The final table got off with a bang: six hands, two casualties. On the second hand in middle position, Steve Vincent went all-in for his $213k in chips with As-Qd. Joe Tehan was the only caller from the cutoff, and his Ac-Kh was way ahead. The rag board of 9-4-4-3-5 sent Vincent home quickly in 6th place with $94,075.
Four hands later, Al Stonum shoved a bit less than $200k in chips UTG, making his early stand with Ah-Qh, but Tehan reraised to get heads-up from the button. The blinds folded, and Tehan again showed one of the four hands Vincent was dreading: Ad-Kd. This hand was dealt slowly, partly for the drama and partly fearing the final table would be done in 25 hands at this rate! The flop hit Stonum between the eyes, Qs-Jd-Js. Tehan's draw needed a lot of help, and the deck delivered with two of the remaining kings, Kh-Kc. Tehan had his full house, and Vincent was gone in 5th place, pocketing $134,390.
The table was left with three players after twenty more hands. Key hands along the way foreshadowed the kind of focus these players would have tonight. A three-way pot developed between Boutin, Brad Booth, and Alex Outhred - after they all limped. The flop brought Qd-10s-5d. Boutin in the SB bet $35k at the pot which was around $80k. Outhred folded, and Booth reraised to $185k. Boutin quickly stacked $450k for a hefty reraise, and Booth pushed his cards into the muck. Before and after this hand pre-flop action prevailed, lots and lots of action. Tehan raised, Boutin called, Booth re-raised, Tehan came over the top, all folded.
By the 26th hand, Alex Outhred was homeward bound in 4th place with $184,745. Tehan crippled Alex on back-to back hands, coming over the top of Alex's pre-flop raise in one hand, Alex then making a $250k bluff at a $300k pot with a board of Ac-7h-3d-Kd-9h. Tehan had raised and bet the flop, only to check the turn. He reluctantly called with Ah-6d, taking the pot after Outhred showed 6-5o. Alex got all-in for his last $500k a few hands later, his Ad-Qh up against the pocket jacks of Boutin. J-5-4 gave Boutin a monster lead, and two kings just added a bit of drama for television. WPT Associate producer Alex Outhred watched the rest of the tourney away from the final table.
Tehan, Boutin, and Booth would have been the three picks to fight it out, and they didn't disappoint anyone. The three players kept each other on their toes, never falling into a pattern, keeping pots fairly small, with few flops seen and fewer turn or river bets. Tehan gradually built up his chips, calling a flop bet with 10-5o on a flop of A-7-5 on one hand, betting at a scary board of Ac-2h-3c-7d-5c the next. Boutin went on an aggressive run with half the chips of Tehan ($2M to the $4M of Tehan), Booth was down to slightly under $1M.
First, Booth limped from the SB when the blinds were at $30k/60k with a $10k ante. Boutin in the BB made it $180k and took the pot. From the SB, Boutin made it $240k to go and took the pot. Two hands later, Tehan raised $150k from the SB and Boutin called. The flop was Ac-8d-3c and they checked, a Kh popped off on the turn. Tehan moved out with another $150k bet, and Boutin raised to $400k. Tehan announced a reraise, increasing the bet to $880k, only to see Boutin push all-in. Tehan mucked, and with that a million chips had moved to the new chip leader - Burt Boutin.
Booth was getting chipped away, but most of the action remained between the two chip leaders. Another big pot emerged, again with Tehan raising $150k and Boutin calling from the BB. Ah-6c-5d on the flop again led to Tehan betting $150, this time with Boutin smooth calling. A 4c on the turn led to a bet of $200k, only to see Boutin bring it to $600k. This time Tehan made the call. The river came the 9d, and Tehan bet $500k. Could Boutin get him off this hand? He decided he couldn't, quickly made the call and showed Ac-Qh. The flop had hit Tehan perfectly though, and his two pair with Ad-6s held up for a massive pot close to $3M in chips.
Booth was extremely patient throughout the day, eventually raising to $330k, leaving himself with a final $10k chip. Always the gentleman, Boutin didn't ask for a chip count but did raise him that final chip. Booth had shoved with the Kc-5c but got all he could ask for when Boutin showed pocket three's. The treys held up, and Brad "Yukon" Booth went home in 3rd place with $319,180.
Heads-up - Tehan started with almost a 2:1 chip advantage, blinds were $50k/100k with a $10k ante. Neither player was in a rush, with button raises every fourth hand and Tehan folding his button on successive occasions. Boutin was able to get a decent pot raising pre-flop, then betting a flopped ace, but most of the moves were subtle and small. Boutin called a button raise by Tehan and took the pot with a turn bet on a rag board. A flurry of activity hit on a limped pot and a flop of Qs-Jh-8h. Tehan check/raised Boutin's minimum bet, making it $300k to go. Boutin didn't blink, reraising to $700k. Tehan eventually folded.
Tehan won two big pots in succession to set up his victory. First, he came over the top of Boutin's $250k raise, reraising to $850k and taking the pot. With the blinds up to $80/160k, the limpers saw 8-2-2 with two hearts. Boutin bet $400k and was called. With an Ace of Spades on the turn, Boutin again led out, this time for $600k. Tehan's $1.3M bet brought him $1.7M more in return as he stacked the immense pot.
After folding his button, Boutin went all-in for his last $1.7M in chips, coming over the top of Tehan's $240k raise. Tehan called him with 9c-8h, and Boutin was a favorite with Ah-10c. Tehan will remember that perfect flop for quite a while, 10s-9s-9h. Boutin's top pair/top kicker needed a lot of help, and the Ace of D added plenty of drama to the river. Three pair never beats a full house, and the 8c gave Joe Tehan nines over eights and every poker player's dream: a big handshake with Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, a million dollar check, an entry into the $25k WPT Championship, and a beautiful replica of the Mandalay Bay resort to put on his mantle. Burt Boutin's 2nd place finish was his best payday of his career, and he was a gracious runner-up with an arm around the new champion, Joe, who became emotional as he tried to put into words what this victory meant to him. The WPT added a new locale and a worthy champion to its esteemed collection.