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Matador last man standing at WPT Championship
After five seasons, 100 episodes and millions of hands among poker's finest players, the number that pleases Carlos "The Matador" Mortensen most with his win in the $25,000 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship is one. As in, he's now the only poker player, ever, with both a WSOP Main Event title and a WPT win.
Well, the $3.9 million he earned for the win is likely also fairly pleasing.
But the exclusivity of his little party-of-one is not to be overlooked:
"It is amazing," Mortensen told PokerListings.com reporter Matt Showell immediately after his win. "It means a lot to me."
It's also a fitting conclusion to Season 5 on the World Poker Tour - which has seen it's fair share of somebodies and nobodies take center stage - to see one of poker's most respected players step into the spotlight when the stakes were highest.
And there was no shortage of contenders: 639 players forked over the $25,000 to compete at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and Mortensen had to make his way through an almost complete who's who of poker just to get to the final table.
Once there, he also had to make up a lot of ground, including a substantial chip disadvantage to veteran Kirk Morrison.
But after about a hundred heads-up hands and the inevitable onslaught of astronomically rising blinds, Mortensen managed to hit a jack on the turn to finish things off and collect the $3,970,415 - largest payout in WPT history.
"I feel great!" he told Showell. "I haven't let it sink in yet; I think I need a few days for it to really sink in.
"I really wanted to win; anything else than first place was going to be devastating to me."
PokerListings.com reporters Matt Showell and Owen Laukkanen were live at the Bellagio all week, and piled up the exclusive hand recaps, blogs and interviews, so be sure to check out all the highlights in the Live Tournaments Section.