Coming into the final table today it was Isaac Haxton who had a stranglehold over the rest of the players at the table. With close to half the chips in play sitting in Isaac's stack, it was an uphill battle for Ryan Daut who laid low and picked his spots well.
Among the competitors vying for the 2007 PCA title was Robert Mizrachi, brother to Player of the Year Jonathan little was all-in against Robert Mizrachi with pocket jacks leading Rob's A-K all the way to the turn. Again it was the A♥ which would land on the river, turning the tables and crippling Little in the process.
In what must have been the coldest day of the year here on Paradise Island, the remaining players fought hard to overcome Haxton's monster stack. Amid the three-way battle it seemed like Daut was committed to waiting for a hand which would stand up in an all-in confrontation and eventually he was able to pick one up. After Ryan had made a standard raise to three times the big blind, Robert Ford pushed all-in and fell directly into Daut's trap.
Way behind with pocket deuces up against wired cowboys, it was a situation Ford would be unable to recover from. Forced to ship the vast majority of his stack over to Daut, Ford would bust shortly after.
The real war didn't begin until heads-up play, though, and it would be a long and arduous journey for Ryan from underdog to champion. Clearly outplaying his opponent and demonstrating admirable discipline, Daut took the chip lead and slowly whittled Haxton down, forcing him into an all-in confrontation with the worst of it.
In the final hand it was Isaac's Q-8 against Daut's A-T with the better hand holding up all the way. In a conversation with Mike Sexton shortly after the match, Isaac commented that he had been running great throughout the tournament but that his luck had run out during heads-up play. Congratulating Daut on his victory, it was clear that Haxton was more than happy with his performance.
Winning more than $1.5 million plus a $25,000 seat at the World Poker Tour Championship at Bellagio, Ryan Daut earned the title of champion by exercising patience and discipline.
It's been an amazing event here in the Bahamas, and we'll be back next year to do it all over again. The next WPT event is in Tunica later this month so tune in to PokerListings.com for comprehensive coverage of all the action. From Paradise Island, this is Matt Showell.