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WPT -- Chino Rheem Wins the Doyle Brunson Classic Championship

Rheem Walks Away with $1,538,730 after a Volatile Final Table


The final table at the $15,000 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic Championship was defined by periods of play with little to no action, and then other times where the poker table turned into a mine field where no one was safe. This standard carried through to the heads-up match, one that lasted for several hours and experienced multiple lead changes before crowning a champion. In the end it was Chino Rheem who walked away with a $1,538,730 prize and his first WPT title. 

Here were the chip counts at the start of play:

Seat 1: Chino Rheem — 4,240,000
Seat 2: Amnon Filippi — 2,750,000
Seat 3: Hoyt Corkins — 2,295,000
Seat 4: Steve Sung — 5,885,000
Seat 5: Justin Young — 2,410,000
Seat 6: Evan McNiff — 4,805,000

Rheem had to fight his way through a field of 497 players over six days of poker to claim the top prize in the tournament. But it was his final opponent that proved to be the most difficult. It took Rheem 151 hands of heads-up play to emerge with the championship title.

The field was stacked with a rich array of professionals that gathered in Vegas to participate in the last major poker tournament of 2008. It was also during this tournament that John Phan clinched the 2008 Card Player Player of the Year title. When Michael Binger busted on day 3 Phan became the seventh player in history to win the award. Check out the full story about Phan’s POY win here.

The next stop on the WPT is the Southern Poker Championship, which will take place from Jan. 14-17, 2009 at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Here are the highlights from the final table as featured in’s live updates:

Hoyt CorkinsJustin Young Doubles Up Through Chino Rheem

Justin Young raised to 220,000 from under the gun and got a caller in Chino Rheem. The flop came A 5 2and Young bet 310,000. Rheem raised to 835,000 and Young moved in for 1,335,0000. Rheem called with A J but he was behind to Young’s flopped two pair with A 5. The turn and river came 6 4 and Young doubled up to nearly 5 million.

Hoyt Corkins Eliminated in Sixth Place ($216,795)

Hoyt Corkins almost moved all in from under the gun for about 1.5 million. He left a few chips on his hole cards as a card protector and forgot to say all in. Justin Young called and both players got the other 10,000 in chips all in on a flop of K Q 6. Corkins revealed A Q but he was in terrible shape against Young’s A K. The turn and river came K 10and Corkins was eliminated from the tournament in sixth place.

Chino Rheem Doubles Up With Broadway, Then a Flush

Evan McNiff raised to 210,000 from under the gun and Chino Rheem moved all in for 1.7 million. McNiff called with pocket nines and Rheem needed help with Q J. The flop came down A K 10 giving Rheem a broadway straight and a shot at the royal flush. The turn was the 5 giving Rheem a flush and the winning hand, doubling him up to 4 million.

Amnon FilippiAmnon Filippi Doubles Up

Evan McNiff opened up a pot for 250,000 preflop and Amnon Filippi raised all in for 1.3 million. McNiff made the call and they turned up their hands:

McNiff: A 5
Filippi: A J

Board: A 7 6 10 6

Filippi doubled up on the hand to survive and play continued five handed.

Justin Young Knocks Out Two

Amnon Filippi moved all in for 975,000 and Steve Sung made the call. Justin Young then moved all in over the top of everyone and Sung called all in to produce a three-way all in. Their cards:

Sung: K K
Young: A A
Filippi: 9 9

Board: 7 4 4 3 J

Filippi was eliminated in fifth place ($288,235), Sung was eliminated in fourth place ($396,205), and Young became the dominant chip leader at the final table with over 14 million after the hand.

Chino Rheem Doubles Up

Justin Young raised to 260,000 and Evan McNiff reraised to 825,000. Rheem then moved all in for 2.87 million and Young mucked. McNiff made the call and they turned up their hands:

McNiff: A J
Rheem: A 9

Board: A 7 7 9 3

Rheem doubled up on the hand to survive and McNiff was crippled.

Evan McNiff Eliminated in Third Place ($540,440)

Evan McNiff moved all in preflop and Chino Rheem called him down. Their cards:

McNiff: 10 4
Rheem: 10 9

Board: 7 3 2 A K

McNiff was eliminated in third place and action was down to heads up.

Heads-Up Chip Counts

Justin Young: 14,100,000
Chino Rheem: 8,185,000

Chino Rheem Takes the Chip Lead

Justin Young raised to 360,000 and Chino Rheem called. The flop came down Q 10 5 and Rheem checked. Young bet 525,000 and Rheem raised to 2,025,000. Young called and the turn was the 8. Rheem bet 3,100,000 and Young mucked, giving Rheem the chip lead.


It’s going to take a major cooler to end this tournament anytime soon. Both players are content to wait things out and pick their spots. The crowd is getting a little restless, but thankfully the tournament directors are keeping things light with a few jokes here and there.

Justin YoungJustin Young Takes Back the Chip Lead

Chino Rheem limped on the button and Justin Young checked his option. The flop came A 8 5 and Young checked. Rheem bet 300,000 and Young made the call. The turn was the 6 and Young checked. Rheem bet 600,000 and Young check raised to 1,700,000. Rheem called and the river was the 2. Young bet 3 million and after a few minutes, Rheem called and saw the bad news. Young showed 4-3 for the rivered straight and took back the chip lead with nearly 13 million in chips.

The Lead Changes Again

Justin Young limped on the button and Chino Rheem checked. The flop ran down 9 8 6 and both players checked. The turn was the Q and Rheem bet 275,000. Young called and the river was the 8. Rheem checked, Young bet 650,000 and Rheem called, turning over Q-9 for two pair. Young could only show a queen and gave back the chip lead.

Chino Takes a Big Chip Lead

Justin Young limped and Chino Rheem checked his option from the big blind. The flop came K 7 3 and Rheem checked. Young bet 300,000 and Rheem raised to 1,400,000. Young reraised to 4,400,000 and Rheem immediately moved all in.

Young tanked for three minutes before mucking and Rheem took the large pot. After the hand, Rheem held 18,195,000 and Young was down to 4,190,000.

Justin Young Doubles Up

Young raised to 600,000 and Rheem moved all in. Young called all in with A 6 and Rheem showed pocket threes. The board comes Q J 6 9 8 and Young paired his six to double up to 7,500,000.

Chino Rheem WinsJustin Young Takes Back the Chiplead

Young limped and Rheem raised to 740,000. Young called and the flop came J 10 7. Rheem moved all in and Young called with Q 10. Rheem showed A K and needed help to win the tournament. The turn and river came 3 5 and Rheem was knocked back into second place with about 9 million in chips. Young doubled up to 13,400,000

Chino Rheem Doubles Back

Chino Rheem raised to 620,000 and Young called. The flop came A 6 3 and Young checked. Rheem bet 1.2 million and Young reraised. Rheem moved all in and Young made the call with A 3 for two pair. Rheem showed 10 4 for a flush draw and it got there when the turn was the 6. The river failed to make a boat for Young and Rheem doubled back into the chip lead.

Chino Rheem Wins the 2008 Doyle Brunson Classic Championship

Chino Rheem raised to 720,000 and Justin Young made the call. The flop came Q 8 3 and Young checked to Rheem who bet 1.2 million. Young moved all in and Rheem insta-called with pocket kings. Young showed Q 5 for top pair, but needed help to stay alive. The turn was the 9 and the river was the 2, giving the pot and the tournament to Rheem.



almost 10 years ago

How was evan mcniff's 10 9 eliminated by 10 4? looks like it would win on that board.


almost 10 years ago

HE had T4. He was out-kicked.


almost 10 years ago

Goncrats Chino... You Deserve A Big Win...