Wednesday March 11, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Tony Tran outlasted a field of 250 runners to win the 2020 WPT Rolling Thunder in Thunder Valley, CA. The final table in Thunder Valley included Robert Heidorn, Kevin Rabichow, Jake Schwartz, Tony Tran, Erkut Yilmaz, and Shankar Pillai. Tran obliterated the final table en route to winning $279,270 plus a seat into the season-ending Tournament of Champions.

Pic by @WPT

Seems like there's always history to be made on the World Poker Tour, and last night Tony Tran decided he would be the one etching his name in the history books for a second time. Erkut Yilmaz was seeking another WPT title to add to his collection, but Tony Tran got hot at the right time to thwart another championship run by Yilmaz. Tran won a second WPT title, which he wanted to win to prove to himself and the world that the first one was not a fluke. In October 2018, Tran took down the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville, Florida. And now he has a second title to add to his resume.

The 2020 WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley attracted 250 runners to the $5,000 buy-in event. They boosted the prize pool to $1.16 million. Only the top 32 places paid out with most of the cheesecake set aside to the champion with $279K up to and the top three cashing at least six-figures.

Casey McCarrel bubbled the final table in seventh place.

The final table of six were set with Robert Heidorn, Kevin Rabichow, Jake Schwartz, Tony Tran, Erkut Yilmaz, and Shankar Pillai. Kevin Rabichow bagged up the lead with 2.86 million, but both Erkut Yilmaz and Robert Heidorn were not far behind with 2.1M or so. Jake Schwartz was short with a million or so, but Shankar Pillai and Tony Tran were the shorties with each under 885K.

On Hand #41, Shankar Pillai became the first player to bust at the final table when his pocket sevens were ambushed by Tony Tran's pocket Kings. Out. Heck of a time to run into cowboys, eh? Pillai could not suck out and he busted in sixth place which paid out $45,390.

On Hand #74, the final five lost a player. Erkut Yilmaz hit the bricks in fifth place during a battle of the blinds when his Carte 9 de trèfleCarte 5 de trèfle lost to Tony Tran's Carte 8 de carreauCarte 7 de carreau. Yilmaz missed a shot at winning another WPT title when he bowed out in fifth place. With four to go, Kevin Rabichow held a slight edge over Robert Heidorn.

Four-handed lasted almost 50 hands before the final table saw fireworks on Hand #125. Kevin Rabichow got short and moved all-in from the button with Carte Roi de trèfleCarte 4 de trèfle but Tony Tran found Carte As de trèfleCarte Valet de trèfle in the big blind. He flopped two pair with Queens and Jacks then rivered a full house with Jacks over Queens. Rabichow earned $85,800 for fourth place.

Three-handed did not last long before someone hit the road. On Hand #131, Robert Heidorn made a move with pocket deuces, but Tony Tran woke up with pocket tens. The tens held up and Heidorn headed to the exit in third place. He banked $122K for his work.

When heads-up began, Tran held a 4 to 1 edge with 8M to Jake Schwartz's 1.975M. The two were fighting for over 100K in cash differential between first and second place, plus a freeroll into the season-ending TOC.

On the final hand, Schwartz went to battle with Carte Valet de cœurCarte 10 de cœur against Carte Dame de trèfleCarte 10 de trèfle. Schwartz flopped top pair and an open-ended straight draw, but Tran flopped the joint with a Queen-high straight. The turn was a blank and the river filled in a Jack-high straight for Schwartz but he lost to Tran's better straight.

Tony Tran won the pot and tournament. He banked $279,270 for first place. He passed over $1 million in career earnings for the first time.

Jake Schwartz busted in second place and earned $177,680 for a runner-up score. Not too shabby, eh?

Tran banked the cash, title, and season-ending seat at the Tournament of Champions at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Notables who cashed at the 2020 WPT Rolling Thunder included... Donald Maloney, Farid Jattin, Tyler Patterson, Adam Sutch, Charles Kassin, Peter Neff, Jim Collopy, Toby Joyce, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, Brock Wilson, Hugh Grant, Taylor Black, Harrison Gimbel, Brett Murray, Neng Lee, Matas Cimbolas , Anthony Winters, Justin Liberto, and Yuan-Yuan Li.

2020 WPT Rolling Thunder

Buy-in: $5,000

Entrants: 250

Prize Pool: $1,162,500

Payouts: 32


Final Table Results:

1. Tony Tran $279,270

2. Jake Schwartz $177,680

3. Robert Heidorn $122,105

4. Kevin Rabichow $85,800

5. Ekrut Yilmaz $61,685

6. Shankar Pillai $45,390

Latest news
Wednesday March 29, 2023 at 10:28 pm
Joey Weissman, Ren Lin, Sam Soverel, Allan Le winners at 2023 US Poker Open

The 2023 US Poker Open is underway at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. Through four events, Ren Lin is in first place on the US Poker Open leaderboard with one win and three cashes. Joey Weissman shipped the first event with a victory in Event #1 $10,000 NL. Ren Lin took down Event #2 $10,000 NL, Sam Soverel binked Event #3 $10,000 NL, and Allen Le was the last player staring in Event #4 $10,000 PLO.

Friday March 24, 2023 at 3:37 pm
Reminder: PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary Special this weekend

PokerStars hosts their 17th Anniversary Sunday Million Special this weekend, and you still have a chance to qualify for a seat through various satellites. PokerStars is giving away over 3,000 seats to the $215 buy-in tournament that has a $7.5 million guaranteed prize pool. There's $11 Mega and $22 Mega Turbo satellites, plus Turbo Phase events for as little as $2.20. There's also the Sunday Million Anniversary Fast Track which allows you snag a seat for as little as $0.50 via Spin&Gos. Head over to PokerStars Blog for more details.

