As opposed to some of the marathon events that have taken place thus far at this World Series of Poker, this event had short days. Winner Philip Tom took seven hours to beat his table in day 1, and only five hours to beat his table in day 2. Today took a mere seven hours, including a one-hour dinner break. But these hours were action-packed, full of fast short-handed play. Certainly beating three tables full of players takes a severe degree of skill.
Through all of that, Tom rose to the top. To get there, he had to make it through Cort Kibler-Melby in Day 1 and Bill Blanda, Remy Biechel and Ariel Schneller in day 2. Tom's final table road would be the toughest, though, as he had to contend with wunderkinds Greg "FBT" Mueller and Tim "Tmay420" West - both of which likely had thousands of more hands of poker experience to their credit.
Indeed, it would take over 100 hands of six-way play before a single elimination took place. After that, though, the bustouts came fast and furious. Tom didn't start much, though - three out of four of the bustouts leading to the final two were at the hands of other players. He played a game of stay away while he watched the carnage, picking up small pots along the way to build up his stack.
Hand #163 of the 17-hand heads-up match with Mueller was likely the pivotal one. Tom limped in and Mueller raised to 225,000. The flop was
. Mueller checked and Tom bet 225,000. Mueller made a big check-raise to 650,000, but Tom went all in over the top and induced a huge laydown on Mueller's part. Mueller would never recover, and the tournament was over thirteen hands later.
Phil Tom is all smiles now as the photos are taken. Now, he can enjoy his first World Series of Poker bracelet. It's his second cash in this year's series thus far, and it may not be the last.