Bill Edler Wins Gulf Coast Poker Championship
Champion Turns Two Chips and a Chair into WPT History
The inaugural Gulf Coast Poker Championship was the setting for one of the most amazing comebacks the poker world has ever seen. With 17 players remaining in the tournament and the blinds at $4,000-$8,000 with a $1,000 ante, Bill Edler was crippled and down to his last two $1,000 chips. After paying his ante, Edler posted his last chip in the big blind, leaving it all up to the poker gods. He then proceeded to win a series of all-in pots, propelling him to not only a comfortable stack, but to the final table. Not since "Treetop" Jack Strauss' performance in the 1982 World Series of Poker has a player come back in a major event from such a deficit. Click here to read more about Edler's remarkable comeback from CardPlayer.com's live updates.
Coming into the final table, the chip counts for the final six players were as follows: "Captain" Tom Franklin ($1,040,000), John Davidson ($1,011,000), Bill Edler ($1,005,000), Hank Sitton ($846,000), David Robbins ($727,000), and Tim Frazin ($499,000).
It didn't take long to lose the first player. As the chip leader, Franklin had a rough start to the day and lost more than a quarter of his stack on the first hand of play. Just three hands later, he would be out the door. Robbins raised to $90,000 and Franklin reraised him to $200,000 from the small blind. Robbins smooth-called and the flop came down 8 5 5. Franklin led out for $210,000 and Robbins took a few moments before announcing he was all in. Franklin instantly called, showing pocket queens, but he was behind to Robbins' pocket aces. Franklin needed to catch a queen to stay alive, but the turn and river came K and 10 to send him to the rail in sixth place. For his efforts, the Gulfport, Mississippi, native took home $116,814.
Franklin wouldn't be the only player to fall at the hands of Robbins. In a battle of the blinds situation, Robbins completed and Frazin checked his option. The flop came down J 6 3 and both players checked. The turn card was the 10 and Robbins checked again. Frazin shipped in his remaining $309,000, hoping to end the hand there, but he fell right into Robbins' trap who quickly called with pocket kings. Frazin's 8 7 had some outs with a gutshot straight draw, but the river was the 6, eliminating him in fifth place. The pizza maker from Texas earned $140,177 for his finish.
Robbins wasn't invincible, however, as he would double up both Davidson and Edler after the break. Edler raised to $105,000 and Davidson moved all in from the button for $435,000. Robbins went into the tank before moving all in over the top. Edler folded and Davidson showed his pocket jacks, but Robbins was ahead with his pocket queens. However, the board came out J 7 4 8 9 to double Davidson up to over $1 million in chips.
A short while later, Robbins raised to $165,000 on the button and Edler reraised to $400,000 from the big blind, leaving himself with only $65,000 behind. Robbins eventually raised enough to put Edler all in, who called showing pocket sevens. Robbins showed K J and they were off to the races. The flop came down 7 5 2 giving Edler a set to win the pot. The meaningless turn and river cards came 4 and A, doubling Edler up to over $1 million, as well. Edler celebrated his double up with the audience, including his friends Gavin Smith and Peter "Nordberg" Feldman.
Edler would later cripple Davidson to take the chip lead after fading a flush draw and a gutshot-straight draw. Davidson would get his remaining $35,000 chips in the pot against both Edler and Robbins, both of whom decided to check the board down. Edler showed a pair of fours and that was enough to bust Davidson in fourth place, giving the satellite winner $163,540 for his performance.
Sitton stayed quiet for most of the final table, but was finally forced into action on hand No. 83. Sitton raised from the small blind to $200,000 and Edler quickly reraised to $600,000 from the big blind. Sitton put on his sunglasses and announced he was all in for an additional $855,000. Edler went into the tank for a few minutes before calling the bet showing A 8. He was relieved to see Sitton turn over pocket fours for a race situation. The flop was no help to Edler when it came Q 10 6. But the turn was the Q to give Edler additional outs. He could catch an ace, ten, eight, or six to start heads-up play with a massive chip lead. But the river was the K, giving the chip lead over to Sitton.
The action slowed down for the next 25 hands but then a confrontation developed between Sitton and Robbins. Robbins had the button and limped in for $80,000. Sitton raised from the small blind to $200,000 and Robbins made the call. The flop came A K J and Sitton moved all in for his last $710,000. Robbins took his time and finally decided on a call, showing A 9. Sitton showed his A 7 and there was a good chance that this would be a split pot. But the turn was low, bringing the 4, and now Robbins needed to catch a two, three, five, six, eight, or nine for his kicker to play. The river was the 2 and Sitton walked off the stage as the third-place finisher, collecting a $210,265 payday.
The heads-up battle lasted 20 hands, with Edler showing most of the aggression and taking down many pots preflop. The penultimate hand came when Edler raised to $300,000 on the button. Robbins called and the flop came down A 10 2. Both players checked to see the turn, which was the 6. Edler bet $500,000 and Robbins moved all in. Edler called all in showing A 10 for top two pair. Robbins showed A 7 and was drawing dead. The 10 on the river gave Edler an unnecessary full house and a dominating chip lead.
Robbins was crippled and down to $230,000 and decided to put it all in blind, even before the cards had been dealt. Edler called, showing A 9 and Robbins turned over Q 7. The board came 8 4 4 J A to give Edler the victory and cap off the greatest comeback in WPT history. Edler also jumped into second place in the Card Player Player of the Year race with his victory, he now sits ahead of J.C. Tran and right behind David Pham in what is turning into a heated POY race in the closing months of 2007.
Here are the final results:
1. Bill "The Stunning One" Edler - $747,615
2. David Robbins - $411,185
3. Hank Sitton - $210,265
4. John Davidson - $163,540
5. Tim Frazin - $140,177
6. Tom Franklin - $116,814
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