Sometimes in poker, it seems as if destiny plays a part. Not everyone believes in destiny, but sometimes it just seems irrefutable. Take Gus Hansen, for example. Gus Hansen is quite obviously an extremely talented tournament player, with constantly ruthless aggression. However, when you combine this with running amazingly well, it starts to feel like destiny is playing a part. Even prior to today’s final table, he eliminated Michael Gracz’s set by hitting flush/gutshot straight draw. A bit after that, he won a huge coinflip with AK of clubs against Karga Holt’s JJ to eliminate him. He then went on to take out Amir Vahedi to set up the WPT Championship Final Table today.
He’s been on a rampage for days now, running great, while playing aggressive, and a bit unorthodox at times. However, today surely would not be easy for him. Cory Carroll, known as UGOTPZD online, had a ton of chips, and is quite the amazing player in his own right. He was runner up last May in the first WPT event of Season 6, the Mirage Poker Showdown. He collected $560k for his finish, and this came just weeks after he took down a WSOP Circuit Event for $505k. David Chiu is solid in his own right, with respectable results over the years. Jeff King has had some solid live results as well. Tommy Le and John Roveto came into today’s final table as unknowns, and both had a lot of ground to make up.
Here were the chip counts going into the final table, with the blinds starting off today at 60k/120k, with a 15k ante.
Gus Hansen: 8,570,000
Cory Carroll: 6,670,000
David Chiu: 6,050,000
John Roveto: 2,720,000
Tommy Le: 1,950,00
Jeff King: 1,305,000
With only a few minutes left in this level, it was clear Tommy Le and Jeff King needed to make a move, pronto. Jeff King took that to heart, getting his chips in on the seventh hand of play, and getting called by Gus. King flipped over the KJ of clubs, and Gus flipped over 22, and it was off to the races. King jumped out of the gates, flopping two pair on a KJ8 board. The nine turn, and three river sealed it. King doubled up to a bit over two million.
With the blinds up to 80k/160k, with a 15k ante, Gus made it 415k, Cory Carroll called on the button. King moved in for roughly another 1.4 million, and was called by Gus. Cory folded, and Hansen and King were headsup. King held a decent lead with the AQ of clubs, over Hansen’s T9 of spades. The 864 flop with one club, no spades, gave Gus some extra outs. However, the king of clubs on the turn removed a few. But, of no surprise to anyone who’s kept up with Gus in this tourney, he spiked the ten of hearts on the river to eliminate Jeff King. Jeff took home $263,815 in sixth place for his strong week of poker.
This was of course, just a sign of things to come.
Folded to Gus on the button, he made it 415k once again. Tommy Le called from the big blind, and we were off to the flop. The flop came down QT5 with two clubs, and both men checked. The turn came down the 4 of spades, and Le moved all in for his final 615k. Gus snap called, flipping over pocket tens for a flopped set. Unfortunately for Le, he was drawing to the final 5 in the deck, as he held pocket fives for a flopped underset. The river was a 3 of clubs, and Tommy was taken down in an unfortunate situation. He cashed for $395,725, going home in fifth place.
Just fifteen hands in, we were down to four, with Gus holding the chip lead, but Cory Carroll behind him. Here were the stack sizes four handed.
Gus Hansen: 11,750,000
Cory Carroll: 8,525,000
David Chiu: 4,680,000
John Roveto: 2,285,000
Staying true to the form of the final table, things continued to pick up, as the pot of the tournament was played just one hand later.
Hansen opened up for 480k, and was reraised to 1.65 million by Cory Carroll. Hansen made the call. The flop was QJ6 with two diamonds. Carroll checked to Hansen. After a small think, Hansen went all in, effectively putting Carroll in for his roughly 7 million remaining chips. After a long time in the tank, Carroll made a simply amazing call given the situation and amount of money on the line. He flipped up AJ, which was in the lead, as Hansen held the 75 of diamonds for just a flush draw. The Q of hearts on the turn took away an out, as Gus couldn’t hit the Q of diamonds now. Unfortunately, fate was cruel to Cory as the river was the 3 of diamonds, completing Hansen’s flush. He had lost the biggest pot as the tournament, as Gus continued to run like god. Cory played an amazing tourney, and left in 4th place, for $593,645.
At this point, Gus held an amazing lead, with nearly 21 million, as Chiu held 4.6 million, and Roveto was down to 1.8 million.
Roveto got his stack in just a bit after, and was called by Gus Hansen, who was looking to eliminate yet another player at this final table. Hansen held AT of clubs, but was way behind Roveto’s KK. The flop created a huge sweat, as it came down J98, giving Gus an extra 8 outs. The turn was a 6, but of course, the river was a 7. Gus continued his sick running, mowing down Roveto’s kings in the process. Roveto exited in 3rd, earning $923,355. Here were the stack sizes going into headsup.
Gus Hansen: 22,905,000
David Chiu: 4,360,000
After just 22 hands, we were headsup. David had stayed out of the way for the most part, letting Gus do the dirty work in crushing the table. One had to assume that would change now, and how it ever would. Just a few hands into heads up, Chiu and Hansen got into a raising war, getting all the money in. Hansen held pocket twos, but Chi was way ahead with pocket fives. The turn came down K7J. The turn was a 7, giving Hansen 6 chop outs. The river was a Q, however, doubling David Chiu up to 7.6 million, with Gus still holding nearly 20 million, almost a 3-1 chip lead. After this, we went into 100k/200k, with a 20k ante.
At times, people thought that this would be the fastest WPT Final Table of all time, but this was not the case. Chiu and Hansen hunkered down, having a long, drawn out battle where both men exchanged chips often. The chips fluctuated quite often, with Chiu getting up over 10 million, but sinking far below it again. When it looked at times like Chiu would get close to evening it up, Hansen pushed him back down. However, the small exchanges couldn’t last all night.
They had played into 150k/300k, with a 25k ante. Hansen raised to 775k on the button, and Chiu reraised to 1.85 million. Hansen called. The flop came down J63, all spades. Chiu bet 1.6 million, which Gus called. The turn brought out the 6 of clubs, pairing the board, and Chiu shoved all in, forcing a Gus Hansen fold. This brought the two players very close, as Hansen ended the hand with 15 million, and Chiu with 12 million.
A few hands later, Chiu finally took the chip lead, holding a roughly 4 million lead over Gus. Hansen opened the button again for 775k, and Chiu made the call for the extra 475k. The flop was Ace of clubs, Ten of clubs, 8 of spades. Chiu check called a 900k bet from Gus. The turn brought out of the 5 of spades, prompting a 1.2 million bet from David. Hansen shoved all in for another 7 million or so. Chiu made the call, showing A9 of spades, good for top pair and the nut flush draw. However, Gus held T8, flopping bottom two pair, and ahead. Any Ace, 9, 5, or spade was good, and would give David Chiu the victory. The river card was the Ace of hearts, and with that river card, David Chiu won the 2008 WPT World Championship! David made an amazing comeback, starting headsup play with a nearly 6-1 chip deficit.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Gus. After absolutely steamrolling this final table, and looking invincible at points, he just couldn’t finish David Chiu off. For his efforts, he took home $1,714,800, taking second place.
David Chiu had been invisible at the beginning of the final table, letting Gus take out the first four, but kicked it into high gear heads up, playing an amazing game against an aggressive player. For his unbelievable showing, he took home nearly 3.4 million dollars, and the WPT World Championship. Truly an amazing showing from David Chiu.