"My strategy throughout the entire tournament was really to play aggressively in spite of whether or not my chips allowed me to," said Brooks. "But I was lucky enough to have a lot of chips and I was able to play a lot of hands. I was a little surprised. No one else seemed like they wanted to take the reins. So I decided that I would do so."
Gregory Brooks had to outlast 681 players that included poker superstars like Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Maria Ho, Michael Mizrachi, Faraz Jaka, Jason Mercier, and Phil Ivey and then battle his way through a final table that featured a former Online Player of the Year, and two WPT champions to take down the WPT LA Poker Classic
The young stars appear to be taking over the game, like 22 year old Randal Flowers that took down Festa al Lago at Bellagio, Jeff Forrest winning the Foxwoods World Poker Finals, and Vivek Rajkumar's victory at the 2008 WPT Borgata Open. But an amazing accomplishment by Carlos Mortensen needs recognition; his 3rd place finish in this WPT LA Poker Classic shoots him into a unique spot in World Poker Tour history. Mortensen was going for his fourth WPT title and is the most successful player in the World Poker Tour history. His third place finish brought him $650,680 and his lifetime WPT earnings are $6,394,988; he has played 64 WPT events; is the first player to cross the $6 Million mark; and averages nearly $100,000 in earnings with each tournament.
Gregory Brooks, a 23-year old internet marketing entrepreneur, held a 2-to-1 chip lead over Rajkumar, 24, when they started their heads-up battle on hand 62 of the final table play. But Brooks grabbed the title, the cash, bragging rights, and WPT bling when his 8-7 beat Rajkumar's J-10; the board ran out 7-3-2-2-A.
Final Table Standings:
1. Gregory Brooks - $1,654,120 2. Vivek Rajkumar - $908,730 3. Carlos Mortensen - $640,680 4. Amir Lehavot - $421,680 5. Steve Gross - $304,000 6. Darryll Fish - $235,350
For detailed hand play, please see PokerNews.Com Photo courtesy of WPT