On the eastern shores of Australia at The Star Gold Coast, Richard Lee from Los Angeles, California, took home the top spot in the World Poker Tour Australia main event. The 26-year-old secured his first main tour title, adding $550,267 to his bankroll. Lee’s victory not only stamped his name in the WPT Champions Club but also reserved his spot at the upcoming WPT World Championship in Wynn Las Vegas this December.
Lee shared his exhilaration with Lynn Gilmartin of WPT, “I don’t think it will ever sink in.” He appreciated his advantageous seat at the table, remarking, “I think I was really fortunate to have a really good seat, two of the better players were to my right so I didn’t really face any bullying.”
The decision to participate in the main event came during Lee’s concluding moments of his two-month Australian tour. The tournament even intertwined with his flight plans, as Lee humorously pointed out, “I was like, ‘If I [final table] this, I might as well cancel my flight.’ But I missed my flight today. Played it. Shipped it. So I’m glad the flight didn’t go to waste.”
This wasn’t Lee’s sole appearance on the final table. Earlier, he secured the fifth spot at an APL Million event, taking home $33,080. The World Poker Tour’s main event, with an $8,000 AUD buy-in, pulled in 600 entries, amassing a total prize pool of $2,896,519. 227 players surged into the following rounds post two starting flights. After a series of competitive rounds, the final table witnessed Lee in a comfortable position, holding a decent amount of chips.
Throughout the final rounds, Lee displayed an aggressive playstyle. He eliminated both Romain Morvan and Gary Lin. Although Martin Kozlov managed to remove Nino Marotta from the board, he struggled against Lee’s vast chip stack. In the final hand, Kozlov moved all-in with QhJd against Lee’s AcTs, with Lee making the best hand with Ace high as neither was able to pair up. Kozlov wrapped up in the second place, boosting his career earnings close to $3.2 million, while Lee took the champion title.
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