It took more than 200 hands to cut the final table field in half in Event #9 No Limit Hold'em Six-Handed at the World Series of Poker. It took just six more to crown a champion.
Rep Porter took home the bracelet and the $372,929 first-place prize, outlasting a field of 1,236 players in the $1,500 buy-in event and needing just four hands to defeat runner-up Nathan Templeton, who cashed in for $231,981.
But it was a key hand against third-place finisher Devin Porter ($151,842) that allowed Rep Porter – no relation – to take command of the tournament and cruise into heads-up play with a nearly three-to-one chip lead over Templeton.
On hand #207 of the night, the eventual champion raised to 85,000 from the button and Templeton, from the small blind, re-popped it to 240,000. Devin Porter, from the big blind, looked down at his hand and declared all-in for 1,300,000. After some deliberation, Rep Porter then declared that he also was all-in, and Templeton got out of the way.
Rep Porter showed down , while Devin Porter, who barely had his opponent covered, tabled the . The flop came 9-3-3 with one club, but the relatively safe board turned scary for Rep Porter when the hit the turn, adding a flush draw to go with Devin Porter's over cards. However, the came on the river, giving Rep Porter a full house and crippling Devin Porter.
It had to be a disappointing finish for Devin Porter, who started the final table as the second-shortest stack but had battled his way into the chip lead. Down to just 33,000 after losing the tournament's most critical pot, the 24-year-old was all-in on the next hand with A-8 and, despite spiking an ace on the flop, was eliminated when Templeton hit two pair after checking it down with Rep.
Rep Porter took a chip stack of 2,705,000 into heads-up play against Templeton, who had 1,025,000. After a few hands that were won uncontested through pre-flop raises, all the money went in on hand No. 212.
Templeton started the action with a button raise to 100,000, and Porter re-raised to 325,000. Templeton moved in the rest of his stack and was called by Porter, whose K-Q dominated Templeton's K-9. The rag-filled board provided no help to either player, and Porter had claimed his first WSOP championship.
The former finance manager from Woodinville, Wash., now has a WSOP bracelet to top an impressive list of major tournament finishes, which include a second-place in a 2006 WSOP Circuit Event in Atlantic City. It was the second career WSOP final-table appearance for Templeton, a 30-year-old pro from Chattanooga, Tenn. He took fifth in a 2006 $1,500 buy-in no-limit event.
Play was relatively slow and cautious in the early going, as the players were mostly feeling each other out and avoiding big pots. Most of the hands were won uncontested with a pre-flop raise or a walk in the blinds.
But Michiel Brummelhuis, a 27-year-old Amsterdam who entered the day second in chips at 883,000, took a couple of big hits to stack and was the first player eliminated. On hand #28, Rep Porter put in a raise from the small blind to 38,000, and Brummelhuis moved in from the big blind for his last 188,000. When Porter's A-J made a pair on the river outrun his opponent's flopped four, Brummelhuis exited with a $53,313 payday.
Anatoly Shilyuk, a former day trader from Ontario, Canada, started the final table as the short stack with 310,000 and was eliminated on hand #75 when he pushed in with from the small blind and was called by Rep Porter's 3-3. Porter's pair survived and Shilyuk went out in fifth and head to the cage to receive $70,859.
John Conkright, a 21-year-old from Los Angeles who took a chip lead into the final day of play with 997,000, was the next casualty. He moved all-in for 417,000 with K-5 off-suit on hand #177 against Templeton, whose A-10 flopped two pair and turned a full house. Conkright took home $101,228 for fourth place.