Ryan Young held the chip lead for two days then found himself in a real battle with top online cash player Dustin Dirksen.
A key miscalculation by Dirksen led to a big double up late by Young, which he converted into a $615,955 top prize.
The $1.5k NLH events here at the World Series of Poker are mammoth productions. This is the core of what the WSOP is now as the fields demonstrate: 2,998; 2,628; 2,315; 2,540, with a new group of 2,778 ponying up their cash for a chance at a bracelet. That comes to over $1,800,000 in juice for Harrah's with these five events alone.
At the end of Day 1, Dustin Dirksen sat atop the leaderboard with 220k with Richard Washinsky a distant second with 169k. The prominent names chasing him in the top twenty included John Juanda, Phil Gordon, and Antonio Esfandiari. By the End of Day 2, Ryan Young had a massive stack at 2.5m with Dirksen the only other player over a million at 1.68m.
The final table:
Ryan Young (2.5m)
Dustin Dirksen (1.68m)
John Esposito (890k)
Michael Trimby (656k)
Paul Cheung (552k)
Nam Le (446k)
Joe Holmes (413k)
Darren Glenn (317k)
Raj Jain (183k)
It was an interesting Final Table. Dustin Dirksen is one of the top online cash game players as he squeezes in sessions while completing Law School. Nam Le is a top young tournament player highlighted by his 2006 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star title for $1.2m.
Dirksen called Joe Holmes' all-in with pocket sevens. Holmes had on a short stack, so he felt good until a seven on the flop and the turn sent him packing (9th $36,751). The seven players in pursuit of Young took turns doubling through each other. Raj Jain, Michael Trimby, and Darren Glenn all doubled up after the blinds moved to 20k/40k with a 5k ante. Glenn tried to do it again, but Nam Le called his all-in with two black aces that held up. Darren Glenn was out in 8th ($46,806).
Chipleader Young raised in early position, and Jain called on the button. The flop came , and Jain bet after Young's check. Young check-raised him only to see Jain shove with . Young had flopped a sick two pair with , and he filled up on the river with to send Raj Jain through the curtain to the cashier in 7th ($62,048).
Chip counts with six players left:
Ryan Young (3.67m)
John Esposito (1.54m)
Dustin Dirksen (790k)
Nam Le (770k)
Michael Trimby (475k)
Paul Cheung (390k)
Esposito had steadily built his stack courtesy of some big pots with Dirksen. Nam Le used pocket jacks to call Paul Cheung's all-in with pocket fives (6th $79,743). Just as quickly, Dirksen saw and called Michael Trimby's all-in with . meant Trimby was done in by the full house, out in 5th ($62,048). Young had the majority of the chips at the table with 4.35m, while Dirksen (1.35m), Esposito (1.0m), and Nam Le (940k) were far behind.
Young then picked up and let John Esposito bluff off his chips with second pair (4th $156,020). That put Young up to 5.26m, and the trio took their time with their chips. Nam Le had gotten here by playing fairly tight without being passive, picking his spots well to take down pots. His afternoon ended when he made a move on Dirksen with pocket eights. Dirksen called with tens, and they held up to finish Nam Le off (3rd $239,230).
Blinds were 40k/80k with a 10k ante, and Young quickly found out that Dirksen is a solid heads-up player. Young's chips slowly went to Dirksen, down below 5m then to 4.4m to Dirksen's 3.2m. A few more pots brought Dirksen to the chip lead at 4.2m to 3.4m.
Dirksen limped from the button with , and Young checked. The flop came , and Young bet out from the small blind. Dirksen moved all-in and quickly heard Young say, "Call." He turned over , and Dirksen had stumbled greatly. Nothing helped him, and he was back under 1m in chips.
Dirksen chipped up a bit, but Young never fell below 6m for the rest of the Final Table. He moved all-in from the button with , and Dirksen called with . meant a 2nd place for Dustin Dirksen ($381,381). Ryan Young (1st $615,955) held the chip lead for most of the tournament then showed what he was made of in his heads-up battle with Dirksen. (Photos courtesy of PokerNews)