Derrick Rosenbarger, from Clovis, New Mexico, won the coveted televised Main Event at the partypoker WPT Montreal tour stop, and took home a championship belt and a little more than $517,000 (USD). Rosenbarger is a former member of the U.S. Armed Services and has experience flying Air Force aircraft for a living. Played at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Quebec, Roserbarger was able to defeat Mukul Pahuja during a grueling 65-hand final heads-up showdown. Other participants at the televised final table included Serge Cantin, Alexandre Lavigne, Lily Kiletto, and Sylvain Siebert.
Getting to Heads-Up Play
The final table was a wide mix of stack sizes. Coming into final table play, Rosenbarger was actually the second lowest stack, next to Kiletto’s microscopic six big blind stack. Here is how the stacks measured up when final table play began:
Seat 1: Serge Cantin – 6,960,000 (116 bb)
Seat 2: Mukul Pahuja – 5,945,000 (99 bb)
Seat 3; Derrick Rosenbarger – 1,985,000 (33 bb)
Seat 4: Alexandre Lavigne – 2,150,000 (35 bb)
Seat 5: Lily Kiletto – 370,000 (6 bb)
Seat 6: Sylvain Siebert – 8,435,000 (140 bb)
Kiletto, to her credit, was able to double up not just once but twice and became a viable threat at the table within the first fifteen hands of play. For her good timing, she was able to stay alive to see the first elimination of final table play, which happened when Lavigne moved all his chips in preflop for 1.1 million from the cutoff position during hand 34. He was called by Cantin, who flipped over pocket tens and was in great position against Lavigne’s K-8 offsuit. The board bricked for both players and with a pair of tens, Cantin eliminated Lavigne.
Literally one hand later saw the next elimination of the night. Kiletto, who had valiantly vowed to stay alive past the 6th place finish, shoved for her last 650k in chips with A-8 off, and was called by both Pahuja and Siebert. The latter two checked down through the river, with Siebert winning the hand with A-Q on a Q-J-4-4-J board. For her efforts at the final table, Kiletto took home a very respectable $121,848 for fifth place.
It was during four-handed play that Rosenbarger started to chip up, which saw him double up when his tournament life was on the line. As his stack grew, Siebert’s fell. This trend continued through the 79th hand of final table play, when Siebert moved all-in on the button with A-6 suited, and being called by Cantin in the small blind, who held pocket eights. The board did not improve Siebert, who was out in fourth place, good enough for a $162,936 payday.
Just eight hands later, Cantin hit the rail himself. The hand that won him a stack, pocket eights, eventually cost him his in the end. With those eights, he was eliminated by Pahuja who held A-K off. An ace spiked on the flop and Cantin was unable to improve and eliminated in third place for $220,170.
Heads Up Play
The final heads-up battle between Pahuja and Rosenbarger was one that should make for great television. Pahuja held a very commanding 17.6 million to 8.25 million chip lead when the two squared off. Rosenbarger nailed a huge hangs early to slightly tip the scales in his favor. On hand 129 of final table play, it was Pahuja that double up and after 150 hands, Rosenbarger was able to re-capture the lead. Eventually, on hand 152, Rosenbarger would win it all.
To start the hand, Pahuja was dealt A-4 of diamonds, and Rosenbarger was dealt pocket queens. Rosenbarger raised to 600k preflop and Pahuja three-bet shoved for 6.975 million. His overbet misstep ended up costing him the tournament, as Rosenbarger insta-called. The flop was 9-6-3 rainbow, with a 4 coming on the turn and a deuce hitting the river. With that, Rosenbarger won the tournament, a championship belt, and over a half million dollars. As runner up, Pahuja won $340,928.
More About Rosenbarger
Rosenbarger is a 30-year-old poker player from New Mexico. He bested 862 entrants at the partpoker.net WPT Montreal Main Event and had previously been an Air Force pilot for eight years. Other than that, there is not much published about Rosenbarger. It appears that the poker community will have to learn all they can once the WPT Montreal event eventually airs on television.