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With a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, the $160 Mega Millions XVII Quantum event was sure to draw an impressive field. The tournament certainly didn’t disappoint. 6,087 poker players descended on the Bicycle Casino for the event that ran from March 16 to 29, but it was Alan “Ari” Engel who would outlast everyone else.
As the final table was set, Engel was sitting comfortably with the second-largest chip stack. He played patiently and methodically to move into the lead, eliminating WPT Legends of Poker winner Pat Lyons in fourth place. He maintained his position to ultimately find himself in a heads-up battle against Min Zhang, who he swiftly eliminated after flopping trip fives against Zhang’s pocket Q hand. Engel pocketed $315,000 for the win, while Zhang was awarded a little more than $178,000 for her second-place finish.
Engel isn’t a stranger to poker tournaments, but typically stays around games that have smaller stakes. He has been seen at the tournament felt for about 12 years, participating in tournaments with typical buy-ins around $500-$2,000. His strategy seems to be paying off, as he has now accumulated over $5.7 million in live action. Before his latest victory, he had taken down the 2016 Aussie Millions main event for a little more than $1 million and finished in fifth place at the 2016 EPT Barcelona tournament.