Hoyt Corkins Takes Second WPT Title
Thursday, 28. January 2010

Hoyt Corkins took out Jonathon Kantor heads-up in the very early hours of Thursday morning to win the 2010 WPT Southern Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Miss. Corkins took home $739,486 for his troubles along with his second WPT bracelet and entry into May’s WPT World Championship at the Bellagio worth $25,500.

This year’s WPT Southern Poker Championship attracted 208 players to the Beau Rivage Casino including Shannon Shorr, Chris Bell, James Van Alstyne and “Miami” John Cernuto. Unfortunately, none of these esteemed players lasted to see the end of Day 1 unlike Jonathan Little, James “mig.com” Mackey, Paul Wasicka, Corkins, Tommy Vedes, Chat Brown, Gavin Smith and Matt “All In at 420” Stout who all ended the first day of play amongst the top ten chip leaders. Riding a wave of victory with two victories and a second-place finish in earlier events at the Southern Poker Championship, Dwyte Pilgrim ended Day 1 as the chip leader but ultimately ended outside the money.

106 players returned for play on Day 2 and, despite beginning the dominating stacks; Smith, Stout, Brown, Wasicka and Little didn’t make it through to the end of the day. Notable players also hitting the rail on Day 2 include WPT champions Daniel Negreanu, Nick Shulman and Joe Tehan.

18 of the 27 players who made it to Day 3 cashed in. Going out in 7th place at the hands of the eventual champion Corkins, Andy Philachack earned the dubious honor of Bubble Boy.

Corkins was not only the most recognized name entering the final table, he also had a 2:1 chip lead over the next closest player.

Although entering the final table with the second largest stack, Tyler Smith was the first player to be eliminated. The majority of his chips were lost to Jonathan Kantor with top pair against two pair. Smith then went all in with his last 49,000 with [J♠][3♥], but could better Jaffee’s [A♠][Q♣]. Smith walked away with $86,837 for his sixth place finish.

Short-stacked James Reed, hung on for as long as he was able but with the blinds and ante creeping higher, he shoved from the cut off with a [7♦][5♠]. A call from Jafee with [8♦][8♠] dashed Reed’s hopes of stealing the blinds. Reed hit bottom pair on the [A♠][Q♣][5♦] flop but had no luck on the river or the flop. Reed collected $106,134 for fifth place.

Jaffe stalled, despite his strong start at the final table, and went for the squeeze play in the hopes of picking up some chips. The end of the hand saw Jaffe, [K♣][Q♠], all in against Corkins’ pocket jacks with [7♣][6♥][3♥][4♠][9♣], and eliminated at fourth place with $135,079.

A full 102 hands and five hours later, with the blinds up to 30,000/60,000 and the ante up to 10,000, the chips were fairly close. Vanstrydonck went all-in over Corkins’ 200,000 raise at the button turning [8♠][9♠] against Corkins’ [K♣][W♠]. The cards showed [7♣][4♥][2♣][A♠][10♠] and Corkins sent Vanstrydonck home third with $196,829.

Eight hands into heads-up play, Kantor succeeded in a big bluff against Corkins betting hard on a [8♠][5♠][3♥][4♣][3♦] board with [10♣] [6♦] hole cards. Corkins didn’t seem too bothered and took a game-changing $1.7 million pot just a few hands later. Corkins opened the hand with a 190,000 dollar bet and Kantor called from the big blind. The flop was [A♦][10♦][9♠] and Kantor checked it over to Corkins who bet 210,000. Kantor called Corkins’ bet and the turn fell [5♣]. Both players checked and the river was the [5♦]. Kantor made a move for the pot with a 450,000 bet but Corkins made the call turning [A♥][3♠] for aces up and the pot, extending his lead to 4.1 million over Kantor’s 2.2 million.

Corkins’ destiny was sealed in the 173rd hand of the final table where Kantor limped on the button and Corkins shoved from the big blind. Kantor called and it was his [K♣][10♥] against Corkins’ [A♥][7♣]. Things were looking good for Corkins with the [A♣][5♠][2♣] flop. The turn fell [8♣] which gave Kantor a shot at a flush but the river fell [5♥] knocking Kantor out and earning him $366,643.

The first place $739,486 prize takes Corkins career tournament earnings past the $5 million mark.

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