Griffin Paul, having already won a WPT Main Event, closed his week by speeding past 2.309 other entrants to take down the WPT500 title in Los Angeles and thus win $174.850 and a prestigious record in the process.
With only Craig Varnell having achieved the seemingly impossible feat of capturing both a WPT500 Main Event and a WPT Main Event, Griffin Paul may have reached the event under strain, at least by the shadow of history falling behind his hunched shape at the final table, stretching into the night as he followed his vision.
Nevertheless, after his moment of victory, the lights were able to blow out the foreboding darkness as Paul searched for glory on the World Poker Tour to capture his slice of history after defeating heads-up Bradley Hinson.
The 2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown was the setting for Griffin Paul’s WPT Main Event win and he replicated the trick at La La Land’s The Gardens Casino, which had a $1.1 million prize pool over it.
With the final table reconvening in front of the field for Griffin Paul by some degree apart from the guy who would end up being his heads-up nemesis, Bradley Hinson, Paul would have hoped to keep his lead longer than he did. In fact, it was Hinson who got to the best start, climbing past Paul into the clear lead when he held pocket aces and held on to a hugely dominant position with ease to vault.
This was the same until the field was further reduced, from the nine participants that sat down to just five teams. The table captaincy had shifted but it hadn’t been the search for the top prize. Huy Lam had pocket queens but when Griffin Paul flopped a set of threes to cook Lam’s tournament he couldn’t hold it.
Paul was on a run, pushing his bottom, giving Tim Tang a sizeable push. Paul was behind, holding the king-queen, hitting the ace-five of Tang. It did, and to a dramatic effect when a queen landed on the river and Paul also dispatched Hoang Le, giving the eventual winner a big lead.
Heads-up saw Griffin Paul go into the duel with a 2:1 lead, and the match-up would not take long to come to an abrupt end. Hinson was finished having missed his straight and flush draws on the river when he bluffed the river. Paul’s decision, with two sets, was correct and he received his career’s third-biggest game, behind only the million-dollar Florida victory and a 5th place finish in the $7,500-entry WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship.
Despite Craig Varnell’s remarkable success, Griffin Paul’s copycat theme for winning huge World Poker Tour events, in a deep field that included difficult players who cashed including Matt Salsberg, Kate Hoang, and Nick Pupillo, Griffin Paul deservedly cut out his own Hollywood tale resulting in an incredible story.
WPT 500 Los Angeles Main Event final table results:
Place Player Prize
1st Griffin Paul $174,850
2nd Bradley Hinson $109,935
3rd Hoang Le $81,125
4th Tim Tang $60,510
5th Huy Lam $45,630
6th Einav Shalom $34,790
7th Jaideep Sajwan $26,820
8th Andrew Wisdom $20,910
9th Matthew Witjas $16,490