Kirk Caldwell became the fourth Canadian Gold Bracelet Winner in 2011 and with that bracelet came a colossal $668,276 1st place prize. The $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event started with 2,828 hopefuls and paid out 297 places.
When you reach the final table, you know everyone at the table is basically cheering for you to go bust before they do. When Caldwell hit the final table he had some magical energy coming in from a group back home, they had to be cheering WIN! WIN! WIN!
It all started when "Pudge" (Caldwell's nickname) entered a mini-tournament that was hosted by one of the organizers of the regular poker game. Caldwell won his travel money and the entry fee into this event by winning a small, private single-table satellite with friends in Ontario. The winner of the satellite had to pledge 15 percent of his action to the players in the group. Caldwell's poker buddies received the lump sum of $100,241,400...now that's some kind of magical energy!
Once the tournament reached the final nine - just under five hours on day three - four players were eliminated in the first six hands. After the fifth player went out, the final four slowed down and Kirk Caldwell and Mark McLaughlin led through most of it but it ended up with Kirk Caldwell and Ben White heads-up.
With Kirk Caldwell on the button and opening to 300,000, Ben White three-bet to 900,000 from the big blind. Caldwell moved all-in for about 3.5 million and White called.
Caldwell held to White's . The flop hit the board, as Caldwell was walking away from the table. His friends screaming from the rail. Someone screamed, 'DEUCE!"
The turned had the railers yelling but the yelling went deafening when the hit the river. Ben White finished with a somber hand shake with Caldwell and took home 2nd place, along with $414,918!
When the hit the river Kirk Caldwell threw his hands up in the air. His friends at home might have had something to do with the magical energy of the on the board. Kirk Caldwell scored a satellite seat to go in search of gold. He found the WSOP gold bracelet and $668,292 in the heat of the desert. Congratulations Kirk!
The final table payouts:
|1 ||Kirk Caldwell ||$668,276 |
|2 ||Ben White ||$414,918 |
|3 ||Marc McLaughlin ||$292,634 |
|4 ||Gabriel Morin ||$211,353 |
|5 ||Dror Michaelo ||$154,506 |
|6 ||Randy Haddox ||$114,304 |
|7 ||Rodrigo Portaleoni ||85,556 |
|8 ||Kyle Cartwright ||64,788 |
|9||Alan Stevens ||49,631 |
For more detailed hands and information about the event, visit PokerNews Live Reporting.