The board came 5♠ 4♣ 2♥ 9♥ A♦ and Perry couldn't engineer another suck-out, instead climbing back on his bike and heading for the exits as the fourth-place finisher, an accomplishment worth $290,900.
Three-handed play thus began and continued as such until one player was eliminated. That player was Luke Staudenmeier, who if you believe the hype wears goggles. The man with the funny eyewear was crippled after running A-T into Watson's A-Q and then shipped the dregs of his stack into the middle with K-4.
Can feel the Star Wars reference coming ...
Both Benyamine and Watson called, with Watson betting out his rival on a queen-high flop and subsequently showing Q-8. The board ran out with a five and then a six and thus Staudenmeier was rendered bustificato, the third-place finisher and officially the recipient of a $452,465 payday, although the eagle eyes at PokerListings.com suspect a deal was brokered during one of the interminable tape-change delays.
Now then, heads-up play. Benyamine came in holding $11.7 million and Watson $8.42 million and with blinds at $80k/$160k it would take some grinding or a very big cooler to bring an end to the action.
The two online fiends seemed to start out aiming for option A, but then Benyamine found a pocket pair of queens on the exact same hand that Watson had been dealt an offsuit ace-king. Neither player seemed particularly averse to deciding the tournament on a coin flip and that's exactly what happened.
Watson got all-in and after the flop and turn brought beautiful blanks, the river was the A♦, giving SirWatts the massive pot and crippling Mr. Erica Schoenberg in the most fiendish of fashions.
How ya like me now, Phan?
A few hands later the game was over. Benyamine shipped it with K♥ 9♥ and Watson called with Q♥ 9♠. It was domination for the Full Tilt pro but it spelled nothing but doom as Watson immediately proceeded to flop a queen and take the lead. The board finished out 9♣ 7♦ and Watson was the first WPT champ of Season 7!
For the win, SirWatts takes $1,673,770 in prize money, as well as the usual dazzling array of WPT accoutrements (including two bracelets) and an exclusive PokerListings.com interview.
Meanwhile, Benyamine earns $840,295 for his efforts and will likely spend the weekend trying his darnedest to extract the rest of the prize money from Watson at the nosebleed tables on Full Tilt, to which we say, good luck to you both!
Congrats to all finalists and to the WPT for securing that deal. Now let us inside the ropes again!