John Spadavecchia was the first one to hit the rail, unable to get much going at this final table. He came into the day as the short stack, with just $256,000, and with blinds of $10,000/$20,000 that were soon to increase it was obvious he would quickly be forced into action.
It only took a few hands for said action to occur as we watched Spadavecchia ship from under the gun. It was folded around to Freddy Deeb and Men "The Master" Nguyen. Both players were ribbing each other about everything from their height to their poker prowess and it looked like we were in for some fireworks should they both make the final table. Well both of them made the final six but when they got to the felt today they were a lot less vocal than we had expected.
The two players got into a huge hand that would leave Deeb crippled and on the edge of elimination. Nguyen limped from under the gun and Deeb called from the small blind. Brett Faustman was in the big blind and checked. Deeb check-called Nguyen's bets on each street and, with the board reading 9♣ 8♥ 7♣ 4♥ Q♠, Nguyen tabled T♦ J♦ for the nut straight.
Left dangerously low on chips, Deeb would be eliminated shortly thereafter by Brett Faustman, getting all-in behind and failing to improve. Freddy was out in fourth for $168,835.
Next on the chopping block was Men Nguyen. After playing a relatively tight game for most of the final table he got a little carried away and ran face-first into the pocket jacks of Hoyt Corkins. Corkins had taken a big hit not long before and had managed to chip up nicely through a long series of pre-flop all-in moves. On Nguyen's last hand Hoyt opened the pot with a standard raise, something that should have set alarm bells off in The Master's head, only to see Nguyen move all-in over the top.
Corkins beat him into the pot and tabled his hooks, which had Nguyen's K♦ T♦ in bad shape. Nguyen would pick up an open-ended straight draw on the turn to go along with his overcard but that's as close as he would come to cracking Hoyt's jacks. Men Nguyen earned $241,193 for his third-place finish.
At this point we took a lengthy break for the money presentation, brought out on large silver trays by a bevy of pretty young women. With the cash safely in place we were ready to begin what would turn out to be a lengthy heads-up match.
After trading the lead back and forth a few times Faustman was able to pull out in front, taking down two big pots in quick succession. Going into the final hand he had a 2-1 advantage over The Alabama Cowboy.
Corkins limped from the button and Faustman popped it to $280,000, with blinds of $40,000/$80,000. Corkins made the call and the flop came down 9♥ 9♣ 3♣. Faustman led out for another $280,000 and Corkins quickly moved all-in. Faustman stood up from the table, saying, "Do you have a nine?" Shaking his head, he made the call and tabled pocket queens. Corkins felted pocket twos and saw he was in a world of hurt. Only the two remaining deuces in the deck could save him but after the board bricked out it was all over.
Hoyt Corkins comes painfully close to his second WPT title, taking second and $458,267 as a consolation prize. Brett Faustman, meanwhile, takes the title, the bracelet, a $25,000 seat to the WPT Championship and $892,413.
For a full rundown of everyone who cashed in this event click through to our results page. For a detailed record of all the action check out the Live Updates and for photographic evidence cruise on over to the photo gallery.
PL.com is packing up shop tonight and heading for Atlantic City tomorrow for the Borgata Poker Classic which gets under way January 27, so take a few days off before hitting us back as we do it all over again out in Jersey!