Event 40 – the $10 000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship at the World Series of Poker saw an American and a Russian across the table from each other in a thriller of a heads up atter they had survived an entry field of 295 players and a final table with plenty of talented pros looking for the biggest share of the $2 773 000 prize pool.
By day 3 the field was down to 25, many of them acknowledged to be among the finest PLO players in the game today, but only nine could make the final table.
Final tablers were New Orleans Internet and live tourney pro Matt Graham in the chip lead on 1.4 million, followed by Ferit Gabriellson (1.2 million), Josh Arieh (1.050 million), Richard Austin (1.030 million), Robin Keston (1 million), Stefan Mattsson and Vitaly Lunkin on 850 000 apiece, Van Marcus (500 000) and Barry Greenstein (780 000).
By 2.30am the heads up stage had been reached, pitting Matt Graham (25), a New Orleans native now resident in Houston, Texas against the respected Moscow pro Vitaly Lunkin (37). The duo were almost evenly matched in chip stacks, but Graham ran into trouble ninety minutes in and was almost crippled, executing a remarkable comeback through a series of double-ups that eroded Lunkin's at one point massive 13 to 1 chip lead.
By 4.30am it was all over – two hours of exciting heads up action had culminated in Graham prevailing to take home the $679 379 main prize and the bracelet – his second from WSOP and his biggest prize in 16 career cashes to date. The win brings Graham's career earnings since he started playing poker online three years ago to $1 183 775.
Lunkin's runner-up prize was $419 832 – his second big-prize win this year after earlier taking down Event 2 – the 40th Anniversary $40 000 buy-in No-Limit Holdem contest, where he picked up $1 891 012 and his second WSOP bracelet.
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