Scott Stewart entered Day 2 of the 2021 bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open $2,000 Main Event with more than $2.2 million in lifetime earnings but had never had an outright win worth more than $105,245. That changed Sunday night as he topped a field of 510 entries, winning outright for a top prize of $177,817.
Stewart began the day fifth in chips out of the 78 runners that returned. He remained one of the top stacks in the room through the first part of the day as the bubble burst and the top 64 places were paid. He ascended even further and found himself at the top of the counts when three tables remained.
From there, Stewart played a part in further reducing the field, nearly single-handedly dismantling another big stack in 16th-place finisher James Calderaro. A short-handed battle with eventual runner-up Matt Mauldin left Stewart coming into the final table third in chips, but he continued to battle and stay in the thick of things until pulling away during short-handed play and never looking back.
2021 bestbet Winter Open Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Scott Stewart||Lakewood, California||$177,817|
|2||Matt Mauldin||Columbia, South Carolina||$118,422|
|3||Ken Stacy||Bristol, Virginia||$87,394|
|4||Chris Perry||Tampa, Florida||$65,178|
|5||Thad McNulty||Jacksonville, Florida||$49,113|
|6||Luan Nguyen||Lawrenceville, Georgia||$37,454|
|7||Chuck Tabor||Charlotte, North Carolina||$28,917|
|8||Barbara Rogers||Lockhaven, Pennsylvania||$22,491|
Day 2 Action
Fourteen eliminations were needed to burst the bubble from the time play began on the day. That feat was accomplished around an hour into play, and in unusual fashion saw 20 full minutes go by before the first in-the-money elimination occurred.
When the bust outs did start happening, Justin Liberto (62nd place), Dapo Ajayi (58th place), and Byron Kaverman (57th place) were all among the first wave of them. Timothy Miles (48th place), Justin Zaki (30th place), and Hamid Izadi (27th place) also followed as the tournament progressed, and the final three tables were reached before four hours of play had concluded.
As previously mentioned, Stewart was at the top of the counts at that time. However, others in Mauldin and Ken Stacy sent four combined players to the rail in Kelly Slay (13th place), Day 1b chip leader Tyler Payne (12th place), Jason Block (11th place), and Day 1a chip leader Dustin Holladay (10th place) in a short timespan. Then, Thad McNulty eliminated Mitch Smith on the final table bubble after his ace-ten hit running Broadway cards to beat Smith’s ace-queen, and just eight remained.
The Final Table
Barbara Rogers entered the final table as the short stack with less than six big blinds and was the first to fall after her king-jack lost to Scott’s ace-king all in preflop. Chuck Tabor had also found himself short by that time, and he went shortly thereafter when his ace-five suited could not improve to Mauldin’s ace-queen.
Six-handed play then continued for two full levels until Luan Nguyen was knocked out by Mauldin in sixth, and McNulty fell to Stewart in fifth just one hand later. From there, two more levels went by with play four-handed until eventually Chris Perry became the next one to go after he ran pocket kings into Mauldin’s pocket aces.
During that time, third-place finisher Stacy put up a fight but eventually saw his luck run out with his stack following suit. His elimination came at the expense of Mauldin as well, ensuring that the pair of Mauldin and Stewart would account for every single final-table elimination.
After Mauldin eliminated Stacy, he entered heads-up play with a slight disadvantage in the counts. It proved to be one he would be unable to overcome, with Stewart grabbing the momentum from the get-go and never relinquishing it. Stacy then found himself at a 5:1 chip disadvantage and shoved his last 13 big blinds in with ace-eight, only to run it into pocket nines for Scott, who held to claim the title and $177,817 in prize money.
bestbet Jacksonville 2021 Winter Open Winners
The Main Event was the culmination of a 11-event series, one that catered to a combined 2,330 entries and awarded $1,621,557 in prize money. One of the biggest stories to emerge from the side events was Eddy Mroczkowski‘s impressive two-day performance. First, he topped a 195-entry field to win Event #4: $160 No-Limit Hold’em for $4,248 and then the next day bested 222 entries to take down Event #5: $360 NLH Monster Stack for $12,551.
|Event #1: $560 No-Limit Hold’em||592||$296,000||Huilin Chen||$30,460|
|Event #2: $260 H.O.R.S.E.||65||$13,975||Daniel Wise||$2,717|
|Event #3: $360 NLH w/ $100 Bounties||196||$40,180||Patrick Michael||$9,003|
|Event #4: $160 No-Limit Hold’em||195||$24,377||Eddy Mroczkowski||$4,248|
|Event #5: $360 NLH Monster Stack||222||$68,820||Eddy Mroczkowski||$12,551|
|Event #6: $260 NLH Turbo||104||$17,160||Taylor Howard||$5,235|
|Event #7: $320 NLH Ladies Only||70||$18,900||Diane Casino||$4,237|
|Event #8: $1,000 NLH 6-Max||141||$129,720||Fernando Rodriguez-Vazquez||$27,411|
|Event #9: $360 Pot-Limit Omaha||70||$21,000||Tammer Ilcaffas||$7,352|
|Event #10: $500 No-Limit Hold’em||165||$73,425||Nabil Hirezi||$10,000|
|$2,000 Main Event||510||$918,000||Scott Stewart||$177,817|