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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2011 WPT Southern Poker Championship Won by Alexander Kuzmin

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The WPT Southern Poker Championship held at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, MGM Resorts International’s property in Biloxi, Mississippi witnessed Alexander Kuzmin put his notch in poker history when he captured the event.  The final table was a tough one that included a WSOP bracelet winner, an Aussie Millions second runner-up, and a former WPT champion but Kuzmin was up for the test and earned $601,469 and 1,200 Player of the Year points.  The final heads-up found Allen Carter, who lost his bid to become the first person to ever win the same WPT event twice, losing the title to Kuzmin.

Kuzmin entered the final table as chip leader only to lose it within five hands to Carter. Soon after, two-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Hughes was knocked out in 6th.  Carter dominated the table most of the night and seemed destined to become the first person ever to capture the same WPT title twice.  That is until he let the lead slip away when he doubled up Leif Force.  Unable to regain momentum, he eventually exited in third place after his J-9 was called by Kuzmin with A-Q.   By the time heads-up play arrived, Kuzmin was the favorite with 4,310,000 chips to Force’s 2,160,000.  Force, who won his buy-in to this event in a $500 satellite, made a valiant try but couldn’t overtake Kuzmin.  Eventually, Force was eliminated when he called Kuzmin’s K-4 with only J-9 and the board fell Q-5-4-3-2.
“Alex played terrifically,” said WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton. “He came in as chip leader, lost a lot of chips and went into lockdown mode. He was able to change gears and played superbly once we got down to three-handed poker.  He deserved to win.”

Kuzmin was on his way back to Russian and stopped into Beau Rivage during a layover and came out a WPT champion.  He picked up the WPT title, major prize money, and 1,200 Player of the Year points.  Leaping into the POY race, Kuzmin now stands tied for 5th.  Andy Frankenberger maintains the lead with 2,100 points though Kia Mohajeri is close behind with 1,700.  Full POY standings can be found here.

The Southern Poker Championship field of 214 was larger than last year and featured a mix of young up-and-coming stars such as Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Matt Affleck and Jason Mercier and veterans such as Scotty Nguyen, Gavin Smith, Chad Brown, former Southern Poker Champion Hoyt Corkins, Lee Markholt and Dwyte Pilgrim.

WPT Season IX premieres February 13 at 8pm and 11pm on FSN.  Watch a preview clip.

Final Table Standings:

1.  Alexander Kuzmin, $601,469
2.  Leif Force, $315,790
3.  Allen Carter, $218,471
4.  Shannon Shorr, $144,985
5.  Patrick Mahoney, $113,208
6.  Ryan Hughes, $89,375

Player of the Year Standings:

1.   Andy Frankenberger – 2,100
2.   Kia Mohajeri – 1,700
3.   Antonio Esfandiari – 1,400
4.   Dwyte Pilgrim – 1,250
5.   Alexander Kuzmin – 1,200
5.   Andrew Robl – 1,200
5.   Ilan Boujenah – 1,200
5.   Jeff Forrest – 1,200
5.   Moritz Kranich – 1,200
5.   Randal Flowers – 1,200
5.   Sam El Sayed – 1,200
5.   Theo Jorgensen – 1,200

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