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WSOP -- Matt Graham Wins Event No. 40

Vitaly Lunkin Finishes Second and Takes Lead in POY


This summer’s World Series of Poker has been a year of the second bracelet. Matt Graham won number two for his career in Event No. 40 ($10,000 World Championship pot-limit Omaha) early Tuesday morning, halting Vitaly Lunkin’s hopes of winning his second of the series.

Graham endured a tough final table that also included fellow bracelet winners Barry Greenstein (9th), Richard Austin (8th) and Josh Arieh (7th). Remarkably the first three to fall from the final table were the only players who had previously won a PLO event at the WSOP. Austin won Event No. 35 ($5,000 pot-limit Omaha) just four days ago.

Once the three most accomplished PLO players were gone from the final table, it was no surprise that Graham and Lunkin emerged from short handed play to battle for the title. The two entered heads up play almost dead even in chips and endured some epic swings.

Both Graham and Lunkin found themselves short at times, but no chip deficit compared to the one Graham had to battle back from late in the heads up match. After a massive all-in confrontation, the 2008 Event No. 53 ($1,500 limit-hold’em shootout) champion was on life support with 600,000 to the Russian’s 8,250,000.

With just five big blinds at the time, Graham was able to survive a few double ups that left him with a slight chip lead once again. Not too long after making the comeback, Graham finished off Lunkin to take down the bracelet and $679,379. Lunkin finished second for $419,832 and most notably took over first in the Card Player POY race, after bringing his money earned at this year’s WSOP to $2,327,493.

Here are the final results:

1. Matt Graham – $679,379
2. Vitaly Lunkin – $419,832
3. Van Marcus – $278,409
4. Robin Keston – $196,994
5. Ferit Gabriellson – $148,439
6. Stefan Mattsson – $118,463
7. Josh Arieh – $99,856
8. Richard Austin – $88,681
9. Barry Greenstein – $82,746

Here is a look at the elimination hands as featured in’s live updates

Barry Greenstein

Barry Greenstein Eliminated in 9th Place ($82,746)

Vitaly Lunkin raised to 120,000 with Barry Greenstein and Josh Arieh calling from the blinds. The flop came 9Club Suit6Spade Suit2Club Suit. Greenstein and Arieh both checked to Lunkin, who fired out a bet of 200,000. Greenstein check raised to 800,000 and Arieh quickly folded. Lunkin went into the tank for a few minutes before finally announcing all-in, having Greenstein covered. Greenstein made the quick call and exposed the 9Diamond Suit7Spade Suit8Club Suit5Club Suit for a wrap and a flush draw. Lunkin exposed the AHeart SuitADiamond Suit8Heart Suit7Club Suit, for the best hand at the moment. However, Lunkin had only a 25 percent chance to win against the massive drawing hand of Greenstein. The turn was the QDiamond Suit, offering Greenstein no help. The 3Spade Suit fell on the river and the 3-time bracelet winner missed all of his draws, going to the rail first at the final table. Lunkin was then up to 2,660,000 in chips.

Richard Austin

Richard Austin Eliminated In 8th Place ($88,681)

Vitaly Lunkin raised in early position to 120,000 and Richard Austin made the call from the big blind. The flop came AClub Suit6Spade Suit5Club Suit and Austin bet out 120,000. Lunkin quickly raised enough to put the recent PLO bracelet winner all-in. Austin made the call and exposed the 9Heart Suit8Spade Suit7Heart Suit5Diamond Suit for a pair of fives and a wrap. Lunkin tabled the KClub SuitKHeart Suit4Spade Suit2Club Suit for a pair of kings, the nut flush draw and a straight draw to boot. Lunkin was a 2-1 favorite to win the hand as the JHeart Suit hit the turn. The dealer pealed off the 8Club Suit on the river, nailing Austin’s straight but giving the Event No. 2 ($40,000 no-limit hold’em) champion a flush. Austin was sent home early after another strong showing in PLO.

