Late in Day 2, with five tables remaining, this WPTDeepStacks Big Stax XV field was stacked with some big names and players that had lengthy, almost exhaustive tournament resumes. That field included past WSOP bracelet and Circuit ring winners, World Poker Tour champions, the Season 2 WPTDS Player of the Year, and some of the region and country’s best players. Fast forward to the start of this final table and the only player still alive that fit the above criteria was Brent Roberts.
The New York native entered that relatively unknown final table lineup near the middle of the pack and while it doesn’t usually occur, tonight, the creme certainly rose to the top. Roberts bided his time watching three players hit the rail, while he stayed below the chip average and under the radar. After two hours of watching from the sidelines, Roberts was done waiting and that’s when his run towards this WPTDS title began.
Roberts picked a near perfect spot against the uber-active John Lee, doubling through Lee’s pocket fives with his own pocket eights. From that point on, it was a steady, yet tactical climb for the former WSOPC ring winner. He continued to chip away at Lee, who ended up bowing out in 5th place. But, the biggest hand of the final table and, in the end, the tournament defining hand, came against Andy Santiago.
In a button versus small blind encounter, Santiago and Roberts got nearly half the chips in play in pre flop, with Roberts holding pocket aces. Santiago held king-queen and even though he thought it was “his time,” he was unable to score the elimination. From that point on, it was Robert’s time and the most experienced player at this final table used his chip lead to apply pressure and score the next there knockouts to lock up his first major tournament win since that WSOP Circuit Championship in 2008.
Roberts has come close to the winner’s circle since then, with his most recent massive score coming at the WPT’s August stop at the Bicycle Casino. Roberts finished 3rd in that event, good for a $251,000 score and that podium finish started a six-month stretch of run good for Roberts. He got married earlier this year and now, early in Season 3 of the WPTDS schedule, he likely finds himself near the top of the Player of the Year leaderboard after claiming the WPTDS Big Stax XV title.
After a destination wedding and honeymoon to Fiji to open 2016, it looks like Roberts is going to be heading on another trip at the end of the year. This victory earns him a seat into the WPTDS Championship to be held in Calgary in December. He’ll make just over $202,000 for this win, a victory that closes out a record breaking WPTDS Big Stax XV series.