Farid Yachou Surprises, Claims Monster WPT Tournament of Champions
The relative unknown from the Netherlands won $381,600 in prize money and a 2016 Corvette.
Tournament of Champions Draws 64 Players
The Monster WPT Tournament of Champions kicked off on Friday from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL.
This event was open only to Season 14 winners on the World Poker Tour and WPT winners from past seasons, aka the Champions Club.
A field of 64 took to the felt on Friday in hopes of making the final table and becoming the first ever TOC Champion.
WPT Amsterdam champion Farid Yachou was the chip leader after Day 1 with Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi in second.
As fate would have it, both players would make the final table in this event. However, Jonathan Jaffe would take the chip lead into the final.
Yachou Wins Second WPT Title in Just Second Live Tournament
At the start of final table play on Sunday, Jonathan Jaffe was the chip leader with Mizrachi right behind. Joining them at the final table was Darren Elias, Noah Schwartz, Vlad Darie and the eventual champion Yachou.
Elias was knocked out on the 38th hand of the final table when he shoved with Qd-10d into the pocket jacks of Yachou.
The very next hand, Schwartz was all-in with Ah-5d and Mizrachi called with Qh-Jh. The flop and turn missed both but the river fell the Jc to give Mizrachi the hand and the elimination.
Jaffe was unable to build on his momentum at the final table and busted in fourth. His final hand saw him show with Kc-10c into the pocket queens of Vlad Darie.
With three players left, Mizrachi had half the chips in play and it seemed he was on his way to the TOC win.
However, both Yachou and Darie took large chunks of Mizrachi's stack to leave him short. He finally shoved with Kc-9d but it wasn't good enough as Yachou's called with pocket fours and immediately spiked a set on the flop.
Heads-up play was between Yachou and Darie and Yachou had a slight chip lead. The battle lasted a mere 12 hands.
In the final hand, Darie shoved on a board of 8h-2h-2c-10c-8d holding Kc-7d. He was hoping that Yachou didn't have an eight, deuce, ten or an ace. Unfortunately for him, Yachou had A-2 and his full house was enough for the title and the victory.
In addition to $381,600 in prize money for winning the TOC, Yachou won:
• 2016 Corvette
• Hublot King Power Unico Titanium Watch
• Aurae Sold Gold MasterCard
• Pair of gold Monster 24k Headphones
• Customer premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables
• Tiger's Poker Night Presented by World Poker Tour
• Round of gold for Yachou and two guests as Shadow Creek Golf Course
Yachou Almost Didn't Play TOC Due to Fear of Flying
Yachou was probably the most unlikely winner in this event for several reasons. First, his WPT Amsterdam win in May was his first-ever live tournament cash.
His lack of experience in live events wasn't the only thing that made his winning the TOC unlikely. Yachou has an intense fear of flying and almost didn't come to the U.S. to play the event.
He changed his mind just in time to get his Visa to play and the rest is history.
Yachou now has two live tournament cashes on his resume, both WPT titles. After such an impressive start to his live tournament career, it will be interesting to see what he achieves.