Friday July 26, 2019 at 2:09 pm

The new season of the World Poker Tour kicked off with the WPT Gardens Poker Fest at the Gardens Casino outside of Los Angeles. This year's $5K buy-in event attracted 373 runners and a prize pool worth $1.75 million. The final table included Cord Garcia, Andy Wisdom, Roger Teska, Lior Orel, Lars Kamphues, and Laszlo Molnar. Maria Ho missed the final table by a couple of spots when she busted in eighth place. Roger Teska rallied from a huge heads-up deficit to defeat Laszlo Molnar and win the WPT Gardens. Teska banked $368K.

Pic by Joe Giron/WPT

Ship it to Roger Teska! He's the latest champion on the World Poker Tour and he's got a swanky new BMW. The latest stop on the World Poker Tour touched down on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The Gardens Casino has been a focal point for poker for decades. It's been a new spot on the WPT the last couple seasons.

This year's "Poker Festival" at the Gardens included a $5,000 buy-in event. A total of 373 runners took a shot at a WPT title and the glory. Only the top 48 places paid out of the $1.75 million prize pool. Not too shabby, eh?

Erik Hicks bubbled off the final table in seventh place early on Day 4. Maria Ho's run abruptly ended in eighth place. So close... so close. Ho earned $44,525 for her deep run.

The final table of six featured the likes of Cord Garcia, Andy Wisdom, Roger Teska, Lior Orel, Lars Kamphues, and Laszlo Molnar.

Lior Orel came into the WPT Gardens final table with the big stack with 3.25 million. Roger Teska was not far behind with 2.97 million and Hungary's Laszlo Molnar was right behind Teska with 2.855 million. The lone German at the final table, Lars Kamphues, held a 2.5 million stack. The two shorties were Cord Garcia with 1.88 million and Andrew Wisdom with 1.4 million.

It only took 17 hands to lose one of the short stacks. Cord Garcia became the first player to exit the final table. He got it all-in with Queen-ten against Lars Kamphues' pocket Queens. The Ladies held up and Kamphues won the pot. Garcia banked $73,600 for sixth place.

It only took a full orbit before the second player said goodbye. On Hand #23, Andy Wisdom bounced in fifth place when his Carte As de piqueCarte Dame de pique lost to Kamphues' pocket fours. The German flopped a full house and Wisdom walked into the ambush. Wisdom earned a payday worth $96,545.

Kamphues took out the first two players and he seized the lead as he soared to nearly 6 million in chips with four remaining. Kamphues could not hold onto the lead before the pack caught up.

After 114 hands of four-handed action, someone finally busted. Kamphues got it all in with pocket Jacks against Teska's Ace-Queen. The proverbial Ace on the river sunk Kamphues hopes of staving off elimination. He busted in fourth place, which paid out $128K.

With three to go, Teska took over the lead with 6.2 million.

A cooler on Hand #187 knocked out Orel. He got it all-in with Carte Valet de piqueCarte Valet de trèfle against Molnar's Carte Roi de piqueCarte Roi de trèfle. Ouch. Molnar turned a King too to lock up a full house to win the hand. Orel bounced in third place which was worth $172,770.

With two remaining, Molnar held a 12.27M to 2.65M lead. Despite the deficit, Teska turned things around quickly and got lucky with Queen-Jack against Ace-Queen to double up. He'd become a champion in less than 42 hands of heads-up action. He chipped away and the quads helped.

On the final hand, Teska's Ace-six held up against Milnar's Carte Roi de trèfleCarte Dame de trèfle. Laszlo Molnar took home a second-place payout wirth $235,615. Not too shabby, eh?

Roger Teska earned the WPT title, $368,475 in cash, a seat into the 2020 TOC at the Aria, and a swanky new BMW!

Notables who went deep and cashed in WPT Gardens Poker Festival included... Maria Ho, Vladimir Vasilyec, Eric Wong, James Calderaro, Scott Stewart, Ira Friedman, Dan Fleyshman, Cory Albertson, Elio Fox, Adam Weinraub, Shi Chen, Jesse Vilchez, Mehrnoosh Kadkodaeikalfi, Chris DeMaci, Will Givens, Max Pescatori, Alex Tran, Mike Kamran, Dave Miscikowski, Gabe Lam, John Rock, Mike Noori, Dan Strelitz, Jared Jaffee, Paul Lee, Kevin Kung, Camille Brown, Straton Wilhelm, Paul Evans, Ed Ho, Dan Colpoys, Anatoli Zyrun, Kevin Song, Kenny Nguyen, Hal Strumpf, Brad Hinson, Tam Nguyen, and Joel Feldman.

2019 WPT Gardens

Buy-in: $5,000

Entrants: 373

Prize Pool: $1,753,100

Payouts: 48


Final Table Results:

1. Roger Teska $368,475

2. Lazlo Molnar $235,615

3. Lior Orel $172,770

4. Lars Kamphues $128,320

5. Andrew Wisdom $96,545

6. Cord Garcia $73,600

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