UK poker pro James Dempsey wins WPT title

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 12, 2011 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

In one of the toughest final tables in recent memory (which is definitely saying something considering the star-studded final tables we have seen throughout 2011) the UK’s James “flushy” Dempsey managed to win his first WPT title, adding to his World Series of Poker bracelet he won back in 2009. Dempsey captured the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic title and an impressive $800k in prize-money on Sunday night.

Dempsey’s win ended two potentially historic runs as Vanessa Selbst tried to become the first female poker player to win an open WPT Championship, while Antonio Esfandiari attempted to become the first WPT Champion to defend his title the following year.

The final table featured not only Selbst, Esfandiari, and Dempsey, but also 2010 November Niner Soi Nguyen, online phenom Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, and Vitor Coelho who notched his third Top 10 finish in a WPT Event in 2011.

Esfandiari was the first player eliminated when his AT proved to be inferior to Dempsey’s A4, and the Magician was soon followed by Coelho and then Lichtenberger, whose pocket 8’s fell to Soi Nguyen’s pocket 9’s after pre-flop raising war.

After Lichtenberger was eliminated in 4th place the story switched to Selbst and her run at becoming the first woman to win a WPT Championship. Unfortunately the cards just didn’t go Vanessa’s way on Sunday and she could muster no better than a third place finish –leaving Nguyen and Dempsey to battle for the coveted title.

The final hand of the night saw Nguyen all-in and dominated, but a miracle flop of 9-J-6 pushed Nguyen’s K/J ahead of the K/Q of Dempsey. An innocuous 4 on the turn changed nothing, but the 10 that fell on the river gave Dempsey a straight and the WPT Five Diamonds title –much to the satisfaction of the British cheering section that included Partouche Poker Tour Champion and Titan Poker pro Sam Trickett as well as Lock Poker Pro and Player of the Year contender Chris Moorman.

1. James Dempsey – $796,112 + $25,500 WPT Championship Seat

2. Soi Nguyen – $517,478

3. Vanessa Selbst – $338,351

4. Andrew Lichtenberger – $218,933

5. Vitor Coelho – $159,224

6. Antonio Esfandiari – $119,418

The win pushed Dempsey’s career tournament earnings well over the $1 million mark, a number that now stands at $1,726,528 according to thehendonmob.com database.

Soi Nguyen has proven he has put the “amateur” poker player title he carried into the 2010 WSOP Final Table behind him, in addition to his runner-up finish this past weekend the man with only a handful of tournaments under his belt when he made his WSOP run has also won a major online tournament during the last running of the FTOPS at Full Tilt Poker.

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