$5,300 Wynn Winter Classic Championship Winner, Eli Berg

The $5,300 Championship at the 2021 Wynn Winter Classic was won by Eli Berg of Newton, Massachusetts, who came back from the felt to upset Mark Ioli in heads-up play. 

The major highlight of the year’s penultimate Wynn Classic drew 672 participants. The event generate a prize pool of $3,306,240, much exceeding the guaranteed prize pool of $2,000,000. Berg wins $626,499 in addition to the coveted Wynn Trophy and his first major event triumph. According to The Hendon Mob, the top award raises his overall career earnings to $1,354,084. 

In a post-win interview with PokerNews, Berg commented, “It’s incredible.” “It’s fantastic.” With such a large crowd and a gorgeous setting, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to race well here. “I consider myself really fortunate.”   Berg recovered from a set-over-set hand that nearly destroyed his evening during three-handed play. 

“You only have so much time to live in a tournament.” Things will fluctuate, and at some time you will attempt to run well and see what occurs. 

 I was lucky and got it in fantastic shape, which is crucial in a competition like this. That’s how I got back on my feet. For me, the cards came back to me.” 

 Berg’s son Ezra was on the rail, making the victory even sweeter for the father-son pair. 

 “It’s one-of-a-kind.” It doesn’t get much better than this. For me, this is the summit.” 

The Ioli event, hosted by Wynn, attracted a star-studded lineup of pros and local regulars. Victoria Livschitz (24th – $23,136), Tim Reilly (22nd – $26,491), Cherie Wallace ($30,332), Mitchell Halverson ($34,881), Romain Lewis ($16th), and Boris Kolev ($46,131) were among the players that failed to make the final table on Day 3. When heads-up play began, Ioli enjoyed a nearly 2:1 lead against Berg, but this was quickly wiped when Berg doubled up twice to take the lead. 

 

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