On March 16, 2021, Andrew Moreno made a Twitter post saying that began: “Looking to get back on the tourney grind after a long break.” The 38-year-old poker pro had been in the game for two decades, accumulating more than $850,000 in tournament earnings prior to sending that tweet despite primarily focusing on cash games. Since hitting send on that post, Moreno has gone on to cash in eight events, with three final-table finishes, two titles won, and more than $1.6 million in earnings accrued along the way.
Moreno’s most recent score saw him emerge victorious from a massive field of 1,328 entries to take down the $10,000,000 guaranteed Wynn Millions $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. Moreno earned $1,460,106 as the champion of the event for his first seven-figure score, easily surpassing his previous largest cash of $219,632 as the sixth-place finisher in the 2016 World Series of Poker $1,500 ‘Monster Stack’ event. This latest win increased Moreno’s career tournament earnings to $2,512,947.
In addition to the title and the money, Moreno was also awarded 2,400 Card Player Player of the Year points after coming out on top in this tournament. He had earned $127,740 and 840 POY points he earned for a win in a Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series $1,100 buy-in event in June, along with two other POY-qualified scores made in the past two months. As a result of his hot streak, Moreno has surged into third place in the 2021 POY race standings sponsored by Global Poker. He currently sits with 3,547 total points and $1,626,754 in year-to-date POY earnings.
This event also award PokerGO Tour rankings points. Moreno earned 1,200 points as the champion, enough to see him climb into third place on that leaderboard as well.
Moreno is married to former Card Player writer and video host Kristy Arnett. The couple are expecting their first child later this year. He is also the brother of poker pro and popular vlogger Johnnie Moreno, known to many as ‘Johnnie VIBES’. Both his wife and brother, along with other family members and friends, were on the rail when Moreno secured the victory.
The final day of this event began with Moreno in seventh chip position, while WSOP bracelet winner Clayton Maguire sat atop the chip counts. The first player to hit the rail with Lion Yiming Lee, who lost a race with king-queen against the pocket sevens of Julian Milliard-Feral to finish ninth ($202,765).
Accomplished poker pro Joe Kuether was the next to fall. The 2013 Arizona State Poker Championship winner shoved for his last six big blinds with Q-4 offsuit when it folded to him in the small blind. Jaime Cervantes made the call with A-7 in the big blind. Kuether floppeda straight draw, but failed to improve any futher and was eliminated in eighth place. He earned $240,302 for his deep run, increasing his career tournament earnigns to nearly $7.3 million in the process.
Despite scoring that knockout, Cervantes was ultimately the next player to bust out. He got involved in a preflop raising war that resulted in all of the chips getting into the middle with his pocket QQ facing off against the AK of Toby Lewis. Cervantes’ queens failed to win the race, with Lewis making aces up to secure the pot. Cervantes earned $289,361 as the seventh-place finisher.
Moreno was left as the shortest stack heading into six-handed play. He managed to outlast fellow short-stack Philip Shing, who called all-in for eight big blinds with J9 suited from the big blind after Lewis shoved from the small blind. Lewis was applying pressure with K8. King-high ended up being the winning hand by the river, and Shing was sent packing with $360,140.
After a 75-minute dinner break, it only took a few orbits to narrow the field from five down to just three. Julian Milliard-Feral lost a classic coin flip with AQ against the pocket tens of Lewis to finish fifth for $456,629. Around 20 minutes lates, Salim Admon three-bet all-in with 99 over the top of an under-the-gun open from Moreno, who quickly called with pocket queens. The superior pair held up and Amdon was kncoked out in fourth place ($619,160).
The final three played a few hands before halting the action to discuss a deal. After negotiations the three came to an agreement that redistributed the remaining prize money, locking up at seven-figure paydays for all three while setting aside 10 percent of the prize pool to play for, with $313,000 in additional prize money for the champion and $100,907 to the runner-up. Maguire had 22,700,000 in chips for the lead at the time, while Lewis had 17,125,000 and Moreno 13,325,000.
Their agreed-upon guaranteed payouts were as follows:
Clayton Maguire – $1,342,850
Toby Lewis – $1,235,204
Andrew Moreno – $1,147,105
Things quickly went south for Lewis after the deal was made. In 11 hands he went from having nearly 60 big blinds to around 20. The British poker pro and 2018 Aussie Millions main event winner was able to mount a small comeback, but ultimately fell in third place. In his final hand he shoved from the button for around 30 big blinds with 33. Maguire called with AK from the small blind. Lewis remained ahead through the turn, but Maguire spiked a king on the end to secure the pot. Lewis walked away with the more than $1.2 million he had negotiated for in the deal. He now has $7,883,381 in career tournament earnings.
With that Maguire took 30,145,000 into heads-up play with Moreno, who sat with 22,975,000. Moreno closed the gap a bit early, most notably by winning a pot with a three-barrel bluff holding 92, which he showed after betting Maguire out of the hand. In the 210th hand of the final table, Moreno limped in from the button with A10 and Maguire raised to 1,500,000 out of the big blind with AQ. Moreno limp-reraised to 5,400,000. Maguire moved all-in and Moreno called. He was at risk and behind, but the K1072K runout gave Moreno a winning pair of tens to see him double into a 5:2 chip lead.
Just five hands later, the two clashed in antoher preflop showdown. Maquire picked up AK on the button and shoved for roughly 16 big blinds. Moreno called with AQ. The KQ5 flop paired both players, with Maguire making the higher pair while Moreno added a flush draw. The Q on the turn saw Moreno surge ahed with trip queens, leaving Maguire in need of a king on the river. The 8 locked up the pot and the title for Moreno. Maguire earned $1,443,757 as the runner-up, increasing his lifetime earnings to more than $3 million. He also took home 2,000 POY points for his strong showing. This was his first POY-qualified score of the 2021, but it alone was enough to move him into 15th place in the rankings.
|9||Lion Yiming Lee||$202,765||200||203|
Winner photo credit: Jamie Thomson / PokerNews.