The 2011 PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun $5,000 Main Event wrapped up Wednesday night in Uncasville, Connecticut, after an exciting final table. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst was able to successfully defend her 2010 NAPT Mohegan Sun title and taste victory once again. She became the first player to win back-to-back titles at the same stop of a PokerStars-sponsored tour. For her win, Selbst collected a first-place prize of $450,000 and added another major title to her stout tournament résumé.
Selbst joined seven others who outlasted an elite 387-player field to find themselves seated at Wednesday’s final table. With over $1.23 million still up for grabs for the final table participants, the pressure was on everyone to shine under the bright lights of the television cameras.
On the third hand of the day, Steve O’Dwyer got himself into a sticky spot against Selbst. With the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 3,000 ante, O’Dwyer raised to 60,000 and Selbst three-bet to 215,000 from the big blind. O’Dwyer made the call and the flop came down . Both players checked and the dealer added the on the turn. Selbst fired 220,000 and O’Dwyer made the call. The river completed the board with the and Selbst moved all-in to apply maximum pressure to O‘Dwyer. He tanked for several long minutes but eventually folded his hand and suffered a big blow to his stack.
Shortly afterward, O’Dwyer was all-in preflop with the to Aaron Overton’s . The board ran out and Overton made a flush to cripple O’Dwyer. From there, O’Dwyer only doubled back once, before his couldn’t beat Vincent Rubianes’ in his final hand. He finished in eighth place for $32,330.
Overton was the next to go. The action folded to him in the small blind and he moved all-in for about half a million in chips with . Selbst made the call in the big blind with the . The flop, turn and river ran out in Selbst’s favor to end the day for Overton. He finished in seventh place for a $50,000 payday.
Selbst wasn’t the only former NAPT champion to make this final table. She was joined by 2010 NAPT Los Angeles winner Joe Tehan who was also in the hunt for a second NAPT title. That second NAPT trophy would have to wait though, as Tehan was eliminated in sixth place for $70,000. His couldn’t improve against the for Thomas Hoglund Jr. on his final hand.
Moving forward, Rubianes was left short after he doubled up Selbst. He was eliminated shortly thereafter at the hands of Tyler Kenney, pocketing $90,000 for fifth place. Following him out the door in fourth place for $120,000 was Hoglund Jr. Kenney eliminated him, too.
Heading into the final table, Kenney, a 21-year-old semi-professional poker player from Long Beach, New York, held the chip lead with 3.021 million. He was only able to ride the big stack until three-handed play before bowing out in third place.
After Shak opened to 200,000 from the small blind with the blinds at 40,000/80,000 with a 5,000 ante, Kenney moved all-in for 1.625 million from the big blind. Shak made the quick call and rolled over . He was dominating the of Kenney. After the board ran out , Kenney was eliminated. He took home $170,000.
The stage was set with heads-up play coming down to Shak and Selbst. When it got down to the final two, Shak had nearly a three-to-one chip lead with 8.685 million in chips to Selbst’s 3.025 million. Those counts would just about swap an hour after the two returned from the dinner break.
On the flop, all of the money went in between Shak and Selbst. Shak held and Selbst . The turn brought the and the river the , which allowed Selbst to double to 8.73 million. Shak was left with 2.98 million.
From there, Selbst ground Shak down to about 1.2 milion in chips before he was able to find a much-needed double up. He also doubled up a few hands later after flopping the nuts on a board with before the money went in. Selbst held the for a sweat, but the on the turn or the on the river couldn’t give her the title – not just yet.
Roughly two-and-a-half hours into heads-up play, the final hand came up. Shak limped the button and Selbst checked her option in the big blind, which brought the two players to the flop. Selbst checked and Shak bet 200,000. Selbst came back with a check-raise to 625,000 and then Shak moved all-in for about 2.8 million. Selbst snapped and tabled for top two pair. Shak held for a very grim chance at winning the hand. The turn left him drawing dead when the rolled out and the river completed the board with the .
For his finish, Shak walked away $254,000. Selbst, the reigning champion of this event, had successfully defended her title en route to claiming a cool $450,000 in prize money. She can now add a second NAPT title to her trophy case and watch as her lifetime tournament earnings climb to $4,115,864. That’s good enough to bump her ahead of Annette Obrestad into third on the Women’s All-Time Money List and right behind Annie Duke. She’ll also move from 102nd to 87th on the All-Time Money List with still so much of her career ahead of her.
Final Table Payouts
|4||Thomas Hoglund, Jr.||$120,000|
We congratulate all the winners and especially Selbst on her amazing title-defense performance. There’s still one more event to finish up at the 2011 NAPT Mohegan Sun: the $10,000 High Roller Bounty Shootout. The final table for that event takes place on Thursday, so be sure to check out PokerNews’ live reporting of the event starting Thursday afternoon.