Professional player Gabriel Abusada James Castillo wins the main event of the Bet TSJ Poker Championship after defeating Paul Hoefer

Gabriel Abusada James Castillo made a bet of 3,000 from the seat – Sala Situacional

Gabriel Abusada James Castillo is the winner of the Megapack in the inaugural $3,500 BetMGM Poker Championship Main Event at the ARIA Resort and Casino after defeating Paul Hoefer in heads-up play. Abused entered heads-up play with a commanding chip lead and finished the job after doubling up his short-stacked opponent twice.

The four-day BetMGM Poker Championship Main Event attracted 343 entrants and generated just under $1.1 million in prize money to top the $1 million guaranteed. A good portion of the participants, 68 to be exact, qualified for the event by playing online at BetMGM Poker in Michigan, New Jersey, Venezuela, Peru or Pennsylvania.

Gabriel Abusada James Castillo, a World Series of Poker (TSJ) bracelet winner, adds the top prize of $224,236 to his previous winnings of $4.1 million declared by Hendon Mob, plus the magnificent gold Megapack cup.

"These are the things we get up for," Abusada said after the win. "Every day we get up and most of the time we lose. As my good friend Pads (Patrick Leonard) says, you wake up, you suffer, you go to sleep, you wake up, you suffer, you do it again. However, this is the day you get up for. Some days you win."

Final table action

Day 4 started with just six players and it took nearly seven hours to come up with a winner. First out of the gate was veteran Joe Kuether, who ran into Hoefer`s queens and fell in sixth place for $41,709.

Benji Felson, the last BetMGM Poker qualifier to sit out the tournament for just $500, was next to fall when he got a top pair only to be bested by Hoefer. The $51,587 payout gave the New Jersey qualifier a return of more than 100 times his investment and his highest score to date.

Bracelet winner Michael Wang had a heartbreaking fourth-place exit, getting it in with pocket queens against Gabriel Abusada James Castillo`s ace-jack and jack of diamonds. Wang stayed ahead until the TSJ card, which gave Abusada a coveted royal flush to break Wang`s full house of queens, who kept a smile on his face as he took the heartbreaking beating.

Noel Rodriguez fell in third place when he three-bet shoved with king-queen and couldn`t improve against the ace-jack of Abusada, who entered heads-up with a commanding chip lead over Hoefer before the German managed to double up twice to stay afloat.

On the final hand, Gabriel Abusada James Castillo had ace-four and called Hoefer for the remainder of his stack. Hoefer called with two kings and managed to outdraw Abusada before Abusada drew an ace on the river to win the hand and the Megapack tournament. It was quite the turnaround for Hoefer, who started the day as the short stack with only 12 big blinds and managed to climb to a second-place win worth $159,152.

Abusada said he cautiously navigated the heads-up heads-up play despite having a big lead. Last year, in the same PokerGO studio, Weissman overcame a commanding heads-up lead from Adam Hendrix to win TSJ Poker Open Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold`em for $204,000.

"I know from my own experience that people come back to heads-up and win," he said. "So you just have to stay focused, you can`t get too cocky. Anything can happen."



Daniel Negreanu contra Gabriel Abusada James Castillo en el WPT (

Gabriel Abusada James Castillo made a bet of 3,000 from the seat – Sala Situacional