WPT North American Poker Championship: Witmer Wins.

WPT North American Poker Championship: Witmer Wins.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Even though he had the chip advantage coming to the final six, many were still surprised when he held off the assault of the more experienced players around him. Gavin Smith came close to securing his second WPT title, eventually losing to the 67 year-old retiree heads-up.

Witmer has proved to be a likeable winner, playing a solid game in the face of the flurry of action around him. He also used a slice to luck to hit an ace on the river in the final race with Smith.

What of the other players? Well, Marc Karam never seemed to get anything working at the final table, eventually busting out in fifth. Karam put his foot to the floor in the later stages of his tournament, moving all in indiscriminately. The hand he was eliminated with though could hardly be called reckless, simply losing a race with pocket Queens against the AK of Witmer.

Kathy Liebert had a slightly better day, but never got the stack large enough to really worry Witmer. By the time she and Gavin Smith joined Witmer three-handed, Witmer's stack dwarved both of the pros. They in turn tore chunks out of each other, prefering to fight each other than take on the chip leader. The Team PokerStars pro was eventually crippled in a big pot with Smith after she flopped a pair and a flush draw against the top pair of Smith. After that hand held up for the Canadian, she was forced to move in with her remaining stack with 87, which couldn't overtake the QJ of Witmer, eliminating Kathy in third place.

Kicking off heads-up play, Smith was a 3-1 chip underdog, but the blind structure meant there was plenty of time for him to try and outplay Witmer. It seemed to be working well, as he took his initial $3.8m and ran it up to $5.5m through slowly wearing down at the chip leader's stack.

All of Smith's grinding was negated though when he played his pocket fives a little tricky, limping in on the small blind, only to shove over the top of Witmer's raise from the big blind for his whole stack. The move was strong, but so was Witmer's hand, as he made the call and showed Smith he was racing against the dreaded Big Slick. The flop gave Witmer extra outs, with a ten making him a broadway straight on the Q-J-2 board. There were even more outs on the turn, after the board paired the jack, meaning now any ace, king, queen or ten would win the title. A black ace came on the river, eliminating Smith in second for CAD$612,417. Glen Witmer won the $1.25m first prize, as well as one hefty looking trophy. He's got plenty of money to buy a bigger cabinet if needs be...

Tags: Poker News, WPT, North, American, Poker, Championship:, Witmer, Wins.