ClubWPT qualifier Leron Washington took down the World Poker Tour (WPT) Celebrity Invitational, defeating a field of 567 players from all walks of life. He earned $100,000 for the win.
Washington hails from Huntington, West Virginia and is a boxer by trade. If the WPT is looking for a spokesperson for its subscription-based online poker room that Washington qualified through, he may be their man. Washington told new WPT Live Updates hostess Jacque following his win on Wednesday night, “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. It’s really being able to get out and try to showcase my talent and sit alongside some of the pros and celebs.”
Washington became the first ClubWPT qualifier to make a final table on the roving tournament series and entered the finale third on the leaderboard. Steve Elliott was the first elimination of the night. He called all-in after a raise pre-flop by Neev Baram and turned over K-Q. Baram showed K-10 and the flop came J-J-8, leaving Elliott in prime position for a double up. The turn was a queen, giving Baram extra outs. Sure enough, a bullet hit on the river to improve Baram to a Broadway straight, sending Elliott home in sixth place for $5,000.
Two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Thor Hansen was sent packing in fifth place after moving all-in before the flop with A-6. Washington made the call with just 8-6 and spiked an eight on the flop. No help came for Hansen on the turn or river and the most decorated player at the final table was bumped in fifth place for $10,000. The Season 8 Celebrity Invitational marked Hansen’s first WPT final table.
Five hands later, Baram moved all-in under-the-gun with Q-10 and received a call from Sean Urban, who held A-K of diamonds. The flop fell 10-5-2 with two diamonds, pushing Baram out in front with top pair, but giving Urban a flush draw in addition to his two overcards. The turn was the nine of clubs and Urban spiked an ace on the river to send Baram home. Fourth place in the invite-only WPT tournament was worth $15,000.
Absolute Poker pro and former “Real World: Las Vegas” star Trishelle Cannatella committed her chips with pocket queens on a board reading 8-7-5-5. Washington thought for several seconds before making the call with 6-7 for a pair of sevens and an open-ended straight draw. The river was a four, a dagger for Cannatella, as the card improved Washington to an eight-high straight. Cannatella took home $20,000 in her first WPT cash. She was a guest on the UB.com sponsored poker news show “Poker2Nite” on Wednesday as well. The series airs on Versus.
Entering heads-up play, Washington held a massive 9:1 chip lead over Urban. However, putting him away was anything but easy. Urban doubled up twice in the first five hands to be down just 2:1 in chips. By hand #85 of the night, the two were nearly dead even and 15 pots later, Urban had taken the chip lead over the amateur. Washington finally broke through after calling all-in with K-5 on a board of K-J-10-J-2. Urban sheepishly showed Q-5 for a busted straight draw and, just like that, Washington was a 60:1 chip leader. The ClubWPT qualifier won the tournament on the very next hand.
Here were the payouts from the 2010 WPT Celebrity Invitational:
1st Place: Leron Washington – $100,000
2nd Place: Sean Urban – $50,000
3rd Place: Trishelle Cannatella – $20,000
4th Place: Neev Baram – $15,000
5th Place: Thor Hansen – $10,000
6th Place: Steven Elliott – $5,000
Today, the final table of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic will play out from the Commerce Casino. Andras Koroknai holds a commanding chip lead over the rest of the table, which includes Raymond Dolan, Tri Huynh, Gevork Kasabyan, Jean-Claude Moussa, and Michael Kamran. Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest WPT coverage.