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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – Event #16, $1000+50 NLHE

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263 players started Event #16 of the 2008 World Poker Open with 27 players making the money. The non-final table, in the money, finishers were:

10th: Dean Schultz $2,941
11th: Doug Young $2,941
12th: Tom Kandois $2,941
13th: J.T. Heinz $2,451
14th: Tucker Stone $2,451
15th: Paul McKinney $2,451
16th: Otis Anderson $1,961
17th: Champie Douglas $1,961
18th: Matt Sterling $1,961
19th: Todd Rebello $1,471
20th: Craig Merritt $1,471
21st: Jim McBride $1,471
22nd: Tony Herring $1,471
23rd: Bill McBride $1,471
24th: Matt Brady $1,471
25th: Chris Cochran $1,471
26th: Justin Barclay $1,471
27th: Ryan Brown $1,471

The final table includes two WPO bracelet winners from this year, Men Nguyen and Matt Culberson. Seating assignments and chip counts for the final table were:

Seat 1 – Patrick Frazier 89K
Seat 2 – Donnie Godsey 39K
Seat 3 – Jason James 106K
Seat 4 – Men Nguyen 60K
Seat 5 – Glenn Evans 43K
Seat 6 – Matt Culberson 259K
Seat 7 – James Henson 54K
Seat 8 – Ronnie Sewell 82K
Seat 9 – Tommy White 56K

The blinds started at 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante meaning even the shortest of stacks had nearly 20 big blinds. Plenty of play to be had means it should shape up to be an interesting (and long) final table.

The two WPO bracelet winners started things off with a medium sized pot. Culberson raised from early position and was called by Men in the big blind. The flop came 10-4-3 and both players quickly checked. The turn was a jack and Men checked. Culberson bet 8,000 and Men called. The river was a queen of diamonds putting three diamonds on the board. Men thought about it for some time but eventually checked. Culberson looked like he thought he had lost the hand, shaking his head, and checked. He revealed K-J for 2nd pair. Men mucked and Culberson added to his chip lead. Men dropped to about 45K after the hand.

Glenn Evans doubled up when he moved all in from the button and is called by Culberson in the small blind. Evans has jacks and Culberson A-Q. The jacks hold up and Evans doubles up to 45K. Evans looks over at Culberson's stack and laughs. “I didn't even put a dent in that stack.” Ronnie Sewell loses two big pots to Frazier and White, the latter doubling up White, and is crippled. White tells the table that Men has been giving him lessons in the bathroom. This comes out the wrong way and the entire table laughs and White blushes.

Culberson is using his stack as a weapon. He open raises more than the average “cub”. After raising for the third hand in a row, Evans in the big blind says enough is enough and makes a smallish re-raise to 20K (Culberson's opener was 10K), leaving himself with approximately 40K. The two are eyeing one another as the flop comes 10-10-7. Evans is quick in declaring that he is all in. Culberson doesn't take too long before calling with pocket 8's. He's way behind though as Evans has aces. The turn is a queen and the river is a king and Evans doubles up yet again through Culberson who starts talking to himself. “I played that hand bad. He told me the whole time what he had.”

Jason James opens for 9K and is called by Evans. Ronnie Sewell sticks the rest of his short stack in... only 8.5K. The flop comes Q-J-3 and James bets 18K and Evans folds. James has J-10 for middle pair and Sewell is going to need to catch an ace or running cards with his A-7. The turn comes with a jack and Sewell is drawing dead. Ronnie Sewell is our 9th place finisher winning $4,902.

Culberson doubles up another player, this time Donnie Godsey. It's only 15K total though so it doesn't hurt Culberson much. The interesting thing to note from the hand, however, is that Culberson opened in early position with J-10 off. I'm sure the rest of the players at the table noted the loose raising requirements Culberson had.

Tommy White is the next player to exit the premises when his pocket 4's run into Glenn “I'm a card rack” Evans' pocket queens. Tommy White is our 8th place finisher winning $7,353.

James Henson and Culberson tangle in a big pot that actually does put a dent in Culberson's stack. On a 9-K-2-A board, Culberson check raises Henson's 15K bet to 40K. Henson quickly moves all in for 65K more and Culberson folds leaving himself with 135K.

It was a tournament of people continuously doubling up. It seemed every time a short stack went all in and was called by a bigger stack, they won the hand. Donnie Godsey doubled up again, this time at the hands of Patrick Frazier. Frazier had K-Q and Godsey had A-J. An ace on the flop and Godsey was up to 60K after the hand. Frazier was down to 80K.

Our next double up benefactor was Men whose Q-10 improved against Evans' pocket 8's. Men was up to 70K after the hand and Evans still had plenty of chips with 150K. Men loses 25K a few moments later to Evans when Evans pushes pre-flop and Men folds.

