Plenty of big names came out to play at the finale of the Borgata Poker Open but Winston, sometimes known as the Oracle, proved he could swim with the sharks by outlasting them all. Here's the official PokerListings recap of what went down on the final day of the 2007 WPT Borgata Poker Open.
Things started out great for the player they call "The Mouth." Matusow took down the very first pot of the day by raising pre-flop and getting no callers and many wondered if it was a sign of things to come.
Sadly for Matusow, that couldn't have been further from the truth as, after losing several key hands, he was the first to be eliminated.
Matusow saw a flop of A♥ Q♦ 4♦ and bet out $325,000 against chip leader Winston. Winston announced a raise and Matusow quickly moved all-in. Winston made the call and flipped over A♦ 7♦ for top pair and a flush draw. Matusow was in the lead with A♠ Q♠ for top two pair. The crowd was on its feet and Matusow was hoping to dodge diamonds. Unfortunately that hope was in vain because the turn was the 2♦ which gave Winston his flush. Matusow would need to fill up on the river to stay alive but after fifth street brought the K♦ The Mouth was silenced.
You could sense the disappointment from WPT organizers who had just seen the most high-profile player at the final table eliminated first.
Matusow would get some company on the rail, however, as Todd was right behind him. Todd moved all-in pre-flop for the last of his stack, which amounted to $475,000, and got a call from Hueng "Scotty" Yoon. It was A♠ K♥ for Yoon versus Todd's pocket treys.
The board went J♣ 9♥ 7♣ 2♥ and... K♦. The king on the river meant Todd's tournament was over and yet another well-known poker pro was eliminated from the action.
Mark Weitzman wallowed as the short stack for most of the day and finally decided to make a stand with A♦ 4♦. Weitzman shoved and Winston immediately called with a dominating A♥ Q♥. Weitzman's heart skipped a beat when the flop came K♦ J♦ 6♥. Weitzman had picked up a flush draw in addition to his one live card and for a second he had a chance of doubling up.
Unfortunately the board finished out 7♥ and then 5♥ which meant Weitzman was finished and Winston had added to his impressive chip stack.
It was around this time that Winston really shifted his game into overdrive. The Oracle was involved in almost every pot and always seemed to come out the winner. In one hand Heung Yoon opened to $265,000 from the button and both Winston and Voulgaris called. The flop went 8♠ 4♦ 3♦ and Winston led out for $600,000.
Voulgaris quickly folded but Yoon took a few minutes to think it over.
"You are either bluffing or that's a great bet," he said.
Eventually Yoon folded but showed A-2 in the process.
"I had you dominated," said Winston as he flashed pocket deuces.
The Winston juggernaut didn't slow down and his next victim was the last well-known pro at the table - Voulgaris.
In the hand Voulgaris opened the betting for $250,000 but Winston re-popped to $750,000. Voulgaris thought for a minute and then announced he was all-in. Winston quickly made the call and showed A♥ 4♦ while Voulgaris turned over Q♠ 9♠.
The board went J♣ 7♠ 3♥ 4♣ 4♥ and Voulgaris had to settle for third place and $434,000. That should give him a few buy-ins for High Stakes Poker.
The heads-up match between Winston and Yoon turned out to be an epic struggle with both players going blow-for-blow like weary boxers.
When heads-up play began Winston held $13 million chips compared to Yoon's $3 million. Yoon somehow found away to battle back and after several double-ups and a couple hours, Yoon had climbed his way up to $6 million against Winston's $10 million.
In the final hand of the tournament Winston called from the small blind while Yoon bet $700,000. Winston called and the flop came Q♦ 6♦ 4♥. Winston led out for $1 million but Yoon came back over the top and made it $3 million to go. Winston moved all-in and Yoon called immediately showing A-K. Winston happily flipped over pocket fours and was in the lead with a set of fours. All it took was a deuce on the turn to finish Yoon and Winston had won the 2007 WPT Borgata. Winston won $1,575,280 for his efforts while Yoon had to settle for $832,725.
It was an exciting end to a great tournament. Although Winston wasn't well known before the final table there's a good chance people will be on the lookout for The Oracle in the coming months.