Scott Eskenazi just entered the World Poker Tour Champions Club by winning the 2023 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event and taking home the largest payout of his career: $361,660.
WPT Rolling Thunder 2023 Recap
The festival’s $3,500 buy-in main event had 590 entrants and was held from April 1-4 at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln City, California. As a result, it became the biggest edition of this competition, exceeding the previous year’s 465 entrants. The World Poker Tour continues to set records and is at the vanguard of the current live poker boom, as it did last year.
The main event prize fund was $1,888,000, which was divided among the top 74 players. Allen Kessler (73rd), Angela Jordison (67th), Steven Buckner (65th), Eric Afriat (60th), Giuseppe Pantaleo (51st), Aaron Mermelstein (48th), Matas Cimbolas (35th), David Baker (14th), and James Turner (11th) were among them.
The World Poker Tour’s Tony Dunst was the big name at the final table, hoping to add to his already impressive professional CV. Unfortunately, the tournament’s ultimate champion did not profit from a difficult board runout. Scott Eskenazi entered the final table with the second shortest stack of the final six, but gradually increased his chip count by winning smaller pots. After hitting a flopped straight, he eliminated Dunst in sixth place. You may follow the hand here:
Scott became the new chip leader with just four players remaining and then eliminated Alberto Tapia when his 9-9 defeated Tapia’s A-K. He led until Alejandro Jauregui was ousted in third place by Jeremy Joseph.
Scott’s stack was 11.1 million, while Jeremy’s stack was 18.2 million. Scott won numerous pots and eventually took the lead in the count. When Jeremy moved all-in with A-2s, Scott paid with a stronger hand: A-Ks, bringing the tournament to a close. The board had no shocks, as Scott Eskenazi was crowned WPT Rolling Thunder champion in 2023.
The complete final table results are as follows:
Scott Eskenazi – $361,660 + entrance for the WPT World Championship +
Jeremy Joseph is worth $234,000 dollars.
$172,000 Alejandro Jauregui Reynoso
Alberto Tapia is worth $128,000.
$97,000 Victor Paredes
Tony Dunst: $73,400
Scott Eskenazi, the 2023 WPT Rolling Thunder Champion, Speaks
We contacted the newly crowned champion and asked him how it felt to win his first WPT championship at his first final table on the circuit: “It feels great, but it’s still a little surreal.” It’s a poker player’s fantasy come true.”
When we asked Scott how he celebrated his triumph, he stated, “I was very fortunate that my wife was there railing me.” She is both my greatest admirer and soulmate. We didn’t get to celebrate that night, but we’ve been celebrating since – we had to hurry to the airport directly after the tournament since we were having a large family dinner the following night. I’ve received several congratulations from friends and family, which means a lot to me.”
What does it mean for Scott to be a member of the WPT Champions Club and to have his name engraved on the Mike Sexton Trophy? “It’s an honor. My final restaurant meal before COVID was a group supper during which I met and sat next to Mike Sexton. He was telling me these amazing poker tales, and it was a pleasure to meet him. He was a fantastic poker advocate.”
In addition to his greatest finish, Scott secured a seat in the 2023 WPT World Championship at Wynn in Las Vegas. Naturally, he expects to build on this achievement and achieve even greater success at that event later in the year.
Scott has been cashing out on the live circuit for 15 years, with his first victory coming in a Las Vegas tournament. While he doesn’t recall much about that particular tournament, Scott recalls that “after winning it, I was definitely hooked.”
When we asked Scott what he liked most about playing World Poker Tour events in particular, he said he “loves the competitiveness.” I’m also a numbers geek, so poker lets me put my math talents to work.”
Aside with winning the WPT World Championship in 2023, Scott says he wants to “win a WSOP bracelet and have fun doing it.”