There would be no repeat win for Men as he decides to gamble against Godsey with 8-6 suited. Men opened for 12K in early position and it is folded to Godsey who moves all in out of the big blind. I'm not sure if Men was losing patience or felt he had to get lucky because he made the call despite having over 10 big blinds left. Godsey had 9's and they held up and Men Nguyen was our 7th place finisher winning $9,804.

One of the advantages of being over aggressive is players tend to lack respect and are going to give you more action than if you are a tight player. This can be a good thing if you have a big hand like Matt Culberson did when he raised for the umpteenth time, first to act, from the button.

Henson had seen some of the questionable hands Culberson had been raising with and moved all in from the small blind. Culberson quickly called with kings and was ahead of Henson's A-10. It was a huge pot, easily the largest of the final table and when the flop came A-Q-10, Culberson was crushed. No king or jack came to save the day and Henson was up to 300K. Culberson who had entered the final table as one of the massive chip leaders was now one of the short stacks with 6 players left.

He was able to outlast Patrick Frazier, however, because Frazier was our next player to be eliminated when he moved all in with A-6 from the button and Jason James called him from the small blind with A-Q. The board came 8-5-2-8-10 and Patrick Frazier was our 6th place finisher winning $12,256.

Culberson's not going down without a fight. He moves all in 5 times in close succession and does not receive a single call. They are letting him back in it as he has nearly tripled up to 75K in chips.

Now that he has chips, he makes a regular raise to 20K with the blinds at 3,000/6,000. Jason James moves all in and Culberson looks at what everyone else has in their stack and says “I'm ready to gamble. I need chips” and makes the call with 10-9 suited. James has A-K and the flop is a crushing one for Culberson... A-A-8. A queen on the turn gives him a slight amount of hope as a jack will give him a straight but the river is a 4 and Matt Culberson is our 5th place finisher winning $14,707.

Jason James takes over the role of Culberson as table captain and continues to pick up pots. He has built his stack to nearly 350K when he loses a huge pot to Donnie Godsey when his A-Q is dominated by Godsey's A-K. Godsey who started the final table with 40K now has 175K. Godsey doesn't keep these chips long as he doubles up Evans when they get it all in pre-flop. Godsey has 7's and Evans has Q-10. A queen on the flop and Evans pumps his fists. He has 225K after the hand and Godsey is down to 70K.

Godsey gets cold decked when he moves all in first to act from the cutoff with A-Q and runs into Evans' pocket aces. The flop comes 6-10-7 and a jack on the turn at least gives Godsey 4 outs to the win. The river is a 5 though and Donnie Godsey is our 4th place finisher winning $17,158.

On a K-Q-8-6 two heart board, James Henson check raises Jason James 90K bet all in. James mutters “Damnit” and after about 20 seconds of thought makes the call with K-8 of hearts. Henson is crushed as he only has Q-4. James' friends in the stand start yelling “what a call. What a call.” Huh? That is like the easiest call ever. They start celebrating, envisioning the title James is soon going to have, but the celebration is premature as Henson hits the two outer on the river. “Are you kidding me?” James says, staring at the board in disbelief as nearly all of his chips are sent Henson's way. James is down to 40K after the hand and Henson now has over 400K.

James gets some life when he doubles up with A-2 against Henson's 4's when the board pairs twice and counterfeits Henson's pair. In the meantime, Evans keeps check raising Henson, having done so on three occasions. On the third one, Henson moves all in and Evans folds.

Evans is also raising Henson's big blind at every opportunity and James decides it is time to start defending as he calls Evan's opener. On the hand that would ultimately decide the tournament, Evans check raised Henson on a 10-6-3 flop. Henson moved all in with J-10 thinking top pair was good but soon found that Evans had a real hand... pocket aces. The aces hold and Evans now has a huge chip lead with over 600K in chips.

There is a $21,000 difference between 2nd and 3rd so I am thinking James might try and let Henson self destruct to pick up that additional money but he's going for the win and moves all in with A-3. Unfortunately for him Evans has his dominated with A-J and Jason James (proud owner of the world's ugliest hat) is our 3rd place finisher winning $22,060.

Heads up play starts with Evans having a 700K to 125K chip advantage. It doesn't take long for us to settle things as Henson open raises to 29K and moves all in over the top of Evans' 60K re-raise. Evans calls and as has been the case this entire final table for the most part, has his opponent dominated. Evans has A-10 of diamonds and Henson A-5 off.

The flop comes 7-7-4 with two diamonds and Henson needs a 4 or non diamond 5 in order to stay alive. The turn is a 10 and Henson is drawing dead. Evans thrusts his fists into the air... no one is really there cheering him on but that doesn't stop him from yelling “Yea” at the top of his lungs. James Henson is our 2nd place finisher winning $43,139.

It's always nice when you get big hands late in a tournament. It's even nicer when those hands hold up. Glenn Evans came into the final table as the 2nd shortest stack but could do no wrong on his way to victory. Evans takes home the biggest payday thus far of the 2008 World Poker Open. Glenn Evans is the winner of Event #16 winning $78,433 and a seat into the WPT main event. Congratulations Glenn!

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