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Daniel Santoro Bests Christian Harder to Win 2011 WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals

Daniel Santoro

The World Poker Tour World Poker Finals at Foxwoods concluded on Tuesday after an eight-hour, 200-hand final table. At the end of the night, Daniel Santoro took down Christian Harder heads-up to claim the $449,910 first-place prize.

Coming into the official WPT final table, Steven Brackesy held the chip lead. The shortest stack was former WPT champion and Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger. Falling in sixth place, though, was the second shortest stack entering the day, Eli Berg, who was eliminated on the third hand of the day.

According to the WPT Live Update Team, Berg raised under the gun to 36,000 with the blinds at 8,000/16,000/2,000. Harder made the call from the button and Frankenberger called from the big blind. The flop came down {K-Clubs}{7-Spades}{7-Diamonds} and Frankenberger checked. Berg fired a continuation bet of 73,000 and Harder called. Frankenberger folded.

The turn brought the {10-Diamonds} and Berg checked. Harder bet 104,000, and Berg made a check-raise for all of his chips. Harder called and showed {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts}. Berg held {K-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. The river was the {7-Hearts}, and Harder's aces won the pot to knock out Berg in sixth place for $83,580.

Frankenberger fell in fifth place on the 13th hand of the final table and took home $99,585. Start-of-the-day chip leader Brackesy raised from under the gun to 37,000. Santoro called from the cutoff seat, Harder three-bet to 127,000 from the button, and then Frankenberger reraised all-in from the big blind. After Brackesy and Santoro folded, Harder snap-called with {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}. Frankenberger tabled {A-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. The flop, turn and river ran out {9-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{5-Spades}{10-Spades}, and Harder won the pot.

Ten hands later at the same level, Brackesy hit the rail in fourth place, eliminated by Santoro. Brackesy was all-in preflop with {A-Clubs}{4-Clubs} after six-bet shoving into Santoro.

Brackesy made it 43,000 to go from the small blind, Santoro reraised to 110,000 out of the big blind, Brackesy four-bet to 243,000, and Santoro five-bet to 440,000. Brackesy moved all-in, and Santoro called holding {Q-Hearts}{Q-Spades}. No help came for Brackesy as the board ran out {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{5-Spades}{2-Clubs}{6-Hearts}, eliminating and earning him $129,816 for his finish.

Falling in third place, Bob Carbone took home $166,271. The blinds were up to 15,000/30,000/5,000 and Santoro min-raised to 60,000 from the button. Carbone moved all-in from the big blind but got snap-called by Santoro who held {A-Hearts}{A-Spades}. Carbone held {10-Diamonds}{10-Spades}. A rather uneventful {7-Spades}{5-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}{9-Clubs} board followed and Carbone was eliminated.

With the tournament now down to two players, Santoro was pitted against Harder for the title. Santoro held the chip lead going into heads-up play with 4.49 million in chips to Harder's 1.23 million.

Around 28 hands into the match, Harder lost a big pot to Santoro and was knocked down to just nine big blinds. He was able to double up on the very next hand but still only had 780,000 in chips to Santoro's 4.94 million. After getting ground down a bit more over the next couple of hands, Harder found another double to 1.21 million on hand No. 130.

Several hands later, Harder lost another big pot to Santoro and was back under one million. Much like before, he doubled on the very next hand and got back to 1.71 million in chips. Shortly after that, he won a big pot worth 1.8 million in chips to get nearly even with Santoro. On Hand No. 153, Harder took a slight lead for the first time in the match.

Although Harder made a very strong comeback from the short stack, Santoro stuck to his guns and ground Harder right back down. Then, on Hand No. 185, Harder doubled to take the lead of 3.99 million to 1.68 million. He didn't hold onto the lead for too long, though. On hand No. 189, Santoro doubled back and took the lead again with 3.18 million to 2.49 million. The chips stayed right around the same before the final hand came up on hand No. 200.

The blinds were up to 40,000/80,000/10,000, and Harder min-raised from the button to 160,000. Santoro reraised to 425,000, and then Harder reraised all-in for right around 2.5 million. Santoro instantly called with {A-Clubs}{K-Spades} and was in a flip with {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}.

The flop was {J-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{5-Spades}, and Harder's tens stayed in front. The turn {2-Hearts} didn't change anything and left Santoro needing an ace or a king on the river to knock out Harder and win the title. On the river, Santoro got just what he wanted when the {K-Clubs} hit the felt and gave him the win. For his runner-up finish, Harder took home $248,962.

Final Table Results

1Daniel Santoro$449,910
2Christian Harder$248,962
3Bob Carbone$166,271
4Steven Brackesy$129,816
5Andy Frankenberger$99,585
6Eli Berg$83,580

For his win, Santoro took home $449,910, which includes a $25,500 WPT Championship seat.

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