Josh Arieh

Josh Arieh Eliminated In 7th Place ($99,856)

Josh Arieh got the rest of his shorter stack in the middle with the AClub SuitAHeart Suit4Club Suit9Diamond Suit. He was called by Ferit Gabriellson who tabled the KClub SuitKDiamond Suit3Club Suit10Spade Suit. The flop came KSpade SuitQHeart Suit10Club Suit, giving Gabriellson a set and putting Arieh on the brink. The JClub Suit hit the turn, giving Arieh some light with a flush draw, but unfortunately his opponent also held two clubs in his hand to take away some outs. The KHeart Suit fell on the river, making quads for Gabriellson and eliminating Arieh. Gabriellson was up to 1,200,000.

Stefan Mattsson Eliminated In 6th Place ($118,463)

Vitaly Lunkin raised to 210,000 preflop and Stefan Mattsson reraised pot. Lunkin moved all-in and Mattsson made the call. Lunkin tabled the ASpade SuitAHeart SuitKHeart Suit3Spade Suit while Mattsson exposed the QHeart SuitJDiamond Suit10Spade Suit8Diamond Suit. The flop was great for Mattsson as it came JHeart Suit6Diamond Suit3Diamond Suit, giving him a pair and a flush draw. The turn was ugly for Mattsson as the 4Heart Suit fell, giving Lunkin his own flush draw. The river bricked for Mattsson as the 7Spade Suit hit, sending him home in 6th place. Lunkin was then up to 4,000,000 in chips.

Ferit GabriellsonFerit Gabriellson Eliminated in 5th Place ($148,439)

Ferit Gabriellson raised to 280,000 on the button and Matt Graham called in the small blind. Graham led out for 250,000 on a flop of ADiamond SuitKClub Suit5Spade Suit. Gabriellson moved all-in for a bit more and Graham made the call. Graham exposed the JDiamond SuitJClub Suit10Spade Suit3Spade Suit and was in bad shape against the KSpade SuitJSpade Suit9Heart Suit8Spade Suit of Gabriellson. The turn was almost the perfect card in the deck for Graham as the JHeart Suit hit. The 8Club Suit fell on the river and the case jack on the turn gave Graham the pot and eliminated Gabriellson in 5th. Graham had 2,220,000 in chips after the hand.

Robin Keston Is Eliminated In 4th Place ($196,994)

Matt Graham bet 210,000 from the cutoff and was moved in on by Robin Keston for 785,000 total. Graham made the call and exposed the AHeart Suit8Heart Suit10Club Suit9Diamond Suit. Keston tabled the KHeart Suit10Spade Suit7Club Suit6Club Suit and was behind. The board ran out JClub Suit5Heart Suit2Club Suit3Diamond SuitADiamond Suit and Graham took the pot with a pair of aces, eliminating Keston from the tournament.

Van Marcus Eliminated In 3rd Place ($278,409)

Matt Graham raised to 200,000 and Van Marcus reraised pot. Graham instantly went all-in and Marcus called. Graham turned over the ASpade SuitAClub SuitJDiamond Suit9Club Suit and was ahead against the QSpade SuitJSpade SuitJClub Suit7Diamond Suit of Marcus. The board ran out QHeart Suit10Club Suit2Spade SuitAHeart Suit3Spade Suit as Graham won the hand with trip aces to enter heads up play with 4,500,000 in chips.

Vitaly Lunkin

Matt Graham Wins Event No. 40 ($679,379), Vitaly Lunkin Eliminated In 2nd Place ($419,832)

It was a limped pot when the flop came 10Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit4Heart Suit. The chip stacks were nearly dead even when Vitaly Lunkin bet 120,000 and Matt Graham check raised pot for 480,000 on top. Lunkin made the call and the 9Spade Suit hit the turn. Graham bet out 1,100,000, Lunkin went all-in and Graham instantly called. Graham tabled the 10Club Suit10Heart Suit6Club Suit5Spade Suit for top set, while Lunkin exposed the KDiamond SuitJSpade Suit9Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit for a flush draw and gutshot. Graham needed to dodge just one more card to make an epic comeback in the match. The ASpade Suit fell on the river and Graham won Event No. 40, eliminating Lunkin in second place.