
“We are very happy with our first-ever WPT Australia festival. The Star Gold Coast proved to be a wonderful venue,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Thank you to all the players that participated and congratulations to David for earning his spot in the WPT Champions Club.”
The WPT next heads to the Bellagio for $10,400 Five Diamond World Poker Classic starting on October 19.