When the final table of the 2011 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event began, two players, Carlos Mortensen and Vivek Rajkumar, were in line for another WPT title. Mortensen was going for his unprecedented fourth while Rajkumar was looking to notch his second. Neither won, though, as Gregory Brooks emerged victorious, scooping up a massive $1,654,120 in the process.
The first player to be eliminated from the official WPT final table was Darryll Fish. Mortensen raised to 150,000 from the cutoff seat with the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante. Fish moved all in from the small blind for 1.23 million. When action got back to Mortensen, he quickly made the call and tabled the . Fish held a dominated . The board ran out and Fish was eliminated in sixth place for $235,350.
Next to go was another young gun, Steve Gross. He was eliminated in the next level after moving all in from the button with the and getting called by Rajkumar’s in the big blind. A board of proved no help for Gross, who walked out the door with $304,000 in prize money.
Rajkumar also did the deed of sending Amir Lehavot to the rail in fourth place. On the flop of , Rajkumar checked and Lehavot bet 235,000. Rajkumar moved all in and Lehavot made the call. Lehavot held two overs to the board and a gutshot with the . Rajkumar held the . The on the turn and on the river proved no help for Lehavot, who left with $421,680.
With three players remaining, both Mortensen and Rajkumar were still in contention for another WPT title. That would all change, though, as Mortensen hit the rail in third place on the 61st hand of the final table.
Mortensen raised from the button to 200,000 and Rajkumar called from the small blind. Brooks also called from the big blind and the flop came down . After Rajkumar checked, Brooks bet 380,000. Mortensen then made it 800,000 to go and that knocked Rajkumar out of the way. Brooks moved all in and Mortensen called.
Mortensen held the for top pair while Brooks had the for an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw. The on the turn did nothing for Brooks, but the on the river delivered him a flush and sent the three-time WPT champion and former World Series of Poker Main Event winner to the rail. Mortensen walked away with $640,680 in prize money for his finish.
When heads-up play began, Rajkumar held 5.98 million in chips to Brooks’ 14.45 million. Rajkumar was also looking to claim his second WPT title.
The battle lasted over 30 hands before Rajkumar was finally eliminated by Brooks in second place, falling just short of his second WPT title. With the blinds up to 75,000/150,000 with a 25,000 ante, Brooks raised to 325,000 and Rajkumar made the call to see the flop come down . Rajkumar checked and Brooks bet 400,000. Rajkumar moved all in for 3.5 million and Brooks made the call.
Brooks’ top pair held up as the turn landed the and the river the . Rajkumar was eliminated in second place but didn’t go home empty handed. He took a nice pay day of $908,730 for his finish. Brooks claimed victory in the first WPT event he played and scored a whopping $1,654,120 in prize money, the trophy, the WPT bracelet and a spot in poker history.
Final Table Results
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Photo of Gregory Brooks courtesy of the World Poker Tour Live Update Team.