Art Papazyan claimed victory in his second WPT event of Season XVI by winning WPT Maryland. (Joe Giron/WPT photo)

Art Papazyan came out of relatively nowhere to win the WPT Legends of Poker event to start Season XVI and claim the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. Papazyan traveled to Maryland to play the WPT event at Live! Casino in an effort to chase points and is now a two-time WPT champion as a result. After a tough final table that saw Papazyan go up and down on his way to victory, he emerged victorious with his second WPT win in as many attempts.

Timothy Chang was the first player eliminated with start of final table chip leader Tom Reynolds getting lucky to send him out. On Hand #15 of final table play, Chang was all in for 1,445,000 with JcJs against the 9c9d. The 7h5s4c flop was good for Chang as was the 7d turn but the 9s river gave Reynolds a full house to eliminate Chang.

On Hand #71, Papazyan doubled up through Grigoriy Shvarts to pick up some much-needed chips. Shvarts raised to 210,000 and Papazyan defended his big blind. Papazyan check-called for 260,000 on the AcJs8d flop and Shvarts bet 500,000 on the 2s turn. Papazyan shoved for 1,240,000 and Shvarts called with AdTc. Papazyan flopped two pair Jc8s and faded the river to double.

Shvarts was left with under 10 big blinds and was eliminated in Hand #77 by Papazyan when his As5s lost to Papazyan’s Kc6d as a six hit the river.

Papazyan took the lead for good a few hands later when he eliminated former WSOP bracelet winner Randal Heeb in fourth place.

Zachary Donovan opened to 180,000 under the gun and Papazyan made it 600,000 in the small blind. Heeb four-bet to 1,500,000 in the big blind and only Papazyan called to the Qh3c3h flop. Papazyan checked and Heeb shoved for slightly over 3,000,000. Papazyan called with AdAh and led the TcTs of Heeb. The last two cards bricked and Papazyan owned over half the chips in play heading into three-handed play.

Donovan picked up some steam heading into heads up play by eliminating Reynolds. Donovan limped the button and Reynolds raised to 225,000. Donovan called and the flop came down 9d5c3c. Reynolds bet 400,000 and Donovan called to the 5h turn. Reynolds shoved for 2,090,000 and Donovan called with 9s7d. His pair led the AsTd of Reynolds and the 6c sent out the 2017 bracelet winner in third place.

Papazyan held the chip lead for all of heads up play and on the 56th hand, finished off Donovan to claim victory.

With the blinds at 75,000/150,000, Donovan shoved for 2,925,000 with Ah4s and Papazyan woke up with KhKs. The TcTh8d5dJc board was good for Papazyan and he claimed victory.

Papazyan earns $15,000 additional for winning the event having already locked up a seat for the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. In only his second ever World Poker Tour event, the 25-year-old Papazyan earns a special place in poker history.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Art Papazyan – $389,405
  2. Zachary Donovan – $262,930
  3. Tom Reynolds – $168,900
  4. Randal Heeb – $120,165
  5. Grigoriy Shvarts – $92,015
  6. Timothy Chang – $76,620