The WPT 2021 DeepStacks Venetian $2,400 buy-in No-Limit hold'em event had 1,512 entries, blowing away the $2 million with a gigantic prize pool of $3,288,600. Albert Knafo eventually won the event by eliminating Steven Sarmiento heads-up and won $532,395 in addition to a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package that was added for the poker winner.
Albert Knafo was born in Netanya, Israel, but spent the last six years in Los Angeles. The 38-year-old had a single entry for just $790 on his The Hendon Mob profile a few months ago, and not too many people in the world of poker had heard of him. All of that changed when Knafo won $177,695 in the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour Venetian for $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em. On July 13, 2021, he collected a prize that was triple his amount, and his name will be forever carved as one of the WPT champions in WPTDeepStack history.
WPT Final table Action
The WPT final day of this event started with 29 poker players left and Shawn Daniels in the lead. Knafo started in the 7th chip position. The two made it to the WPT final table of nine, along with four-time World Collection of Poker bracelet winner Eli Elezra. Thomas Boivin, a Belgian poker professional, finished in 9th place ($54,280) after calling with pocket eights into Austin Srur’s pocket kings. Marc Bernal (8th), Shawn Daniels (7th), and Eli Elezra (6th) followed him to the rail. It was at the time of five-handed play that the final poker champion Albert Knafo made his climb. He earned his first knockout when Knafo’s A-9 defeated the K-10 of James Gilbert in a pre-flop all-in confrontation. James Gilbert was unable to catch up and finished in 5th place, earning $139,180.
The field was narrowed to three when Steven Sarmiento outsmart Doug Lada’s pocket sevens after his A-Q improved to trip aces on the river. Doug finished 4th place ($185,275). Shortly after, Knafo defeated Austin Srur, who was left with only seven big blinds. He shoved with K-J, and Albert made a call with K-Q and hit a flush. Knafo eliminated Srur in third place ($249,375).
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WPT 2021 heads up battle
Finally, the WPT Main event came to heads-up with Steven Sarmiento holding 28,050,000 to Knafo’s 17,350,000. The two traded the lead on a few occasions but were almost equal as the final hand began. Knafo, who was only a few big blinds ahead of his opponent, 3-bet Knafo’s open to 4.2 million with J-10. Sarmiento’s 4-bet to 10 million with Q-Q. The flop came down to Q-9-6, and Knafo moved all in. The 2♠ on the turn did not change anything, but the 8♠ on the river gave Knafo a queen-high straight to save the pot as well his career-first title. Sarmiento won $383,595 as the runner-up in the event.
Here is a look at the final table results:
1. Albert Knafo - $532,395
2. Steven Sarmiento - $383,595
3. Austin Srur - $249,375
4. Doug Lada - $185,275
5. James Gilbert - $139,180
6. Eli Elezra - $112,235
7. Shawn R. Daniels - $91,865
8. Marc Bernal - $72,350
9. Thomas Boivin -$54,280
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