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Sunday, May 6, 2007 | Francis Lee

carlos mortensen wpt

Carlos Mortensen made history by becoming the first player to win the WPT World Championship and a WSOP Main Event when he won first place in the 2007 WPT World Championship at Bellagio. Not only this but he also broke the record for the player to collect the most career tournament prize money won at the Bellagio, and to top it all off he also won the largest prize in the biggest prize pool in the five year history of the WPT. Not a bad result collecting just under four million dollars for first place.

The $25,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio held over seven days attracted 638 players with some of the biggest names in poker in attendance.

The six seat final table started out with the below official chip count with Paul Lee leading the way with $11.8 million in chips, twice the amount of second placed Mortensen with Tim Phan with the short stack on $2.162 million.

The Final Table chip counts:

  • 1. Paul Lee $11.8m
  • 2. Carlos Mortensen $6.5m
  • 3. Guy Laliberte $4.69m
  • 4. Kirk Morrison $4.194m
  • 5. Mike Wattel $2.887m
  • 6. Tim Phan $2.162m

Even though the blinds started at $120,000 in chips before any card is dealt, the table started off slowly and it took nearly an hour for the first player to be eliminated . Loosing $2m from his starting amount on the final table of $3m in this first hour, Mike Wattel moved all-in pre-flop after a Kirk Morrison raise of $420,000. Morrison had Wattel dominated, :kc :js versus :jd :9h neither player’s hand improved with the board coming down with :10d :4h :3h :8c :ah and Wattel was out in 6th place winning $309,405.

The next player out was Tim Pham. With his chip stack down to £1.2m he raised all in on the button with pocket 9’s, this was quickly called by Morrison in the Big Blind and flipped over pocket A’s, the pair of bullets held up knocking Pham out in 5th giving him $464,110.

Mortensen looked in trouble after the 52nd hand, Under the gun Morrison raised up $300,000, Mortensen came over the top in the small blind with a re raise of $2.7m which Morrison called. The flop showed :qc :jc :9d Mortensen raised all in with $6.6m which Morrison called. Morrison showed :jd :jh giving him a set and Morrison flipped over :as :qs top pair with top kicker. The set of jacks held up which crippled Mortensen down to just over $1.2m but Morrison on the other hand doubled up to over $16m.

Guy Laliberte was next to go, raising $1.3m which was called by Morrison on the Big Blind. The flop came down :qc :6c :3c Morrison checked and Laliberte raised $2m. Morrison thought for a while before moving all in which Laliberte called. Both players flipped over Morrison showing pocket Deuces and Laliberte had :ad :jc The turn and river was no help to Laliberte coming down :3s :8s knocking him out of the tournament in 4th and a prize of $696,220.

Down to three players and Mortensen came back strongly playing aggressively picking up the blinds and then doubling up twice through both players putting him right back in the game.

Inevitably at this stage it was Paul Lee who went out in 3rd place winning just over a Million dollars. After being crippled loosing to Mortensen, doubling him up he called a raise from Morrison for $1.2m putting him all in. Morrison was in a dominant position when they flipped over the cards with his :ah :10s against Lee’s :ad :9h Morrison was a big favourite after the flop with it showing :qh :7s :2h and when the turn came down with a :10h Lee was dead in the water.

The heads up play chip count had Morrison in the lead with just over $19m to Mortensen’s $12.8m. The game swung with both players taking big pots but Mortensen’s aggressive head up play gave him the upper hand over Morrison.

This epic match was almost as long as it took the final table to get to head up and it wasn’t until the 95th hand of heads up play that we finally had our winner.

With the Blinds at $2m big and $1m small, Mortensen raised to $5m which was quickly re raised by Morrison all in. Mortensen called showing :kh :jh and Morrison has :as :4d The flop was :7c :4h :3c putting Morrison in the lead until the turn came down with a :jc Morrison needed an A on the river to survive but it never came with the :3d giving Mortensen the win and making history at the same time.

A fitting end to the WPT 2006 series. We look forward to next season with it all starting up again next month at The Mirage in LasVegas on May 14th.

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