Las Vegas-based poker pro Brandon Cantu is the latest winner of a WSOP bracelet – his second – following some great poker in Event #48 – the $1 500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo competition at the World Series of Poker.
The 29-year-old pro player had to survive another massive entry field of 762 players to reach his goal as entrants flocked to the event, illustrating once more the pull of the $1 500 buy-in level. The field generated a prize pool of $1 040 130 and attracted big names such as Lee Watkinson, Allen Cunningham, Roland De Wolfe, Perry Friedman, Jacqmin Mathieu, Padraig Parkinson, Kathy Liebert and Phil Hellmuth.
Three days later, the field was down to a final table that was destined to take eight hours to complete and was comprised of:
Seat 1: Lee Watkinson (412 000)
Seat 2: Steve Jelinek (260 000)
Seat 3: William McMahan (168 000)
Seat 4: Brandon Cantu (1 025 000)
Seat 5: Ted Weinstock (250 000)
Seat 6: Aaron Sias (353 000)
Seat 7: Mathieu Jacqmin (552 000)
Seat 8: Ronnie Hofman (76 000)
Seat 9: Tommy Vedes (334 000)
Although he started final table play with an intimidating chip lead, Cantu did not have it all his own way, seeing the lead slip away to both Lee Watkinson and French player Jacqmin Mathieu by the time the action had reached four-handed stage. Ever the pro, he kept his cool and fought back in a talented and disciplined display of poker to reach a heads up against Watkinson, albeit with a 5 to 2 disadvantage against his formidable opponent.
Encouraged from the rail by his grandfather, Cantu reduced the deficit and eventually managed to retrieve the chip lead in a thrilling heads up that ended when Wilkinson fell to Cantu's trip fours.
Cantu took home his second bracelet (his first was in event 2 of the 2006 WSOP) and $228 867, bringing his career earnings to over $3 million dollars since 2006 in more than 30 major tournament events. The win marks another good bank account boosting achievement for Cantu this year – he came second last week in WSOP Event 39, winning $403 951.
Watkinson took the runner-up's check of $141 873. World's largest poker site giving away $50 free. Visit Pokerstars to claim.