Javier Gomez is the name of the latest World Poker Tour champion after the man from the Spanish university town of Salamanca outlasted a star-studded field of 256 players in the 2015 partypoker WPT Prague Main Event.
It took only 17 hands at the six-handed final table for the first casualty of the day. The action passed to Denmark’s Henrik Hecklen in the small blind and he raised all-in for around 10 big blinds. Gomez called from the small blind with and needed to connect with the board because Hecklen held . Hit the board is exactly what Gomez did because the five community cards ran to bust Hecklen and push Gomez’s stack over the one million chip mark.
Eleven hands later and the table became four-handed after the elimination of Abdelkader Benhalima. Portugal’s Pedro Marques opened to 65,000 from under the gun at the 15,000/30,000/5,000a level with , Fehredin Mustafov three-bet to 175,000 with , Gomez flat-called with on the button, then Benhalima moved all-in for 1,300,000 with the less-than-stellar . Benhalima’s move almost worked because Marques and Mustafov folded, but Gomez called to put the Algerian at risk.
A tens-friendly sent Benhalima home in fifth place and catapulted Gomez to the top of the chip counts by more than a 1,200,000 chip margin.
Next to fall was Marques on the 59th hand of the day. Gomez min-raised to 80,000 from under the gun with his and called when Marques three-bet all-in for 935,000 in total with what turned out to be . Both players caught a piece of the flop, Gomez being much the happier player with the first three community cards. The gave Marques outs to a flush, but while the river was the correct colour, the was the wrong suit and Marques exited in fourth place.
Gomez’s one-man wrecking spree continued with the scalp of Mustafov. Looking down at on the button, Gomez raised to 80,000 and called when Mustafov moved all-in from the big blind for 830,000 with . Bulgaria’s Mustafov looked set to double up as his pocket sevens were ahead until the river of the board, the nine of clubs sending into the cold Prague night.
Thanks to him sending everyone else to the sidelines, Gomez went into the heads-up battle with Pavel Plesuv holding a 6,240,000 to 1,445,000 chip lead.
Plesuv won a big pot immediately after the restart, then even took the lead at one point and looked likely to become the tournament’s champion. However, Gomez’s run-good shone through, albeit over the course of 136 one-on-one hands.
Hand 211 saw Plesuv move all-in and Gomez call with . The dealer spread the board onto the felt, gifting Gomez a flush and a 6,675,000 stack to his opponent’s 1,000,000.
The next hand proved to be the final hand of the tournament. Gomez set Plesuv all-in with and was called by . Neither player improved on the board, ending Plesuv’s run and crowning Gomez as the 2015 partypoker WPT Prague Main Event champion.