Pelton wins 2006 WPT Legends of Poker Title

31 August 2006

Before Wednesday night's 2006 World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event victory, young poker professional Joe Pelton's largest tournament success was a 2005 super-satellite entry into the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

The payout for that event was $25,700, a nice chunk of change, but mere pennies compared to the $1.5 million Pelton received for taking home the fourth tournament in the WPT season five schedule.

Although Pelton has cashed in two WSOP events in his young career, his win was unexpected, especially considering he was playing with some of the best players in the world at the 2006 Legends of Poker Main Event Final Table.

Defeating a group of six that contained WPT superstars Hoyt Corkins and Scotty Nguyen, Pelton is no longer flying under the radar. He joins the large group of young players who are making big names for themselves in major WPT events.

Pelton began the day in third chip position with $1,100,000, but drew an unfortunate seat, sandwiched between the two chips leaders, Frankie O'Dell ($3,880,000) and Kevin O'Donnell ($2,345,000).

O'Dell, who came into the final table as the chip leader after cracking Scotty Nguyen's pocket aces on the hand before the final table was set, was almost able to hold onto the chip lead for the entirety of the final table, not giving it away until play was heads-up.

A WSOP bracelet holder (2003 Omaha High-Low Split), O'Dell played well enough to win, removing his greatest threat (O'Donnell) when the two players were first and second in chips. The near double-up allowed O'Dell to enter three-handed play with a 2-1 chip lead over Hoyt Corkins and Pelton.

Not able to play many pots during the final table play, Corkins moved all-in over the top of a Pelton raise and was quickly called by the eventual champion. Corkins showed a pair of threes and Pelton flipped over a J-10 off-suit. Pelton hit a Jack on the flop, bouncing the popular Corkins from the final table.

After doubling through O'Dell, Pelton again found himself facing a significant re-raise when O'Dell moved all over the top with pocket Sixes. Continuing his fearless play, Pelton did not hesitate, calling with his A-7 offsuit. The Ace on the flop improved Pelton and the hand held up, giving the rising star his first major tournament victory.

The WPT continues to roll on with the next stop coming in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the Borgata Poker Open. The televised $10,000 WPT event will begin on September 15.

Here are the final table finishes and payouts:

1.) Joe Pelton - $1,577,170

2.) Frankie O'Dell - $776,385

3.) Hoyt Corkins - $381,540

4.) Kevin O'Donnell - $226,260

5.) Randy Holland - $177,460

6.) Scotty Nguyen - $133,095


Mucking McLane

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