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Mortensen, Rajkumar fall as Brooks Grabs L.A. Poker Classic Crown
Gregory Brooks shocked the poker world Thursday night, defeating some of the biggest names in the game to claim the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic title.
Brooks, who had taken a break from poker after making his bones in the online cash games, made a last minute decision to enter the event while on a trip to Los Angleles with some friends.
He entered Thursday's final six with the legendary Carlos Mortensen, winner of more than $10 million in live tournaments and the first player to win both the World Series of Poker Main Event and World Poker Tour Championship, in the lead.
Right behind Mortensen sat 2008 WPT Borgata Champ Vivek Rajkumar, who holds the record for winning the fastest final table in WPT history after taking the Borgata title in less than three hours and just 48 hands.
Plus, pros including 2009 CardPlayer Online Player of the Year Steve "gboro780" Gross, 2009 WSOP cashes leader Darryll Fish and Floridian veteran Amir Lehavot were hunting their first taste of WPT Glory.
But it didn't take long for Brooks to seperate himself from the pack and never look back.
The 23 year-old from New Jersey grabbed the chip lead in just the third hand at the final table getting it all in with pocket aces agains Rajkumar’s pocket queens.
By the time play went three-handed, Brooks held on to the lead with just Rajkumar and Mortensen still in the mix.
But there would be no record fourth WPT title for Mortensen after he got it in with top pair only to see Brooks river a flush.
While he headed to the cage to collect $640,680 in third-place money, enough to put him on top of the WPT's all-time leading money winner's list, Rajkumar doubled through Brooks to make it a match heads-up.
But his hopes for a second WPT title came crashing down he shoved with jack high and was called by Brooks and a flopped a pair of sevens.
The WPT L.A. Poker Classic drew 681 players to the Commerce Casino creating a $6,537,600 prize pool.
Heres' how the final table finished up:
1 Gregory Brooks $1,654,120
2 Vivek Rajkumar $908,730
3 Carlos Mortensen $640,680
4 Amir Lehavot $421,680
5 Steve Gross $304,000
6 Darryll Fish $235,350