Shawn Cunix wins WPT Bestbet Jacksonville

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 05, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

At a final table that included three players still in the running for the World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year crown, not to mention the host of the WPT segment “Raw Deal”, it was a little-known player from Ohio who would walk away with the WPT Bestbet Jacksonville trophy and the $400,000 that was set aside for the winner.

WPT Player of the Year candidate, and one of the top performers in poker over the past year Will “The Thrill” Failla was the first man sent to the rail (although he did earn enough POY points to overtake Joe Serock for the POY lead), followed by the WPT’s own Tony Dunst who was sent packing in 5th place. Next to go was Daniel Buzgon, a relatively unknown player who has made some serious waves in tournament poker this year.

For his part Cunix entered the final table as the chip-leader and was dominant early on, chipping-up as his opponents started to fall. However, his good fortune seemed to come to crashing halt during three-handed play as he fell from over 5 million to just over 1 million. Most of the action took place between Cunix and Darren Elias in what seemed like a heads-up battle during three-handed play –with James Calderaro watching the two players clash.

Despite his seeming inactivity, Calderaro went into heads-up play with a 5.5 million to 4 million chip-advantage, but in the span of four hands Cunix won two huge pots against his heads-up adversary to take a dominant chip-lead and would finish-off Calderaro just a few hands later.

This was Cunix’s sixth WPT cash since 2008, and his second final table; previously finishing in 6th place at the 2009 WPT Festa al Lago Championship. Despite over $1.2 million in career tournament earnings, this was Shawn’s first major tournament victory, although he does have four victories in side events, including winning the $3,000 NLHE event at the 2008 Five Star World Poker Classic.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the WPT Jacksonville Main Event:

1. Shawn Cunix – $400,600

2. James Calderaro – $236,560

3. Darren Elias – $147,850

4. Daniel Buzgon – $94,624

5. Tony Dunst – $66,532

6. Will Failla – $54,704

The WPT is now headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for their annual $25k Championship tournament at the Bellagio that will bring Season X of the tour to a close.

Failla has taken over the top spot on the WPT POY leader-board, and Buzgon and Elias have moved into third and fourth place respectively thanks to their WPT Jacksonville performances: Here is a look at the Top 10 on the Season X WPT Player of the Year leader-board:

1. Will Failla — 2,050 points

2. Joe Serock — 1,800 points

3. Daniel Buzgon — 1,750 points

4. Darren Elias — 1,600 points

5. Vitor Coelho — 1,500 points

6. Fred Goldberg — 1,450 points

7. Bobby Oboodi — 1,400 points

8. James Dempsey — 1,400 points

9. Sean Jazayeri — 1,400 points

10. Soi Nguyen – 1,250 points

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