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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – WPT Main Event, Final Table

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The final 6 started underneath the glare of the bright lights and the ever watchful eye of the WPT television cameras at the 2008 World Poker Open. Our lucky six, their seating assignments, and chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1 – Freddy Deeb 1.345 million
Seat 2 – Brett Faustman 1.282 million
Seat 3 – Men Nguyen 729K
Seat 4 – Gabe Costner 1.181 million
Seat 5 – Hoyt Corkins 395K
Seat 6 – John Spadavecchia 256K

The blinds started at 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante.

It doesn't take long for us to get our first big pot of the night. On only the 3rd hand, Gabe Costner opens from middle position to 60K. Deeb called from the small blind , and Faustman came along for the ride from the big blind . The flop came J-8-7 with two spades. The three players check and we see a king of diamonds turn, putting two diamonds on the board as well. The two blinds check and Costner bets 150K. Deeb folds and Faustman check raises to 400K. After nearly a minute of mulling over what to do, Costner decides to see the river and calls. The river is a 7 of diamonds. Faustman moves all in and Costner thinks about it momentarily and decides against it. Faustman shows K-J for a turned top two pair.

As was the case yesterday, Deeb and Nguyen are going at it again, although this time it seems to be more playful. Nguyen is looking for a cocktail waitress and Deeb says “hurry up before he goes broke.” And in a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Nguyen says to Deeb “Hello, Shorty!”

John Spadavecchia came in as the short stack and decided a pair of 6's was good enough as he moved all in over the top of Corkins' opener. Corkins is nearly as short as Spadavecchia and he must have figured it was now or never for him as well because he called with Q-J of diamonds. The flop came K-9-5 keeping Spadavecchia in the lead but the queen on the turn meant the end of the day for the venerable veteran. John Spadavecchia finished in 6th place winning $96,477.

Men's obviously feeling a bit insecure... either that or he feels he needs some attention. After Faustman wins a pot and his friends and family cheer him on, Men asks who is cheering for him... a few people clap and Men says “When I win the pot, nobody's clapping.” Some things are better left unsaid Men... some things are better left unsaid.

Men and his legion of fans would have reason to celebrate moments later when he doubled up through Freddy Deeb with a pair of queens against a flush draw. Once again Men fades the draw and his over pair holds up. Men has now taken over the chip lead and suddenly the 20:1 I gave another member of the media that Men would not win is looking like it's going to come back to bite me.

The blinds jump to 15,000/30,000 with a 4,000 ante. Brett Faustman and Freddy Deeb tangle in a big pot. Faustman raises to 90K under the gun, and Deeb calls out of the big blind. The flop comes Q-J-4 and Deeb check calls Faustman's 100K bet. The turn is a 5 and both players check. The river is a 3 of diamonds putting three diamonds on the board. Deeb leads out for 400K and Faustman does not think too long before announcing that he is all in. Deeb looks back at his cards and contemplates what to do for nearly a minute before folding.

Gabe Costner loses over a quarter of a stack when he re-raises Brett Faustman's opening raise to 220K and folds to Hoyt Corkins all in re-re-raise. He loses another big chunk when he calls a 150K raise from Men Nguyen on the river with a board of K-9-3-8-A containing four hearts. Men has A-Q with the queen of hearts for the nut flush. Costner's downward spiral continues when he moves all in over the top of Freddy Deeb's raise and Deeb calls him with 7's. Deeb is in good shape as Costner only has A-5 and once all the cards are dealt, he's in even better shape as he has doubled up and Costner is crippled to approximately 250K in chips.

Costner is able to double up through Men Nguyen with A-3 of hearts against Men's J-10 but his good fortune is shortly lived as he ends up getting it all in against Hoyt Corkins with 5's, and finds he is racing for his tournament life as Corkins has A-J. The race is over quick though as an ace comes right out. Gabe Costner finishes in 5th place winning $123,008.

With 4 players left, all the players are within 400K of each other with Corkins having the chip lead at 1.5 million – an amazing feat considering he started the day with just over 300K.

It takes a little luck to win a poker tournament... Brett Faustman got a bit more than a little luck when he came over the top of Hoyt Corkins opening raise. Corkins instantly called with A-K and Faustman looked like he was going to be our 4th place finisher as he was crushed – he had A-4. The flop came 3-2-2 giving Faustman some hope. He would split the pot with a 3 and win it with a 4 or 5. As the saying goes... better lucky than good... a 5 on the turn gave Faustman the wheel and he doubled up to 1.8 million in chips.

