639 players bought in for $25K each at the Bellagio for the 2007 WPT Championships. After seven tough days of poker, a champion was finally crowned and it could not happen to a nicer guy. Carlos Mortensen make history by winning a single tournament. He became the all-time tournament money winner at the Bellagio with over $5M in winnings. He became the first player to win a WPT World Championship and a WSOP Main Event. And he mounted one of the greatest comebacks at any WPT final table. Congrats to Carlos Mortensen on a job well done.
Down to just 1M in chips with four players remaining, Carlos Mortensen came from behind to beat Kirk Morrison heads-up. But it wasn't an easy task. Both players were on the verge of busting each other as the lead changed hands almost a dozen times. They both overtook chipleader Paul Lee who played tentative and let his big stack slip away by his passive play. Heads-up play was nearly 100 hands and Carlos Mortensen finally prevailed over Kirk Morrison. Mortensen won close to $5M.
The taping of the WPT Championships also represented their 100th show. That's an epic milestone in television programming. It also marks the last ever taping for the Travel Channel as the Game Show Network (GSN) will be airing season 6. The 100th episode ended up being the richest tournament in the history of the WPT.
The Sight of the Day
The 10d will forever be the card that Kirk Morrison will remember for the rest of his life. It might also be the one card that haunts Carlos Mortensen in his dreams. On two instances, Morrison was on the verge of elimination when he rivered the 10d... on two separate occasions to stay alive. The first time he rivered a higher two pair and the second time he rivered a flush. Both times he doubled through Mortensen.
Quote of the Day
"There's nobody in the world that I'd less rather play than Carlos Mortensen heads-up," slurred a drunken Gavin Smith just before heads-up play began.
Hand of the Day
The final hand was the hand of the day. Carlos Mortensen raised to 5M and Kirk Morrison raised all in. Mortensen called with Kh-Jh. Morrison flipped over As-4d. He flopped a pair on a board of 7c-4h-3c but Mortensen took the lead when the Jc fell on the turn. The river was 3d and Morrison ran out of river luck. Mortensen's hand held up and he busted Morrison as he won the 2007 WPT Championship.
The Money Winners
1. Carlos Mortensen (Las Vegas,NV) $3,970,415
2. Kirk Morrison (Topeka, KS) $2,011,135
3. Paul Lee (Los Angeles, CA) $1,082,920
4. Guy Laliberte (Beverly Hills, CA) $696,220
5. Tim Phan (Westminster, CA) $464,110
6. Mike Wattel (Phoenix, AZ) $309,405
Dr. Pauly, of the #1 World Series of Poker Blog, Tao of Poker, files his daily report from the WPT $25K Championship at the Bellagio's 5 Star World Poker Classic.
Flipchip's Las Vegas Poker Blog for more photos
[article and photos reprinted under creative commons share-alike license]