2008 WSOP, Event #4, $5,000 Mixed Hold'em: Erick Lindgren Wins First Bracelet
Erick Lindgren came into Event #4 with two WPT championships, over $6 million in tourney winnings, 14 WSOP cashes, four final tables, and was widely considered one of the best poker players to never win a World Series of Poker bracelet. That last bit no longer applies. In Event #4, $5,000 Mixed Hold'em, Lindgren finally dumped that monkey off his back by collecting his first WSOP gold. Lindgren made it through a stacked final table that included David Williams, Isaac Haxton and Howard Lederer before taking out Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo heads-up for the bracelet and the $374,505 first-place prize money.
The night started off right for Lindgren when he busted Haxton in ninth place on the second hand of the final table. In a no-limit hand, Haxton raised from middle position. Lindgren re-raised from the button, and made the call when Haxton pushed all in over the top. Haxton tabled and needed help to win a coin flip against Lindgren's pocket queens. No help came on the board of , and Haxton picked up $35,109 for his ninth-place finish.
Canadian pro Pat Pezzin went to the rail in eighth place when he ran his into Andre "good2cu" Robl's . Nothing out of the ordinary happened as the board came down , and Pezzin exited with $46,812. David Williams fell next when his was outflopped by David Rheem's . Rheem picked up top pair on the , and the on the turn left Williams drawing to only an ace. The river wasn't one of his three outs, and Williams was eliminated in seventh place ($58,515).
Play slowed considerably after Williams' exit, as it took nearly as many hands to see the next player fall as it took to eliminate the first three! In a big limit hand, Howard Lederer raised from the cutoff with pocket fours, and Justin Bonomo re-raised. Lederer made the call, and Bonomo bet out in the dark as the flop was being revealed. Lederer responded by raising all in before he saw the flop, and Bonomo made the call. The flop was , and Lederer was in the lead with over Bonomo's . Bonomo picked up more outs when the on the turn paired the board, and the on the river counterfeited Lederer's two pair and sent him to the rail in sixth place ($74,119).
Day 2 chip leader David "chino" Rheem was next to fall. Rheem raised preflop from under the gun and found one caller in Roland de Wolfe. Both players checked the flop, and then de Wolfe check-called the turn when Rheem led out. Rheem moved all in when the came on the river, and de Wolfe made the call with for the nut straight. Rheem mucked his hand as he was eliminated in fifth place ($93,624).
Soon after, Justin Bonomo got it all in with Roland de Wolfe on a flop of , and tabled for two over cards and a flush draw. De Wolfe tabled for top pair, and held the lead through the turn. Bonomo hit his flush when the landed on the river, and de Wolfe headed to the rail in fourth place ($117,030). That hand left Bonomo with a significant chip lead over Erick Lindgren and Andrew Robl going into three-handed play.
Three-handed play lasted for nearly an hour before Robl got the last of his chips in preflop Bonomo in a battle of the internet wunderkinder. Robl moved all in over the top of Bonomo's preflop raise with , and the deep-stacked Bonomo called with . The flop of gave Bonomo top pair, and the turn left Robl drawing to only an ace. The river was no help, and Robl picked up $144,337 for his third-place finish.
Justin Bonomo took a slight chip lead into heads-up play, but it took 40 hands of play for the tournament to be decided as the young superstar battled Lindgren, the experienced pro. The 22-year-old Bonomo was also looking for his first WSOP bracelet after picking up three cashes in the 2007 series, his first. Bonomo held a 3:2 chip lead through the first half of the heads-up match, but Lindgren managed to string together several big pots in a row during the limit section of the match to pull into the lead.
Finally, after an hour of tough heads-up play, Lindgren knocked out Bonomo and claimed his first WSOP bracelet. Lindgren raised preflop on the final hand, and Bonomo called. Both players checked the flop, and the came on the turn. Bonomo led out and Lindgren made the call. Bonomo fired again when the came on the river, and Lindgren put in a raise. Bonomo moved all in and Lindgren quickly called with for a wheel straight, while Bonomo tabled for two pair. Bonomo's second-place finish was good for $230,259 as Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren won $374,505 and his first World Series of Poker bracelet.