After two marathon days of play, the final nine players converged on the final table of Event #17, the $1,000 Ladies World Championship. Lori Bender entered the final table as chip leader, with both Angel Pedroza and Lisa Hamilton hot on her trail. The women wasted little time in playing down to a champion, as the final table took less than four hours to complete. Lisa Hamilton, a cash-game specialist from Las Vegas, went on a rush at just the right time and emerged as the 2009 Ladies World Champion.
Lisa Santy was the first player eliminated from the final table. Lisa Hamilton raised preflop to 40,000 and Santy moved all in for 171,000. Action folded around to Kim Rios, who also moved in from the small blind, having Santy covered. Hamilton tanked for a bit before releasing her hand. Santy tabled and found herself far behind the of Rios. The flop fell and the turn was the to give Santy outs to a chop if another spade showed up on the river. But the flush did not come as the fell on the river to eliminate Santy in ninth place, good for $15,973.
The next player was ousted when Dawn Thomas pushed all in for 255,000 preflop after a raise from Lori Bender. Bender made the call and revealed . Thomas held and needed to hit a two-outer to survive. The board failed to help either player, and Thomas exited in eighth to receive her $18,742 payday.
Lisa Parsons went from double-up to bustout with the flip of one card. Kim Rios raised to 40,000 from the button preflop and Parsons responded with a raise to 116,000 total. Rios made the call and the flop arrived . Parsons checked to Rios, who bet 100,000. Parsons then check-raised all in for 290,000 total. Rios made the call and flipped over for top pair. Parsons tabled for a set. The turn fell the , giving Parsons a full house and sending her cheering section into a premature celebration. However, realizing that a river nine or seven could beat her, Parsons told the dealer, “Show me a deuce.” Instead of a deuce, the fell on the river, giving Rios a bigger full house and eliminating Parsons in seventh place. Instead of a double-up, Parsons had to settle for $22,880 in prize money.
Angel Pedroza chipped up steadily in the early stages of the final table, amassing a stack of over one million in chips. She then lost half of those chips in a pot against Lisa Hamilton. Two players limped into the pot preflop before Hamilton raised to 110,000 from the small blind. Pedroza reraised to 310,000 from the big blind and the limpers moved out of the way. Hamilton moved all in and Pedroza made the call. Hamilton held pocket kings against the of Pedroza. The flop came down and Hamilton took a dominating lead with a set of kings. The turn and river both fell babies and Hamilton doubled to 970,000. Pedroza was reduced to 530,000.
Kim Rios was the next player to fall victim to a set. Rios min-raised to 40,000 preflop and Lisa Hamilton made the call. On the flop of , Rios bet out 100,000 and Hamilton raised to 350,000. Rios then moved in and Hamilton wasted little time in calling. Rios revealed for top pair and Hamilton showed for a set. The turn fell the and the river the to send Rios home in sixth place with $29,121.
Kimberly Cunningham was the short stack for most of this final table. She managed to double up a couple of times to stay alive but was never able to amass enough chips to be a significant threat. Finally, she shoved all in for 51,000 with pocket sixes and Angel Pedroza made the call holding a modest . The flop came to give Pedroza the lead. A six failed to hit either the turn or river and Cunningham took home $38,719 for fifth place.
Lisa Hamilton seemed to have Angel Pedroza ‘s number at this final table. After doubling through Pedroza earlier, Hamilton took another huge pot that left Pedroza crippled. On the turn, the board read and Hamilton bet out 125,000. Pedroza made the call and the fell on the river. Hamilton bet out 350,000 and Pedroza went into the tank. After thinking over the hand for a couple of minutes, Pedroza called and mucked her hand after Hamilton showed for the nut straight. Pedroza was left with just 60,000 in chips after the hand. Hamilton was the dominant chip leader with 2.2 million.
Angel Pedroza was soon forced to try and take a stand from the big blind. Mari Lou Morelli moved all in from the button and Pedroza was priced in with half of her stack already in for the big blind. Morelli held to the of Pedroza. While Pedroza was far behind, she did have live cards. The flop fell , giving Morelli top pair and Pedroza middle pair with a wheel draw. The turn of the missed both players and the river put an end to Pedroza’s tournament, sending her out in fourth place with $53,940.
Mari Lou Morelli followed Pedroza to the rail shortly afterward. Preflop, Morelli raised to 75,000 and Lori Bender called. On the flop of , Bender bet out 125,000 and Morelli pushed all in for a total of 185,000. Bender made the call with for bottom pair and Morelli tabled for middle pair. The turn helped neither player, but the river gave Bender two pair and sent Morelli to the rail. Mari Lou Morelli took home $78,132 for her third-place finish.
Lisa Hamilton held a commanding chip lead of just over 2.6-to-1 going into heads-up play. Hamilton sat on 2.3 million to a meager 865,000 for Lori Bender. It did not take long for Bender to get her chips into the middle. Bender checked the flop of to Hamilton, who bet 100,000. Bender called and the fell on the turn. Bender checked to Hamilton, who bet 300,000. Bender then shoved all in for 697,000 total. Hamilton tanked for a bit before making the call. Hamilton flipped over for second pair and Bender showed for the same pair, but with an inferior kicker. The river fell the and Lisa Hamilton is the 2009 Ladies World Champion. Lori Bender finished runner-up and received $120,575.
Remarkably, Lisa Hamilton takes home the 2009 WSOP Ladies World Championship in her first live tournament. Normally, Hamilton is a cash-game player, but she became bored with cash games and decided to give this event a try. The decision paid off as Hamilton received both the gold bracelet and $195,390 in cash.