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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

Event #49 - $1,500 NLHE Final Table

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2,718 players took their place in this 2nd to last $1,500 NLHE tournament at the 2008 World Series of Poker but only one player would be able to walk away with the bracelet. The final table included two well known pros in Joe Pelton and J.C. Tran but if they were going to have any chance at winning the title, they would have to overcome the massive chip lead of Rasmus Nielsen. The final nine were as follows:

Seat 1: Christoph Kohnen (Moers, Germany) 293,000
Seat 2: Joe Pelton (Irvine, California) 1,093,000
Seat 3: Jesper Hoog (Stockholm, Sweden) 320,000
Seat 4: John Conroy (Dublin, Ireland) 501,000
Seat 5: Robert Kalb (Offenbach, Germany) 456,000
Seat 6: JC Tran (Sacramento, California) 1,438,000
Seat 7: Chad Siu (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 185,000
Seat 8: Peter Nguyen (Tustin, California) 870,000
Seat 9: Rasmus Nielsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) 2,998,000

Christopher Kohnen came in as one of the short stacks and was able to get his money in good when he moved all in with A-J and was called John Conroy who had K-J. The flop came Q-9-9 giving Conroy a few additional outs to deliver the knockout, and it was those additional outs that would do the deed when a ten was delivered on the river to give him a straight. Christopher Kohnen finished in 9th place winning $58,248.

Robert Kalb was the next person to be eliminated when he moved his remaining stack all in over the top of chip leader Rasmus Nielsen's opening raise and was called. Kalb had A-9 while Nielsen had A-Q and Kalb was unable to improve. For his three days of play and 8th place finish, Kalb received $85,331.

Jesper Hoog found himself with only 220K and in desperate need of winning the blinds and antes to stay alive. Faced with this situation, he moved all in from middle position with K-7 off suit hoping beyond hope that everyone would fold. It was not to be, however, as Peter Nguyen woke up with A-K in the big blind and made the call. That would be it for Hoog as he finished in 7th place winning $113,157.

Chad Siu had come in as the short stack but with an early double up and some eliminations of other players had already assured himself of an additional $90,000. Down to 210K, Siu looked down at A-K and made the easy decision of moving all in. Joe Pelton decided to call him with A-9 and hit a cruel 9 on the river to knock out the young Siu in 6th place. For his efforts, Siu received $150,257.

After losing a big pot on an unfortunate river card to John Conroy, Joe Pelton survived for countless orbits by pushing all in and not getting called. It was only a matter of time before someone would look him up and the person doing the job was J.C. Tran who called the all in of Pelton with K-J. Pelton had Q-6 off suit and flopped a 6 to take the lead, but a king on the river would dash any hopes he had of mounting a comeback. Joe Pelton finished in 5th place winning $191,068.

Even though it wasn't technically a bad beat, the way that Peter Nguyen was eliminated probably felt like one. Nguyen moved all in for his last 225K and was called by Rasmus Nielsen. Nguyen had 9-7 of diamonds and Nielsen had K-J. The flop came 7-7-4 meaning the only way Nguyen could not win the hand was if it came running kings or jacks, which is exactly what happened when a king came on the turn and river. Peter Nguyen finished in 4th place winning $278,255.

Rasmus Nielsen's good fortune continued when he re-raised John Conroy's opening raise enough to set him all in and despite being crushed by Conroy's A-Q, hit an 8 to turn his A-8 into the better hand. John Conroy finished in 3rd place winning $278,255.

Heads up play started with Rasmus having a 5.9 to 2.3 million chip advantage over J.C. Tran but one double up would swing that lead in the other direction. Tran managed to do just that without even going all in as he won three huge pots that pushed him ahead of the Denmark native.

The final hand came on the 190th hand of the night when J.C. Tran opened the pot for 225K and was called by Rasmus. The flop came Q-8-2 and Rasmus check called Tran's 275K bet. The turn was a 4 and this time Rasmus check raised all in over the top of Tran's 900K bet and was called. Rasmus had Q-J for top pair with a good kicker, but Tran's kicker was better as he held K-Q. The river was another 2 and Rasmus Nielsen was our 2nd place finisher winning $389,557.

J.C. Tran had major wins in every type of tournament under his belt except a WSOP tournament. Many media organizations are dubbing this the year of the Pro but you could almost say it is the year of the first bracelet Pro as Tran added his name to the impressive list of professionals that have won their first bracelet this year. For his victory, Tran collected an impressive $631,170. Congratulations J.C.!

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