Event 2 of the 2008 World Series of Poker currently underway at the Rio in Las Vegas was decided this week, with 27 year old Grant Hinkle winning the $1 500 buy-in No Limit Hold 'em competition that saw a record 3929 entries and one of the longest running non-main events in WSOP history.
The organisers had anticipated that the final table would be reached by Day 2, but just on 16 hours later, and with 18 players still going at it, the director suspended play and went to an unplanned Day 3. Once play commenced in the extra day, it took a further seven hours to create sufficient eliminations to get to a final table of nine seats.
Astonishingly Hinkle, who won a bracelet and $831 462 from the giant prize-pool, had no experience in major tournament play. He had not expected to do so well and had to reschedule various flights back to his home in Kansas City to accommodate his success.
WSOP was a major departure from his usual experience of playing with friends or in small tourneys. "My goal coming in was just go as deep as I could," he recalled. "After Day 1, I was top-ten in chips and once I got there I started to think – how much money can I make and how far can I really go? I kept going and winning pots and I eventually got here."
In a final table that featured players from several different countries Hinkle prevailed to face James Akenhead in the heads up with a significant $3.6 million chip advantage. The final game lasted for 2 hours, with Akenhead making a big comeback late in the action, but failing to beat the young gun from Kansas. Akenhead later collected a paycheck of $520 219 for his second placing.
Entertaining action to watch this year is a side bet between tonsorially well endowed Chris Ferguson and Perry Friedman. The former will have to cut off his trademark flowing locks and shave his head bald if Perry Friedman wins the WSOP Main Event.
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