Griffin Paul becomes the latest member to join the World Poker Tour Champions Club after beating Joe Ebanks, heads-up, to capture the first prize at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.Griffin Paul has captured a World Poker Tour (WPT) title at the cherubic age of 22. He topped a field of 1,476 entrants to earn a cool million dollar first prize, at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Hollywood, Florida.
Griffin had only been racking up live tournament scores since last year. This was his second WPT cash, after making a deep run in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars Main Event last month, and his previous best score was $25,756 for a 441st place finish in last years World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Now he owns a seven figure score.
Griffin entered the final table with the chip lead. In truth, it was an inexperienced final table, with the main threat coming from the WSOP bracelet winner Joe Ebanks. The Ohio native is something else. He has earned over $3m in live tournament cashes, was featuring in his second WPT Main Event final table, and just like Griffin, is the proud owner of a seven figure score, earned on his way to that sliver of gold in 2011.
Predictably, the pair would end up facing off for the title. It lasted 34 hands. The final hand saw Paul limping into the action, with blinds at 200k/400k, and then calling a 1.5m Ebanks raise. The flop was [Kd] [Jc] [4h], Ebanks c-bet to the tune of a million, Paul moved all-in, and Ebanks quickly called.
When the cards were turned over Ebanks was in a world of hurt. His [Ad] [Jh] had spiked middle pin, but the inferior [Kc] [9d] had struck top pair. The [4d] and [6s] finished the action, and Paul was left celebrating with his rail.
Paul won’t have too much time for this win to melt into his mind. His victory earns him a seat at the $15,000 WPT World Championships, which takes place at the Borgata Casino and Spa in Atlantic City this weekend. One imagines a newly flushed Ebanks will also make the trip.
Final Table Results
1st. Griffin Paul – $1,000,000
2nd. Joe Ebanks – $615,000
3rd. Andre Crooks – $383,000
4th. Shawn Nguyen – $323,500
5th. Brian Green – $269,000
6th. Ryan Rivers – $217,500