The penultimate episode of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Season XI on Fox Sports Network, which was Part II of the $25,000 WPT Championship, aired this past Sunday night. The tournament, which originally took place at the Bellagio back in May, attracted 146 entries and created a prize pool of $3,540,500.
In my recap of Part I, I updated you on the WPT Player of the Year Race, offered my Final Table Fashion Report, and highlighted the eliminations of David Peters and Brandon Steven, who were both eliminated by Jonathan Roy in sixth and fifth place, respectively.
Here’s how things stacks up at the top of this week’s broadcast:
Season XI WPT $25,000 Championship Final Table
The First Hand: With the blinds at 30,000/60,000/10,000, Erick Lindgren opened for 125,000 with the and Chino Rheem three-bet to 275,000 with the in the small blind. The flop saw Rheem continue for 175,000, Lindgren called, and the dealer burned and turned the . Rheem bet again, this time 325,000, and again Lindgren called.
Rheem got extremely luck when the spiked on the river, and he promptly bet 420,000. Lindgren seemed to know that something had went amiss as he let out a long sigh. Eventually he tossed in the chips and Rheem simply said, “I guess I got lucky.”
Lindgren smiled upon discovering the bad news. “It didn’t feel like a bluff anymore in the end,” he said. “I almost raised the flop, too.”
Here Comes Hyman: On Hand #67 of the final table, which happened in Level 24 (30,000/60,000/10,000), Matt Hyman opened for 125,000 on the button only to have Rheem three-bet to 330,000 from the small blind. Hyman responded by moving all in for 1.185 million and Rheem sighed before making the call.
The crowd was on its feet to witness the race, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Rheem was a slight favorite at 53.88% compared to Hyman’s 45.63% chance of winning. The flop was kind to Hyman as it delivered him a pair of nines and made him a 92.02% favorite. Rheem could still catch a four to win, but that would only happen 7.98% of the time. The turn cut Rheem’s outs in half as the would now give Hyman a flush, which meant he needed the to eliminate his opponent. The dealer burned once more and put out the , doubling Hyman to 2.47 million.
Seeing Double: After a commercial break, the WPT aired a quick segment on Matt and Zach Hyman, who are identical twin brothers. “That’s tough, when you’re identical twins playing poker, because you’re constantly like, ‘Oh man, I think I know you but maybe not,’” Matt said of his brother. “I feel like I’m a little more patient than Zach, and I think Zach can be a little more tilty than I am. He has a lot more poker winnings than I do so tonight is sort of like my chance to beat him.”
Zach then joined Kimberly Lansing for a quick chat. Interestingly, the two are married.
The WPT Foundation and Tiger Jam: Sometimes a charity poker tournament can attract some big names, but few got more this year than Tiger Jam. Some of the participants included Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Kid Rock, Mark Cuban, Chris Paul, and of course Tiger Woods. Have a look in a clip from this week’s episode:
There Goes Hyman: On Hand #92, which was in Level 25 (40,000/80,000/10,000), Hyman opened for 175,000 under the gun holding the and Rheem three-bet him to 450,000 with the on the button. Amazingly, Roy woke up with the in the small blind and four-bet to 1.025 million. After Lindgren folded the big, Hyman announced that he was all in for 1.91 million.
Rheem tanked for a bit (which was over two minutes in real-life time) before folding, and Roy snap-called. With 4.39 million on the line, all the players were up on their feet as Zach Hyman lamented his brother’s bad luck from the rail. The flop was nothing special, and neither was the turn. Hyman needed one of the two remaining kings on the river to stay alive, but it was not meant to be as the blanked. Hyman took home $289,988 for his fourth-place finish.
Lindgren Battles Back: While pocket kings didn’t do well for Hyman, they did all right for Lindgren a couple of hands later. In the hand, Lindgren looked down at the and opened for 175,000. Roy responded by three-betting all in with the and Lindgren snap-called for 1.32 million. The flop was safe enough for Lindgren, and the turn meant he just needed to avoid an ace on the river. That’s exactly what he did as the harmless peeled off to give Lindgren a double to 2.71 million, much to the delight of both Gavin Smith and Martin De Knijff (the Season II champ).
The broadcast came to an end shortly thereafter with three WPT champions remaining. Something that Mike Sexton speculated could be a first in WPT history.
Tune in Next Week: The conclusion of the $25,000 Championship is set to air on Sunday, October 6 on FSN, so be sure to check your local listings. If by chance you miss it, check back next week for the latest recap of all the action here on PokerNews. Remember, it will be the last episode of the season.
Who will be the next player to add his name to this prestigious list of champions?
Former WPT $25,000 World Championship Winners
|2||Martin De Knijff||$2,728,356|
*Pictures courtesy of World Poker Tour.