Tuesday March 7, 2023 at 9:52 pm
2023 SCOOP returns to US at PokerStars on March 17

PokerStars announced that the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) returns to American players in three states. The 2023 SCOOP has 42 events and the popular online tournament series will be available to PokerStars players on in Pennsylvania (PASCOOP) and a shared player pool in New Jersey and Michigan (MI/NJSCOOP) beginning March 17 and running through April 3. There's a total of $5 million in guanarteed prize pools.

Monday February 27, 2023 at 9:33 pm
Romana's Razvan Belea ships EPT Paris for €1.1 million

The European Poker Tour hosted the inaugural EPT Paris at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. The €5,300 buy-in Main Event at the EPT Paris attracted 1,606 entrants with 447 re-entries. Razvan Belea from Romania parlayed a €530 satellite seat into a €1.1 million payday when he was the last player standing to become the first Romanian champion in EPT history.

Saturday February 4, 2023 at 7:35 pm
Aliaksandr Shylko wins 2023 PokerStars Players Championship for $3.1 million

Aliaksandr Shylko from Belarus shipped the second-ever PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) for a $3.1 million score after he worked out a three-way money chop with Germany's Max Menzel and Philipe Pizzari from Brazil. Nacho Barbero went deep in the 2023 PSPC with a fourth-place finish at Baha Mar in the Bahamas. Shylko outlasted 1,014 runners who generated a prize pool worth over $24.8 million

Wednesday January 25, 2023 at 6:21 pm
LAPT Returns: PokerStars brings back Latin American Poker Tour

After a seven-year layoff, PokerStars will relaunch the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). The LAPT returns to Brazil with a stop in Rio de Janeiro on March 2, 2023. There will be an event in Montevideo, Uruguay in April, plus two more events planned in Sao Paolo, Brazil in July and November. And there's other LAPT dates and locations that will be announced soon.

Thursday January 19, 2023 at 7:03 pm
PokerStars to Host Sunday Million 17th Anniversary on March 26

PokerStars wants you to save a special date on Sunday March 26, 2023. PokerStars s celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Sunday Million. Yes, the Sunday Milly turns 17 in March! The buy-in is only $215, and this year's celebration will have a $7.5 million guaranteed prize pool. This year's winner will bank at least $1 million. Germany's Blackbeaty won the Sunday Million's 16th anniversary special.

Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 11:11 pm
PokerStars Launches PSPC Online starting Jan 13

PokerStars will launch a special virtual version of the PokerStars Players Championship for American online poker players in New Jersey and Michigan with the PSPC Online. The special series runs from January 13 through Jan 30 on PokerStars for a combined player pool in New Jersey and Michigan. The PSPC Online has 85 events and a guaranteed prize pool worth $2.5 million. Oh, and there's a special PSPC Online for online grinders in the state of Pennsylvania as well with 72 events.

Friday December 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm
PokerStars announces new EPT Season with stops in Paris and Cyprus

PokerStars announced their 2023 live tournament events schedule for the European Poker Tour which includes five stops including two first-time destinations. The EPT kicks off in February 2023 with their EPT Paris debut. In the fall, the EPT heads to the EPT Cyprus for the first time. There's also usual stops at the EPT Monte-Carlo, EPT Barcelona, and the EPT Prague.

Monday November 28, 2022 at 11:17 pm
Win PokerStars Platinum Passes at Gotaga Poker Night or at Resorts World La Vegas

The Road to the PSPC continues. Here's your chance to snag a Platinum Pass to get a free trip to the Bahamas to play in the PokerStars Players Championship at Baha Mar Resort during the return of the PCA in January 2023. You can win a pass through a freeroll hosted by Gotaga, aka France's #1 Twitch streamer. Americans have a chance to win a Platinum Pass at a $400 buy-in tournament at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Thursday November 17, 2022 at 11:07 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Sweden's Omar Eljach wins Main Event for €1.38 million

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event at the King's Casino in Rozvadov has come to an end with Sweden's Omar Eljach edging out France's Jonathan Pastore to win the bracelet and €1.38 million in cash. The €10,350 buy-in affair attracted 763 runners. The final table also included Shaun Deeb, Barny Boatman, Alexandre Read, and Tim Adams.

Tuesday November 15, 2022 at 2:12 am
2022 WSOPE: Turkey's Orpen Kisacikoglu wins €50K Diamond High Roller

Orpen Kisacikoglu from Turkey won his first bracelet with a victory in the World Series of Poker Europe Event #11 €50,000 Diamond High Roller at the King's Casino in Rozvadov. Kisacikoglu won €748K and outlasted a stacked final table that included Sam Grafton, Shaun Deeb, Nick Petrangelo, Timothy Adams, Daniel Pidin, and Daniel Dvoress. Last week, Paul Phua secured his first bracelet with a victory in WSOPE Event #8 €25,000 Platinum High Roller for a €482,433 score.

Friday November 4, 2022 at 8:12 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Anson Tsang Ships Event #4 €2,000 PLO

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe is underway at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, and Yan Shing 'Anson' Tsang was the last player standing in 2022 WSOP Europe Event #4 €2,000 PLO to win €95,461 and his third-career bracelet. Tsang outlasted a final table that included Tomasz Gluszko, Shawn Stroke, Dario Alioto, Oswin Ziegelbecker, Vivian Saliba, Farid Jattin, Pavel Izotov, and Jorryt van Hoof.