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When all was said and done, Travis Johnson was the last man left standing out of a field of 2,791 hopefuls in the 2009 WSOP Event #7, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. The total prizepool for this event came in at just under $4,000,000.

Brandon “any2cantu” Cantu and Shaun Deeb made it deep in this tourney, finishing at 98th and 100th place respectively. Sorel Mizzi cashed to in 136th place. Joe Bishop, who made the final two tables of last year’s main event with overwhelming chip lead but had a catastrophic breakdown to not reach the actual final table, made it to 169th place in this tourney.

Johnson had to battle for 3 days in a field of relative unknowns, with few big names in between. This basically means that it was still just as tough a task as you would have with just big names, because “unknowns” are that much more unpredictable and volatile. Its a literal minefield.

As we begun the final table, the chip stacks looked as follows:
Seat 1 – Steve Karp – 1,400,000
Seat 2 – Brian McInnis – 755,000
Seat 3 – Mark Salinaro – 450,000
Seat 4 – James McClain – 430,000
Seat 5 – Walter Wright – 249,500
Seat 6 – Michael Ciotolo – 1,035,000
Seat 7 – Kam Low – 300,000
Seat 8 – Travis Johnson – 1,825,000
Seat 9 – Craig McConville – 3,060,000

Johnson came in second in chips, behind overwhelming leader Craig McConville. It was even worse if you think about it, because Top Chip was sitting in seat 9, directly to his left.
Kam Low, however, was the first one to go. His money, 300K in chips, somehow found its way in while ahead, with A T in a slight race vs Travis Johnson’s QJ. As luck would have it, the board ran Q Q 6 K T, and Low had been sent home in 9th place with $81,185 in his pocket.

Next up a few hands later, James McClain was involved in BvB vs Mark Salinaro. Salinaro shoved all-in in an unopened pot, and McClain called while covered for his last 350K in chips. Salinaro turned over J 9, while McCalin showed A 7. The board came out T A 8 8 Q, giving salinaro one of his 8 outs for the elimination of McClain in 8th Place. McClain earned $87,013 for his efforts in the ’09 WSOP Event #7.

After almost 3 hours of play, we have our next elimination. PF 3bet allin, Travis Johnson holding 5 5 vs Walter Wright holding A K. Final board played out T 9 J 2 8. Johnson, holding an overwhelming chip advantage over Wright, won the hand sending Wright home in 7th with a cool $97,985 cash money in his pocket.

Immediately after that, we get another preflop race, this time between Brian McKinnis and Mike Ciotola. Ciotola held A K and McInnis 8 8. The final board read out A Q 5 9 Q, and McKinnis was sent packing in 6th with a happy 6 figure payday of $116,234.

Craig McConville who started this final table being the overwhelming leader in chips, met a dissapointing finish next. Travis Johnson was his opponent and executioner. PF 3bet all-in and race, JJ vs A T. Johnson’s A T proved superior when the board played out 8 A 3 9 Q, and McConville was sent packing in 5th place with $145,721 to his name.

There was some bobbing and weaving action next, and finally we had another elimination. Steve Karp limped from the small blind and Mark Salinaro shoved from the big blind. Karp instacalled with A K. Salinaro showed 7 7, but the medium pair proved not strong enough when the board played out K 8 Q 8 3. Salinaro busted 4th, earning him $193,343 for his efforts.

The very next hand, more big action. Again pf action, with Mike Ciotola and Travis Johnson being the protagonists. Ciotola held K 8 and Johnson held A 4, and the board played out 3 3 Q A 6. The A on the turn was the dagger to the heart of Ciotola, and he was sent packing in 3rd with an impressive $273,385 cash money as consolation. Not bad!

HU was a relative breeze, lasting only about half an hour. Steve Karp started HU with about 2,500,000 in chips and Travis Johnson had 4x that at 10,000,000. The final hand happened with Karp limping on the button, Johnson open-shoving and Karp calling. He obviously was going for the same trap before as he did with his AK hand. Karp held 5 5 while Johnson held A Q. The board played out K T 4 Q J, giving Travis Johnson the nuts, the WSOP event#7 Bracelet, and $666,853 in cold hard cash. Karp got $414,116 for his 2nd place finish tonight.

All in all, a great tournament witha great ending. Congrats to all the players!