Greer entered Wednesday with four top-eight finishes on the World Poker Tour, finishing runner-up to Mohsin Charania in the Season XIII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Young had three top-eight finishes, including his own runner-up finish at Bellagio to Chino Rheem in the Season VII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Something had to give.
Greer started with the lead, and extended it to a two-to-one advantage, but just like in Season XIII he lost a massive coin flip which could have finished it all. His pocket fours couldn’t out-race the ace-nine of Young, and suddenly the former was in the lead. Eleven hands later the cards were on their backs again, and Greer was in good shape to double with ace-eight against king-jack. Both players flopped a pair, and Greer remained ahead with two aces, but the river gave Young two pair and the title.
“This makes it all worth it,” Young said after the win. “I was devastated for a while [after loosing to Rheem]. I was mad afterwards, but it was a good experience.”
Young earned $669,161, which includes a seat into the $15,000 buy-in Monster WPT Tournament of Champions. With family in the South Florida area, he plans to relax on Thursday before returning to the felt for the historic event.
“It’s going to be a tough field, which I’m looking forward to,” Young said. “Going back and seeing all of the past champions of the WPT’s, and since mine is so fresh, it’s going to be a nice moment.”
While Greer is still chasing that elusive nameplate on the venerable WPT Champions Cup, he receives $458,722 for his efforts at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Final Table Results
1st: Justin Young – $669,161
2nd: Garrett Greer – $458,722
3rd: Hyoung Chae – $297,336
4th: Matt Haugen – $220,207
5th: Tim Reilly – $164,113
6th: Ben Tarzia – $132,560
7th: Sam Soverel – $110,357
8th: Andrey Plotnikov – $87,880
9th: Cate Hall – $65,404
10th: William Foxen – $49,627
The first order of business on Wednesday was to play down to the official WPT final table of six, and it took just under four hours to make that happen. William Foxen fell in 10th place (49,627), and he was followed to the rail by Cate Hall, who took home $65,404 for her ninth-place finish. Hall’s elimination secured Season XIV Hublot WPT Player of the Year honors for WPT Legends of Poker champion Mike Shariati. The next two players to fall were Andrey Plotnikov in eighth place ($87,880), and Sam Soverel in seventh place ($110,357).
From there it took 49 hands and over two hours of play before we lost a player among the final six. Ben Tarzia was all in with A-10 suited and he was behind the pocket eights of Hyoung Chae preflop. The board changed nothing and Tarzia was eliminated in sixth place, good for $132,560.
The next bustout came much quick, as Tim Reilly was all-in five hands later holding pocket sevens on K-Q-3-4 board. Chae held pocket jacks and they held on the river to win the hand. Reilly was out in fifth place, good for $164,113 in prize money.
Seventy hands later Matt Haugen decided to risk his tournament life with A-J. Justin Young woke up with pocket jacks and quickly called. The board brought no help, and Haugen was eliminated in fourth place, good for $220,207.
Three-handed play was a little more cooperative, and we lost Chae 26 hands later after Greer scored a huge double against Chae before his final shove. Chae held A-Q against Young, who woke up with another pocket pair (fives this time around). Another board bricked for the player at risk, and Chae was out in third place, good for $297,336.
From there, Young and Greer battled for what ultimately would become Young’s first victory on the World Poker Tour.
That concludes our coverage from the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Starting on Thursday at Noon ET, we will have hand-for-hand live updates, real-time chip counts, photos, and a WPT live stream from the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale.
Photos by Joe Giron