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Part-time pro grabs $614K at BetMGM Poker Championship

Daniel Maor’s first live tournament victory was a big one.

The part-time poker professional took down the BetMGM Poker Championship on Tuesday night at Aria, besting pro Shannon Shorr in a brief heads-up battle. Maor took home $613,914 for the victory.

“I think I’ve had some close calls recently. I final-tabled the Wynn Millions this year. I had a couple final tables at WPT Australia, but I wasn’t able to close the deal,” Maor told Poker.org. “So, yeah, it feels great to be able to kind of get that monkey off your back and win a prestigious event like this.”

The $3,500 buy-in event drew 1,141 entrants, its largest field to date, and easily surpassed its $3 million guaranteed total prize pool.

This was the largest tournament score to date for Maor, who is listed by Poker.org as the director of product marketing at WPT Global. The win pushes his career tournament earnings over $1 million, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database.

“I mean, obviously, it feels great to win $600k, especially at a final table like this,” Maor said. “I mean you have guys that have millions in earnings and have guys with 15 to 20 years at the top of the game. To beat a guy like Shannon Shorr heads-up is not an easy feat, so, yeah, it feels great.”

Shorr entered the seven-handed final table with a commanding chip lead and maintained his advantage most of the way. Maor scored a key double-up with six remaining and went on to knock out two-time World Series of Poker event winner Eric Baldwin in sixth place.

Maor eliminated Jordan Westmorland in fourth place ($206,914) and the won a key pot against Shorr with three players left to take over the chip lead. After Lyu Jun Qiang was sent to the rail in third place ($279,207), Maor needed five hands to close out the victory.

On the final hand, Shorr moved all-in for 15.275 million chips holding ace-queen on a flop of 8-10-jack. Maor called with queen-jack, and his pair held up when he dodged the final two cards.

Shorr earned $430,367 for second place and now had more than $13 million in career tournament earnings.

“In terms of strategy, everything changes depending on obviously the structure, like if it’s a turbo you’re just going to take more spots,” Maor said. “This one, where it was 50-minute levels and 75-minute levels, you just really don’t have to force it. You just kind of get to wait for spots and hope you get your money in.”

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

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