After six days and 335 entrants, the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago, has crowned a winner. Randal Flowers, 22, has become the youngest player ever to win more than one WPT title.
Flowers, whose first title came in last season's WPT Spanish Championship, never lost his composure or sense of humor during the tournament, even in times of near-elimination. Despite his lighthearted demeanor, when it came down to business, Flowers demonstrated some serious poker skills. This was particularly true at the final table where he was responsible for eliminating four of his five opponents.
Skip Wilson, who took home $112,840 for his sixth-place finish, was the only player to dodge the mighty Flowers. Instead, Wilson's chips went to Michael Benvenuti. Wilson moved all-in after a flop and Benvenuti called, showing queens to Wilson's . The turn and river were no help, and the final table was down one player after just 25 hands.
Flowers' first victim, and fifth-place finisher, was Andy Frankenberger, who was attempting a second WPT title win. With blinds at 50,000/100,000, Flowers min-raised under-the-gun to 200,000. Frankenberger moved all-in from the cutoff and Flowers snap-called, turning over pocket tens. Frankenberger showed fives but couldn't catch up when the board ran out . Frankenberger took home $161,200 for his finish. That pot moved Flowers' stack to 4.7 million, which was nearly two million chips ahead of then second place on the chip leaderboard, Noah Schwartz.
Flowers soon put those chips to use against Jason Koon and sent him home in fourth place with a $225,680 consolation prize.
His gaze then turned to Schwartz. On the 82nd hand of play, Flowers raised preflop to 320,000. Schwartz moved all-in for his 2,715,000 stack. Flowers snap-called turning over to dominate Schwartz's . Flowers' hand held, and Schwartz earned a third-place finish good for $344,968.
Flowers had no intention of slowing down with just one player, Benvenuti, in the way of his second WPT title.
Coming into heads-up play, the rail was littered with Randal Flowers' supporters including Andrew Lichtenberger, Vivek Rajkumar and Shaun Deeb.
Thirteen hands into heads-up play, the chip stacks had not wavered much — Flowers held around 9.3 million, and Benvenuti with just under 4.1 million. From the button, Flowers raised to 330,000 and Benvenuti called. The flop came . Benvenuti checked and Flowers continued with a bet of 420,000. Benvenuti moved all-in, and after a moment's pause, Flowers called. He revealed for top pair, and Benvenuti showed for a flush draw, gut-shot straight draw, and overcard.
The crowd grew rowdy and Flowers' supporters began chanting his name in preparation for victory. Flowers, though, still had several cards to dodge. He managed to do so on the turn, which was the . With one card to come, the room was buzzing. The river was the , and cheers burst out from Flowers' supporters. Flowers had won his second WPT title, $831,500, a seat into the WPT World Championship at the end of the season, a WPT bracelet, and a Bellagio bracelet.
Flowers, as collected and lighthearted as ever, joked about the upcoming winner's photo, saying, "Awesome, I get to hold up nine-three off-suit!"
Final Table Results
1. Randal Flowers - $831,500
2. Michael Benvenuti - $564,200
3. Noah Schwartz - $344,968
4. Jason Koon - $225,680
5. Andy Frankenberger - $161,200
6. Skip Wilson - $112,840
Congratulations to Randal Flowers, winner of the 2010 World Poker Tour Festa al Lago! Kristy Arnett catches him table-side after his win: