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WSOP: Grant Hinkle Wins Event No. 2

Hinkle Defeated Englishman James Akenhead Heads Up as Well as Chris Ferguson to Win his First Gold Bracelet


The second event at the 2008 World Series of Poker was the fourth-largest poker tournament of all time. A record field of 3,929 players tested the limits of players’ stamina and determination, as more than 40 hours of poker took place over the course of the tournament. Play went so long during day 2 that the final 18 players returned for the final day. Eight of those players were eliminated before the final 10 players relocated to the main stage in the front corner of the Amazon Room, and the real business of the evening began.

Despite the small buy-in ($1,500) the massive field built a huge first-place prize worth $831,279. Many players were gunning for that prize, as well as a face with a familiar piece of gold. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson made his 27th WSOP final-table apperance a memorable one by putting on a show en route to his third-place finish, but, in the end, it came down to battle of young players. Grant Hinkle jousted with James Akenhead for more than 50 hands before four cards put a decisive end to the tournament.

Here is a look at the final table when things got started at 7 p.m.

Seat 1: Jeff Wiedehoeft — 880,000
Seat 2: David Bach — 675,000
Seat 3: Aaron Coulthard — 1,510,000
Seat 4: Mike Ngo — 1,375,000
Seat 5: Joe Rutledge — 785,000
Seat 6: Melvin Jones — 1,280,000
Seat 7: Theo Tran — 1,420,000
Seat 8: Chris Ferguson — 1,235,000
Seat 9: James Akenhead — 1,995,000
Seat 10: Grant Hinkle — 680,000

Here are highlights from all the action as featured in's live coverage of the final table: Jeff Wiedenhoeft

Jeff Wiedenhoeft Eliminated in 10th Place ($52,022)

On the very first hand at the final table, Jeff Wiedehoeft raised 125,000 preflop, and Mike Ngo made the call. The flop rolled out 9 7 6, and Wiedenhoeft moved all in. Ngo made the call, and they turned up their hands.

Wiedenhoeft: K 10
Ngo: A 10
Turn and River: A, Q

Weidenhoeft busted out of the tournament in 10th place, and he took home $52,022 in prize money for his efforts.

A Decade of Silence

After the excitement of the first hand took place, a period of 10 hands with little to no action followed. Many pots were decided by a walk or raise-and-take-it move.

Joe Rutledge Eliminated in Ninth Place ($83,128)

Joe Rutledge moved all in preflop and Chris Ferguson thought for a moment before making the call. They then turned up their hands:

Rutledge: 6 6
Ferguson: A 9
Board: A 10 8 Q 7

David BachFerguson won the hand, and a large group of supporters screamed their approval. Rutledge was eliminated in ninth place, and he will take home $83,128 in prize money.

David Bach Eliminated in Eighth Place ($117,988)

David Bach raised preflop, and both Theo Tran and Chris Ferguson made the call. The flop was dealt K 9 5 and all three players checked. The 3 fell on the turn, and Bach moved all in. Tran moved all in over the top of him, and Ferguson got out of the way. They then turned up their hands:

Bach: 7 6
Tran: J 9
Turn and River: 3, 2

Bach was eliminated on the hand in eighth place, and he will take home $117,988 in prize money.


Theo's Wild Ride

Hands 49-52 were among the most entertaining of the entire final table. They featured the trials and tribulations of one player in particular -- Theo Tran.

Tran Says No to Ngo on the River

Mike Ngo raised to 180,000 preflop, and Theo Tran made the call from the button. The flop rolled out 10 6 3, and Ngo checked. Tran bet 180,000, and Ngo made the call. The turn brought the J, and the same check-bet-call sequence repeated itself, but this time Tran made it 235,000 to go. The Q fell on the river, and Ngo moved all in. Tran got up from the table and looked perturbed for a moment before he mucked his hand. Ngo picked up over 600,000 on the hand.

Aaron Coulthard Doubles Up

Aaron Coulthad moved all in preflop from middle position for 510,000 and Theo Tran made the call from the small blind. They then turned up their hands:

Tran: A A
Coulthard: 7 7
Board: 7 6 3 2 2

Coulthard caught a miracle seven on the flop and drove the dagger home by improving to a full house.

Theo Tran Doubles UpMelvin Jones

Two hands later, it was Tran's turn to get all of his chips into the middle, and he pinned his hopes on two red queens. Melvin Jones called him down with A J, and the board ran out 10 8 2 6 5. Tran doubled up to 1.5 million, while Jones was crippled with 400,000 left in front of him.

Melvin Jones Does not Double Up - Eliminated in Seventh Place ($158,211)

On the very next hand, Jones got the last of his chips into the middle preflop, and soon discovered that he had made a huge mistake when Tran called him down. Jones held Q 10, and Tran revealed two red aces for the the second time in four hands. This time, the board fell K Q 6 8 5, and the aces held to deliver Tran some vindication for what had happened four hands earlier. Jones was eliminated in seventh place and took home $158,211 in prize money.

