The final table of Event #31, a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Holdem tournament, featured an interesting mix of players that made for some dynamic storylines. First and foremost was the presence of the 2009 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Cada, who was looking to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him when he became the youngest WSOP Main Event winner in poker history. Cada wasn’t the only well-known entity at the final table though, as he was joined by Tom “LearnedFromTV” Chambers (fresh off a final table in a PLO event), 22 year-old Cherish Andrews, and EPT Champion and WSOP bracelet winner Carter Phillips.
As players began to hit the rail at the final table it was the four players mentioned above who continued to thrive, in fact the four aforementioned players would make-up the final four players in the tournament.
Cherish Andrews was the first player eliminated during four-handed play after losing a coin-flip against Cada; Andrews held Pocket 8’s while Cada turned over an A/K. It looked good for Andrews as the board ran out J-5-2-4, but Cada spiked a 3 on the river for a gutterball straight and Andrews run ended with a 4th place finish. Watch out for Andrews in the future: After four cashes in her first WSOP in 2011, including cashing in the Main Event, she has already cashed twice in 2012 including her six-figure score in Event #31.
Next out was Tom Chambers, who bettered his 6th place showing in Event #26 by three spots. Chambers was also eliminated with Pocket 8’s, but this time Cada had him dominated with Pocket Kings. The win gave Cada a commanding chip-lead going into heads-up play against Carter Phillips (as Cada did the dirty work eliminating players) but Phillips still had plenty of chips to work with and proved too tough in the end, overcoming a 2.5-to-1 chip disadvantage to win the tournament.
After the two played a huge pot that saw Phillips spike a set on the turn, Phillips finished off Cada when they got it all-in with Phillips holding Q/J and Cada just a 9/7: The board brought all blanks and Cada was eliminated in second place, while Phillips picked-up his second career WSOP bracelet.
Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:
- Carter Phillips – $664,130
- Joe Cada – $412,424
- Tom Chambers – $290,875
- Cherish Andrews – $210,083
- Najib Kamand – $153,578
- Max Lehmanski – $113,618
- Michael Aaron – $85,043
- Jonathon Poche – $64,399
- Huy Quach – $49,330
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