Faustman showed he could do more than get lucky though as he makes a nice bluff against Freddy Deeb. On a Q-7-7-4 board, Deeb led out from the small blind for 120K. Faustman made it 300K to go and Deeb pounded the table in frustration and folded. Faustman showed K-9 and added to his chip lead.

Corkins, in the meantime, showed that he isn't giving up just yet. He moves all in, 5 out of 7 hands, and wins them all, and puts himself right back into the thick of things with all the dead money he won by doing so.

The two “shorties” decide to try and become one “biggie.” Men limps in early position and Deeb completes from the small blind. The flop comes 9-8-7 and Deeb check calls Men's 80K bet. The turn is a 4 and Deeb again check calls Men's bet... this time it is 150K. The river is a queen and Deeb checks. After 20 seconds, Men bets 250K. Deeb quickly calls. Men shows J-10 for the flopped nuts and Deeb mucks and is down to 200K after the devastating loss.

Deeb doubles up the next hand with K-6 against Men's A-2 but his reprieve was short lived as he runs 8-7 into Brett Faustman's A-K the very next hand, and is unable to improve. Freddy Deeb finishes in 4th place winning $168,835.

Men Nguyen, with his three final table finishes at the World Poker Open, won the award for top overall player. This was worth a 10K seat into the Beau Rivage WPT event later in the year. Men was hoping to top the seven million mark in lifetime winnings but in order to do that he was going to need to do something he had never done before... win a WPT event. This was his 4th appearance at a WPT final table and he had never finished better than 4th before. At least he was guaranteed to do that in this event.

Unfortunately for Nguyen, those dreams are going to have to wait as he picked the wrong time to tell Hoyt Corkins “all you can eat baby” especially holding only K-10 of diamonds to Hoyt's jacks. Hoyt called quickly and the jacks held up. Men Nguyen finished in 3rd place winning $241,193.

Now the fun begins. They bring out the stacks of one hundred dollar bills and place them in the middle of the table. No pressure. Nope. None. The two are relatively even in chips with Faustman having 2.7 million to Corkins 2.4 million. The difference between 1st and 2nd is substantial. 1st place receives 892K while 2nd place would receive about ½ of that with 458K. Not a bad day at the office though regardless of how it turned out.

It took all of two hands before we had our first big pot. Faustman limped in and Corkins made it 260K to go. Faustman calls and the flop is 9-5-2. Corkins leads out for 400K and Faustman immediately moves all in. Could it be over here? Not yet as Hoyt decides to fold.

One thing you can say about Hoyt though, losing a big pot never seems to faze him as he wins pot after pot, chipping away at Faustman's chip lead until eventually he re-takes the chip lead. Faustman's strategy appeared to be to let Hoyt win the small pots and win the big ones.

It was a strategy that would serve him well. Just as Hoyt had re-taken the chip lead, Faustman wins another big one. Faustman limps in and the flop comes 6-6-5. Corkins bets 60K, Faustman makes it 200K to go and Corkins re-pops it to 600K. Faustman calls. The turn is a 7 of hearts putting three hearts on the board. Both players check. The river is a 4 of hearts and the audience is on the edge of their seat. A paired board. Possible straights and flushes and straight flushes. Corkins checks. Faustman makes a smallish bet of 400K and Hoyt must not like his hand that much because he folds. Faustman shows A-A with the ace of hearts as he starts stacking the chips from his win.

And just like before... Corkins went back to attacking and within 10 hands had retaken the chip lead. He wins a big pot with trip 3's to take a 3:2 chip lead but Faustman gets it right back when he moves all in over the top of a 600K raise from Corkins and Corkins folds. Faustman wins another good sized pot when he slow plays flopped trips and gets Corkins to raise his turn bet. Surprisingly though, Faustman only calls the turn raise and checks. The damage has been done though as Faustman now has a 2:1 chip lead.

The players exchange chips in a few pots when the fateful hand takes place. Corkins limps in and Faustman raises out of the big blind. Corkins calls and the flop comes 9-9-3. Faustman leads out for 280K. Corkins is slow and deliberate. After 30 seconds he announces that he is all in. Faustman stands up and with quiet conviction says “I call.” Hoyt shows deuces. He probably thought Faustman had missed the flop with a big ace or two big cards. This was not the case, however, as Faustman had an over pair... queens. The rest as they say is elementary... a 6 on the turn and a jack on the river and Hoyt Corkins was our 2nd place finisher winning $458,267.

Brett Faustman entered this final table, of the 2008 World Poker Open, as the biggest unknown. He leaves the final table not quite as unknown as he used to be but it's a small price to pay with nearly 900K and a WPT win now under his belt. Brett Faustman is the winner of the 2008 World Poker Open WPT event winning $892,413 for his efforts.

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