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World Poker Open hit by Cycalona
Mississippi has had its share of bad weather in recent years, but this time it was a storm of great poker playing that hit the state as Cycalona Gowen, better known as Clonie, took down the World Poker Open main event in Tunica.
She went up against a field of 107 players who put up the $5,000 buy-in for the main event at the Gold Strike Casino. The prize pool topped the $500,000 mark, but only the players skilled enough to make the final table would get a cut of that money.
After the first day of play Gowen was sitting well in second place in the chip count, but it wasn't a guaranteed spot at the final table for her. She struggled for most of the day before a key hand when they were down to 12 players started her ride back to the top.
When they were down to the final nine and starting final-table play, Gowen had the chip lead. She had to ride out some highs and lows at the final table, and spent two hours battling heads-up with BJ McBrayer before finally raking in the last of his chips for the win.
The final-table results were:
Along with the cash, Gowen also picks up a $10,000 seat in the World Poker Tour event at the Beau Rivage in January.
Gowen has had a pretty successful poker year. Not only does she have this win to add to her poker resume, she won Event 5 of the Bellagio Cup IV in July, cashed in four different 2008 World Series of Poker events, and came in 14th in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star in March.
Her earnings this year on the tournament circuit have put her well over $1 million in lifetime winnings, and put her on a path as a player to watch in 2009 as well.