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Daniel Maor Wins BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA

Home » News » Daniel Maor Wins BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA

Daniel Maor Wins BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA

From the initial entry tally of 1,141, the BetMGM Poker Championship at the 2024 ARIA Poker Classic in Las Vegas started Day 4 with just eight players. The Main Event of the BetMGM-ARIA summer poker partnership set a new record for attendance, and the final table wrapped it up with an all-star group of poker players battling for a coveted title, two trophies, and a first-place prize of $613,914.

It Started with a Massive Guarantee

The BetMGM Poker Championship offered a No Limit Hold’em tournament with a $3,500 buy-in and a substantial prize pool guarantee of $3,000,000. Each of the two starting flights on June 7 and June 8 brought in hundreds of players, some reentering the tournament to stay in the action. That brought the totals to…

  • Total entries: 1,141
  • Total prize pool: $3,651,200
  • Number of payouts: 143
  • Minimum payout: $4,966

Needless to say, the guarantee was long forgotten for an eye-popping $3.6M prize pool.

As we reported in our BetMGM Poker Championship recap of the first several days, courtesy of the live on-the-spot updates from Poker.Org, Day 2 brought all of the first-flight survivors together, and the playdown into the money took the field down from 311 to just 37 by the end of the night.

Day 3 started with some big names exiting the field. Cliff Josephy and Matt Stout were among the first to be eliminated, and later, Andrew Moreno exited in 13th place for $30,013, Joseph Cheong followed in 12th place for $47,174, and Jack Bittker departed in ninth place for $61,377. The eighth place bustout of Michael Berk for $82,773 officially ended the day.

Stacked and Streamed Final Table

Seven players returned on Tuesday, June 11. They were guaranteed at least $104,424 for finishing in the top seven, but all of them eyed the first-place payout of $613,914. The lineup was as follows:

  • Shannon Shorr – 20,800,000 chips (138 big blinds)
  • Lyu Jun Qiang – 10,150,000 chips (67 big blinds)
  • Jordan Westmorland – 8,375,000 chips (55 big blinds)
  • James Romero – 7,100,000 (47 big blinds)
  • Daniel Maor – 5,750,000 (38 big blinds)
  • Eric Baldwin – 2,700,000 (18 big blinds)
  • Ethan “Rampage” Yau – 1,900,000 (13 big blinds)

Play kicked off at the PokerGO Studio, live streaming on PokerGO and on the BetMGM Poker YouTube channel. With Jamie Kerstetter and Jeff Platt doing commentary, and with the dealer enforcing 75,000/150,000 blinds and a 150,000 big blind ante, the action commenced.

Last Play for Ethan “Rampage” Yau

Short-stacked Yau was the first to shove all-in. He started the hand called Shorr’s raise with Q-7 to see a 7-6-5 flop and J turn. With two hearts and two diamonds on the board, Shorr bet, and Yau took some time before moving all-in. Shorr called quickly and showed A-J for top pair, and the 3 on the river ended Yau’s tournament. He collected $104,424 for seventh place.

Bad Breaks for Baldwin

The first break of the day found Shorr still holding a substantial lead but Maor and Baldwin up from the start. The new short stack, though not by much, was Romero.

Action heated up a bit, however, when Westmorland doubled through Baldwin. The latter was left with few chips, though he did double through Shorr to stay alive. Maor doubled through Westmorland.

Baldwin thought he found a good spot to play A-J from middle position, and Maor shoved all-in from the small blind. Westmorland folded pocket jacks, and Baldwin called all-in. That was when Maor showed the magical pocket aces, and Baldwin couldn’t improve on the board of 8-2-7-7-2. Longtime pro “Basebaldy” took leave of the tournament in sixth place with $126,405.

Romero Roasted

With a short stack of fewer than 1,500,000 chips, Romero shoved from the small blind with Q-9. Qiang looked down at K-Q in the big blind and called. The board of 8-8-J-A-T straightened out both players, but Qiang had the higher straight. Romero collected $156,344 for his fifth-place finish.

Go West, Young Man

Another break provided the opportunity to look at the updated stacks. While Shorr still led the foursome, Maor was closing in. Shorr had 21,000,000 chips, with Maor holding a respectable 18,100,000. Westmorland had 11,350,000, and Qiang was the shorty with 6,400,000.

Qiang didn’t take long to shove with queens and double through Westmorland, the latter becoming the new short stack.

Westmorland promptly risked his 3,550,000 from the button with A-8, and Maor called from the small blind with J-T suited. The suits didn’t matter much, though, as the board simply delivered J-J-Q-7-8. That left Westmorland going to the payout cage for the fourth-place payout of $206,914.

Going for Maor

It was time for someone new to take over the position of chip leader. Maor took some significant pots from Shorr and climbed into that top spot. Shorr played a little more cautiously going forward, as Qiang fell into third in chips.

After some small-ish pots and very cautious play, a big hand developed. Maor raised to 7.1M from the small blind with J-T of diamonds. Qiang looked down at A-7 in the big blind and called for his tournament life. The flop of A-Q-T – all clubs – gave Maor a pair and straight draw but gave Qiang top pair. The 4 on the turn changed nothing, but the T on the river made trips for Maor.

Qiang accepted the $279,207 for third place.

Heads-up play began with Maor holding 40,400,000 chips to the 16,425,000 of Shorr.

Shorr had been in this spot before, having won 13 major tournament titles, all contributing to his $12.7M in live tournament earnings. Maor was seeking his first major title and to more than double his lifetime earnings of $465,659 going into this tournament.

Shortly after starting the heads-up duel, Maor raised to 1.5M from the big blind with A-K, and Shorr called with J-T. The flop of 2-5-T prompted an 850K bet from Maor and a call from Shorr. The Q on the turn made it interesting, as Maor continued with a 2.3M bet and call from Shorr. The 2 on the river stopped Maor, and Shorr checked and took it for nearly 10M chips.

Maor scored a nice pot from Shorr two hands later, but then things got very interesting. Maor raised to 1.15M with Q-J, and Shorr three-bet to 4.1M with A-Q. Maor called, and the flop came 8-J-T to give Maor the advantage. Shorr shoved for more than 15M chips, but Maor called with that pair of jacks and the gutshot. The turn was an 8, and the river ended it with a 4.

Shorr accepted second place and the $430,367 that went with it. while Maor more than doubled his career tournament earnings and won the BetMGM Poker Championship for $613,914.

Check out the BetMGM Poker Championship Final Table livestream on the BetMGM YouTube.

There’s also still time to qualify for the next BetMGM Poker Championship at ARIA, which starts on June 30. Opportunities abound to make your poker dreams come true. Register at BetMGM Poker now.