Aaron Coulthard Eliminated in Sixth Place ($211,842)

James Akenhead raised to 225,000 preflop, and Aaron Coulthard reraised all in for 855,000. Akenhead called, and they turned up their hands. Akenhead showed down A K, and Coulthard turned up K J. The board ran out 8 7 2 Q 9. Coulthard was eliminated in sixth place, and he took home $211,842 in prize money.

Mike Ngo Eliminated in Fifth Place ($268,154)

Grant Hinkle raised to 325,000 preflop, and Mike Ngo reraised all in for 1.6 million. Hinkle called, and they then turned up their hands:

Hinkle: A J
Ngo: A K
Board: Q 5 3 8 J

Ngo was eliminated in fifth place, and he took home $268,154 in prize money. Hinkle added to his chip lead, and now holds 4.5 million.

Theo Tran

Tran Doubles Up

Hinkle raised to 250,000 and Theo Tran moved all in behind him. Ferguson made the all-in call and Hinkle mucked. They then turned up their hands:

Tran: A K
Ferguson: 8 8
Board: J 10 3 K 6

Tran doubled up on the hand and Ferguson took a huge hit to his stack.

Theo Tran Eliminated in Fourth Place ($327,148)

Hinkle raised preflop to 250,000 and Tran made the call. The flop rolled out A K 4 and Tran checked. Hinkle bet 300,000, and Tran called. The turn rolled out the A, and Tran checked again. Hinkle opened the action again, this time for 700,000, and Tran made the call. The 8 fell on the river, and Tran checked for a third time. Hinkle moved all in, and Tran made the call. They flipped up their hands, and Tran revealed A Q. Hinkle showed A 4, and he eliminated Tran with a full house. Tran took home $327,148 for his his fourth-place finish.

The Temporary Resurrection

Jesus Three Times

Chris Ferguson moved all in preflop for 430,000, and both Hinkle and Akenhead made the call. The side pot was arranged, and the two live players checked down a board of 10 8 2 Q 6. Ferguson turned up his hand on the river to reveal K Q, which was good enough for him to triple up! The pro-Ferguson crowd erupted into cheers that echoed across the Amazon Room, momentarily drowning out the consant clatter and chirp of shuffling chips. Jesus was alive and kicking.

Jesus One More Time

Four hands after the crowd-rousing triple up, Ferguson found himself facing an all-in decision once again. Hinkle moved all in preflop, and Ferguson made an all-in call. The two then turned up their hands:

Ferguson: A 8
Hinkle: Q J
Board: K 7 2 10 3Chris Ferguson

Ferguson tempted fate once more and survived to tell the tale.

James Akenhead Doubles up through Jesus

Ferguson raised 350,000 preflop, and James Akenhead made the call. The flop rolled out Q 9 8, and Ferguson moved all in. Akenhead quickly called, and the two players turned up their hands:

Akenhead: A A
Ferguson: J 7
Turn and River: 2 3

Chris Ferguson Eliminated in Third Place ($388,287)

Ferguson moved all in preflop for 815,000, and Akenhead made the call. The two players exposed their holecards:

Ferguson: K 10
Akenhead: A 10
Board: A Q 8 4 5

Ferguson was eliminated in third place, and he received a gracious round of applause from the crowd. He kept things interesting until the end of his run, and took home $388,287 for his 27th WSOP final-table appearance.

Heads Up Starting Stacks

Grant Hinkle: 7,595,000
James Akenhead: 4,235,000

The Akenhead Headache for HinkleJames Akenhead

Hinkle took down an early pot in the match, but James Akenhead has proved a worthy opponent during play by picking up more than his fair share of the small pots that have come to define this heads-up match. Many pots make it to a flop, and the two players seem content feeling each other out, for now. This style seems to be playing into the hands of Akenhead, as the two chip stacks draw even.

Hinkle Strikes Back

Hinkle opened the action for 300,000, and Akenhead reraised to 600,000. Hinkle reraised again to 1.2 million, and Akenhead made the call. The flop hit the table K 7 4, and Akenhead checked. Hinkle bet 1.5 million, and Akenhead mucked his cards. Hinkle was able to recoup some of the losses he had suffered at the hands of Akenhead, and the chip counts now stand Hinkle: 6.5 million, Akenhead: 5.2 million.

Role Reversal X 2

Let the record show that Akenhead took over the chip lead from Hinkle 36 hands into their heads-up match. He held more than 6 million in chips for the first time, but relinquished the lead a few hands later.

Grant Hinkle Wins Event No. 2 ($831,279)

Grant HinkleGrant Hinkle raised to 350,000 preflop and James Akenhead reraised to 1.2 million. Hinkle then reraised all in and Akenhead quickly made the all-in call. They both flipped up their cards and revealed:

Hinkle: 10 4 Akenhead: A K Board: 10 4 10 10 5 Hinkle flopped a full house fours full of tens only to improve to tens full of fours on the turn. The hand was more than enough to win Hinkle his first gold bracelet, and send the Englishman Akenhead to the rail in second place ($520,219). Hinkle was cheered on by his poker-professional-brother Blair, his mother, as well as James “” Mackey, and some of his co-workers from Kansas City, Missouri, as he accepted the golden prize, along with $831,279 in prize money.