Juttlestad ends Gagne’s run at WPT Lucky Hearts

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 15, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

Entering the final table of the inaugural World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the talk of the tournament was Gigi Gagne. Gagne, and amateur poker player from Florida, was poised to make a run at poker history, as she could have become the first female player to win an “Open” WPT title, and could have done so on Valentine’s Day, a very fitting day to crown a female champion.

Gagne took the overall chip-lead into the final table, but struggled mightily early on, culminating with a terrible loss to Keith Ferrera where she flopped two-pair and got it all-in against Ferrera’s top pair only to see him make a better two-pair. Things got so bad for Gagne that at one point it looked like she might be the first player out, but she proved to be a very resilient player, and managed to hang around until heads-up play where she found herself up against Matt Juttlestad.

Juttlestad had dominated the tournament from Day 1b onward, and played brilliantly at the final table, giving him a 3.5-to-1 chip advantage over the inexperienced Gagne. After a few small pots were exchanged between the two Gagne found herself on the wrong-end of a cooler after a 2-3-5 flop gave her an open-ended straight draw with her 4/T, and the Ace on the Turn gave her a wheel. The problem was that Juttlestad had flopped the absolute nuts holding 4/6, leaving Gagne with 3 outs to a split-pot on the River –none of which appeared.

And so the amazing run ended for Gagne in 2nd place, where she now joins JJ Liu and Kathy Liebert as the highest-placing females in a WPT event. Juttlestad was a deserving champion, having played near-flawlessly on his way to the title, even surviving a rough patch that saw third-place finisher Uri Kadosh seemingly unable to lose a hand. However, in the end the loose cannon Kadosh, and the amateur Gagne (who called too much and seemed to have a problem with bet sizing) fell to the more accomplished Juttlestad, who looks to have a bright future in poker.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:

1. Matt Juttelstad – $268,444

2. Gigi Gagne – $158,194

3. Uri Kadosh – $105,463

4. Sharon Levin – $73,344

5. Todd Jacobson – $54,649

6. Keith Ferrera – $42,185

The World Poker Tour will now move on to one of the biggest events on the tour, the LA Poker Open, which will take place at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, California, beginning on February 24th, 2012. Once again the LA Poker Open will feature a $10,000 buy-in and is expected to draw some of the biggest names in the poker world.

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