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The Kid is Alright: Randal Flowers Wins His Second WPT Title
Level 30: 80,000-160,000, 15,000 ante
For most 22 year-olds, the highlight of their young lives is graduating from college or moving into your first apartment by yourself. For Randal Flowers, the marquee moments of his life so far are not graduations, first jobs, or other standard milestones. The online poker pro from Greenville, North Carolina can instead hold up not one, but two prestigious records that will likely hold up for the foreseeable future.
Prior to the start of the final table, Flowers already held the record for youngest WPT winner in the tour’s nine-season history. At just 20 years-old, Flowers took down the WPT Barcelona event, besting Nick Schulman for the age record and setting a tough benchmark for future poker whiz kids to best.
Now, if an online poker wunderkind wants to one-up Flowers, they are going to have to pick up not one, but two titles and do it in short order. Flowers, better known to his friends and fellow online poker players as RandALLin, picked up title number two at Festa on Wednesday, putting him in the company of players like Cornel Cimpan, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Freddy Deeb, Michael Mizrachi, and Jonathan Little.
When the final table began, Flowers held a tiny chip lead, but it didn’t take too long for Flowers’ stack to start growing. It was Michael Benvenuti who dispatched with Skip Wilson in 6th place when Wilson ran top pair into Benvenuti’s overpair of queens, but from that point forward, it was Flowers in the driver’s seat.
Flowers eliminated all of his final four opponents. First, he took on Legends of Poker winner Andy Frankenberger in fifth place when Frankenberger shoved with pocket fives and Flowers called him with pocket tens. While Frankenberger exited earlier than he would have liked, his fifth place finish gives him a nice lead early in the WPT Season IX Player of the Year race.
Following Frankenberger’s fall, Flowers faced off with Jason Koon in a massive cooler of a pot. Both players rivered straights and got it all-in. Unfortunately for Koon, his nine-high straight couldn’t best Flowers’ jack-high straight, so Koon was out in fourth.
Those two knockouts gave Flowers a massive chip lead, so much so, that doubling up Noah Schwartz during three-handed play only put a tiny dent in Flowers’ pile. Flowers seemed so worse for the wear either, turning around and eliminating Schwartz just a few hands later with AQ to Schwartz’s KQ.
That left just Benvenuti standing in the way of Flowers and his second title. Flowers held a substantial chip lead at the outset of heads-up play, Benvenuti’s stack was getting short, so it was no wonder that it took a little over a dozen hands before they got it all-in on a flop of 965 flop with Benvenuti holding a big draw with Q7. Flowers showed top pair with 39 and, after the turn and river came 4 then A, Flowers officially became the youngest two-time WPT winner ever.
Here are the final table results from the Season IX Festa al Lago Main Event:
1st: Randal Flowers - $831,500
2nd: Michael Benvenuti - $564,200
3rd: Noah Schwartz - $344,968
4th: Jason Koon - $225,680
5th: Andy Frankenberger - $161,200
6th: Skip Wilson- $112,840
01:35 PM, 10/21/10