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John Phan : WPT 2008 Legends of Poker Championship
Top international poker pro John 'The Razor' Phan added to his impressive c.v. with another big win this weekend, taking down the WPT 2008 Legends of Poker Championship title and a winner's check worth $1 091 428 after beating an entry field of 373 players.
Other final tablers in the competition were Paul Smith, Amit "amak316" Makhija, Kyle Wilson, Zachary Clark and Trong Nguyen.
Canadian Kyle Wilson was first to exit, going out in sixth place and in style, pushing his full $995 000 stack into an unsuccessful confrontation with Clark, but perhaps finding some consolation in a pay check worth $176 035.
Short stacked Trong Nguyen headed for the rail as level 23 ended, falling to the cards of Makhija and collecting a take home of $211 245 for his fifth placing. Paul Smith came off second best in a tense encounter with Phan, with tank and clock calls adding to the pressure but Smith ultimately heading home with a fourth place check of $246 450.
Just on four hours of ruthless and skilled poker followed as Clark, Makhija and Phan fought it out three-handed, with Clark taking a huge million dollar hit early on in a clash with Phan. With big pots abounding, it looked as if Makhija was going to come out on top, with his chip stack at one time over seven million, but Phan fought back to draw level in time to see Clark depart in third place, earning $281 645 after an exchange with Makhija.
Head-to-head for the prestige and the big money, Phan and Makhija put on an educational and entertaining display of pro poker, with Phan gradually pulling ahead to claim a four-to-one chip lead over his opponent. That appeared to be that, but the tenacious Makhija remained determined and actually took back the lead in a great comeback. It wasn't to last long, however, and by level 27 it was all Phan, and Makhija finished in a very respectable second place with a $563 320 for his trouble and time. Against a player of the calibre of Phan it was an impressive achievement.
Phan polished an already lustrous record yet further with his first place finish, and collected the $1 091 428 winner's check.
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