weather icon Clear

Las Vegas poker pro wins WPT World Championship for $5.3M

Daniel Sepiol conquered a stacked final table to win the World Poker Tour’s World Championship early Friday morning at Wynn Las Vegas.

The professional poker player who resides in Las Vegas earned $5.3 million for the victory after he defeated Greece’s Georgios Sotiropoulos during heads-up play.

“Just get luckier than everyone else. That was my strategy, yeah,” Sepiol said. “Try and pick my spots and get lucky.”

The final six players entered with a combined $61.7 million in career tournament earnings. Sepiol started fifth in chips with 29 big blinds, but he was aggressive and soon took over the chip lead.

The biggest hand of the tournament came during three-handed play. Sepiol’s pocket jacks dueled the ace-king holding of Andrew Lichtenberger. When Lichtenberger was unable to improve, he was eliminated in third place for $2.8 million and Sepiol entered heads-up play against Sotiropoulos with a 4-1 chip advantage.

“The big turning point was the big flip versus (Lichtenberger), jacks versus ace-king,” Sepiol said.

Sotiropoulos’ chip stack eventually fell to near 10 big blinds, but he staged a huge comeback to gain the chip lead. During one hand, Sepiol thought he won the tournament and started to celebrate with his rail. He misread Sotiropoulos’ winning straight, however.

“The momentum definitely changed after that,” Sepiol said.

Sepiol, 29, rebounded and ultimately eliminated his opponent with king-three against king-queen when a three showed up on the turn.

After making a deal with Sepiol during heads-up play, Sotiropoulos took home $4.2 million for second place.

Sepiol had nearly $1.4 million in career live tournament earnings entering the six-handed final table, including a victory for $204,735 at the 2023 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in August.

Sepiol made a deep run at last year’s WPT World Championship before he lost a massive pot against eventual runner-up Benny Glaser and went out in 52nd. This time, he outlasted a field of 3,835 entries.

The $10,400 buy-in tournament featured a record $40 million guaranteed prize pool and included a $2,417,000 overlay.

“The sincere hope for year two of the WPT World Championship was to improve upon the success of last year,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said. “With the help of player feedback, we feel that together we have met our goal.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Welcome to the poker table, kid

On her first visit to the poker table at a Las Vegas casino, a 21-year-old finds herself holding all the cards.

6 must-watch movies about poker

Poker has been depicted in films for more than a century, whether it’s cowboys in the saloons or James Bond. Here are six must-watch poker films.