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Michael Binger wins WSOPC Tahoe
It turns out Lake Tahoe may be a lucky place for the poker pros to play. Michael Binger picked up the win.
Michael Binger, Allen Kessler and Scott Clements to represent the pros at the final table.
Binger looked to be the clear favorite when the action got under way. He went in as the chip leader, but it was Ty Stewart who took control and soon looked to be the man to beat.
Stewart's first casualty was Clements. The two clashed early on in the final table and Clements couldn't muscle his way to a winning hand. Binger worked to keep up, taking out Bill Bostick when he sucked out an ace on the turn.
But for the most part it was "The Ty Stewart Show," as Martin Derbyshire so aptly put it in his recap of the final table.
Stewart is a relatively unknown cash-game player who was playing in his first major tournament. The only other cash he has on his Hendon Mob record is an eighth-place finish in a small tournament in San Pablo back in 1999.
The deck was very kind to him at the final table in Lake Tahoe, and Stewart seemed on the fast track to victory. Binger hung in and managed to make it to heads-up against Stewart.
Stewart was looking at a chip advantage when heads-up began. His $1.1 million in chips was hedging out Binger's $825,000.
According to the PokerListings Live Updates for the event, Stewart went to work fast, using his advantage to push Binger around. It got to the point where Stewart was sitting with about $1.7 million in chips in front of him to Binger's $200,000.
Binger kept his cool despite the huge disadvantage and started clawing his way back into contention. He started shoving in with an ever-growing stack of chips and soon he was taking the chip lead.
On the final hand, Stewart raised $40,000 pre-flop, and Binger called. They saw a flop of 9♦ 8♣ 4♥, and Stewart bet out again to make it $60,000 to go.
Binger popped it up $180,000 and got an all-in from Stewart. Binger nearly insta-called and turned up Q♥ 9♥ for a lead over Stewart's A♥ 8♥.
The rest of the board came T♦ Q♠ to give Binger the win, a $181,379 top prize and a $10,000 seat in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event.
The final-table results were: