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Unabomber blows up at World Open V
Laak is one of the most recognizable faces in poker, but hasn't had anything resembling a big score since winning an episode of Poker After Dark in 2007.
"This was a wild roller coaster ride and I am proud to have shared it with this amazing cast of characters," said Laak. "They were a tough bunch. Wow - what an honor."
Laak beat Austrian qualifier Jan Veit in heads-up play to win the $250,000 first place prize.
The invitation-only World Poker Open V began with 48 players, including Andy Black, Bodo Sbrzesny and Veit had booked seats at Thursday's final table.
After a slow start to the final, Black jumped out to the early lead, but was surprisingly the first casualty when he dipped into short stack territory and shoved K-J into Laak's A-7.
Sexton, who was also officially announced as the lone 2009 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame Thursday, was the next to go when he shoved pocket eights into Veit's pair of kings.
Tilly then found her way to the rail after going all in with A-J and having Veit wake up with pocket nines.
Veit continued to pick up steam when he eliminated PartyPoker grassroots pro Sbrzesny in fourth place, leaving himself, Laak and Schwartz to fight it out three-handed.
The always-controversial Schwartz endured several bad beats at the final table, including getting it in with A-T against Veit's K♣ J♣ in his final hand. Veit went runner-runner to river a flush and bust him third.
Laak and Veit entered heads-up play with nearly equal stacks, but it took just one hand to decide their fate.
Veit got all-in with A-4 on the first hand heads-up and Laak made the call with A-8. An eight on the flop was enough to give Laak the checkmark and a severely out-chipped Veit was forced to shove with J-7 the very next hand.
Laak made the call with Q-9, the board bricked and that was enough to secure Laak the title and $250k prize.
Here are the complete final table payouts for the PartyPoker World Open V:
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