2/27/10 – The 21-year-old fearless nosebleed stakes online player Ashton Griffin took down the $25 000 buy-in Pokerstars North American Poker Tour Venetian High Roller Bounty Shootout as the week came to a close, winning a total prize of $560 000 and earning the respect of the 49 other top players in the field.
The young Florida pro, well known among Full Tilt high stakes online poker players for fearless aggression and smart action, exhibited these qualities in the live milieu as he went successfully through seven heats of 7 hands each to reach a final table that comprised Hoyt Corkins, Joe Cassidy, Scott Seiver, Faraz Jaka, Brett Richey and former WSOP champ Peter Eastgate.
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To get there, the final table members had had to best players of the calibre of Daniel Negreanu, current WSOP champion Joe Cada, Bertrand ‘ElkY' Grospellier, Jason Mercier, former WSOP champs Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso, John Duthie, Dario Minieri, Hevad Khan, Steven Paul, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Jennifer Tilly, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Joe Sebok, Tony G and Phil Galfond – a veritable who's who of US poker.
$5 000 was deducted from each player's buy-in and reserved as a cash bounty award, given to any player successful in eliminating another from the tournament, and adding more potential earnings to the winner prizes. The seven winners from the opening round heats won $75 000 each and earned a spot at the final table to battle it out for the winner-take-all winner's prize. Pokerstars sweetened the pot further with an additional $100 000 for the player who collected the most bounties, ensuring plenty of competitive action.
Scott Seiver emerged the best bounty hunter, busting out a total of 8 opponents – two of them final tablers – to collect the $100 000 in addition to $40 000 in bounties, although he was only able to finish fourth on the final table.
Griffin's extensive online poker experience playing against some of the world's best with millins crossing the Internet high stakes tables at Full Tilt stood him in good stead as he worked his way through the heats and the 12 hour final table in a discipled, skilled and aggressive style that saw him square off in the heads up against veteran player Hoyt Corkins.
It turned out to be a very brief affair as on only the second hand of heads up action the evenly matched duo got it in on a nine-high flop holding top pair. Griffin had Corkins outkicked, it played and the $455 000 first prize along with the honours was Griffin's, who also picked up $75 000 for making the final table and $30 000 for eliminating six players.
Corkins had taken out five players in the tournament and took home $100 000.
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