The $3,500 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Winter Poker Open final table was originally set to play out for April 1, 2020, but due to the pandemic, it was delayed for over a year. On Sunday, the final six players from a 1,290-entry field congregated at PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas to play to a winner.
Toronto’s Veerab Zakarian, 25, began the final table as the chip leader and he rode it all the way to victory to capture a $674,840 top prize and etch his name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions cup.
“Waiting this long, you didn’t know what to expect. You don’t know, you keep waiting for it,” Zakarian said after the win. “Most people, after the pandemic, they didn’t have anything to look forward to so I was glad to have something to look forward to.”
He continued: “Everyone always wants the bracelet but these days it looks like the WPT is what everyone is chasing. Because the bracelets, there’s so many of them. But the WPT is special, especially Borgata. When you think of poker on the East Coast, the first thing you think of is Borgata. Winning something like this.”
Prior to the win, Zakarian had $496,610 in live lifetime earnings according to The Hendon Mob. His previous best cash was $63,340 for winning the 2018 MSPT Seneca Niagara Main Event.
Brian Altman, who recently won the Season XVIII Hublot WPT Player of the Year, was looking to claim a WPT title, but his run fell short in third place. To close things out, Zakarian had to contend with James Anderson in heads-up play. Anderson had finished runner-up in the same tournament back in Season XI (2013), and unfortunately for him, he had to once again settle for second place.