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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 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 not only to a comfortable stack, but to the final table. Not since 'Treetop' Jack StraussâÂ€Â™ performance in the 1982 World Series of Poker has a player come back in a major event from such a deficit.
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 didnâÂ€Â™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 855. 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 K10 to send him to the rail in sixth place. For his efforts, the Gulfport, Mississippi native took home $116,814.
Franklin wouldnâÂ€Â™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 J63 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 RobbinsâÂ€Â™ trap who quickly called with pocket kings. FrazinâÂ€Â™s 87 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 wasnâÂ€Â™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 J7489 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 KJ and they were off to the races. The flop came down 752 giving Edler a set to win the pot. The meaningless turn and river cards came 4A, 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 who 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 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 A8. He was relieved to see Sitton turn over pocket fours for a race situation. The flop was no help to Edler when it came Q106. 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 AKJ and Sitton moved all in for his last 710,000. Robbins took his time and finally decided on a call, showing A9. Sitton showed his A7 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 A102. Both players checked down to the turn, which was the 6. Edler bet 500,000 and Robbins moved all in. Edler called all in showing A10 for top two pair. Robbins showed A7 and was drawing dead. The 10 on the river gave Edler an unnecessary full house and a dominating chip lead.
Robbins was crippled down to 230,000 and decided to put it all in blind, even before the cards had been dealt. Edler called, showing A9 and Robbins turned over Q7. The board came 844JA to give Edler the victory and cap off the greatest comeback in WPT history.
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
Hand #139 - David Robbins has the button, but he moves all in dark before the dealer even puts out their cards. After the deal, Edler looks at his cards and calls with A9. Robbins shows Q7, and he'll need to improve to stay alive.
The flop comes 844, and Edler retains the lead with ace high. The turn card is the J, and Robbins needs a queen or a seven on the river to survive.
The river card is -- the A! Bill Edler wins the pot -- and his first WPT title -- with two pair, aces and fours.
David Robbins finishes in second place, earning $411,185.
Bill Edler wins the WPT Gulf Coast Poker Championship, earning $747,615, plus a $25,000 entry into the Season VI WPT World Championship in April and a $10,000 entry into the World Poker Open in Tunica this January.
Here are the updated chip counts:
Bill Edler - 5,000,000
David Robbins - 230,000
Hand #138 - Bill Edler has the button, he raises to 300,000, and Robbins calls. The flop comes A102, and both players check. The turn card is the 6, Robbins checks, Edler bets 500,000, Robbins thinks for a bit before he moves all in, and Edler immediately calls with A10 for top two pair. Robbins shows A7 for a pair of aces, seven kicker, and he's already drawing dead.
The meaningless river card is the 10, and Bill Edler wins the pot with a full house, tens full of aces.
Bill Edler is now the dominant chip leader, and we'll have updated counts in a minute.
Linda Johnson announces the following approximate chip counts:
Bill Edler - 2,500,000
David Robbins - 2,720,000
Hand #137 - David Robbins has the button, he limps for 80,000, and Edler checks. The flop comes 10109, and both players check. The turn card is the Q, Edler bets 150,000, and Robbins calls. The river card is the 2, and Edler moves all in. Robbins asks for a count, and Edler's all-in bet is 2,020,000.
Robbins goes into the tank for several minutes, with his eyes drifting from his chips to Edler to the board. He recounts his own chips to assess the potential damage to his own stack. And he thinks some more.
The crowd is completely silent, as everyone is riveted to the large screens with closeups of the players faces. Bill Edler is staring in Robbins' direction.
Robbins picks up his cards to look at them one last time, and then folds. Bill Edler takes the pot.
Hand #136 - Bill Edler has the button, he raises to 215,000, and Robbins calls. The flop comes Q104, and both players check. The turn card is the 8, and they check again. The river card is the 5, Robbins checks, Edler bets 300,000, and Robbins folds. Bill Edler takes the pot.
Hand #135 - David Robbins has the button, he limps for 80,000, Edler moves all in, and Robbins folds.
Hand #134 - Bill Edler has the button, he limps for 80,000, Robbins raises to 340,000, and Edler thinks for about 30 seconds before he folds. David Robbins takes the pot.
Hand #133 - David Robbins has the button, he limps for 80,000, and Edler checks. The flop comes K99, and both players check. The turn card is the 3, and they check again. The river card is the 4, and they check again. Robbins says he has seven high, and Edler shows 102 to win the pot with ten high.
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