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WSOP -- Brandon Cantu Wins Event No. 48

Cantu Takes Home Second Bracelet and $228,867


Brandon CantuBrandon Cantu put an end to his 2009 World Series of Poker disappointment about as quick as possible. Cantu won event no. 48 ($1,500 pot-limit Omaha 8 or better) late Saturday night, just five days after a heartbreaking runner-up finish in event no. 39 ($1,500 no-limit hold’em).

Cantu outlasted a field of 762 players to take his second career bracelet and $228,867. The other came in a 2006 $1,500 no-limit hold’em event.

The Las Vegas professional is no stranger to wading through huge no-limit hold’em fields. Cantu also made a deep run in last year’s main event, finishing in twentieth place for $257,334. However, his WSOP redemption came in a smaller field and resulted in his first non-hold’em tournament title.

His prospects at a second chance for a bracelet this summer looked solid during the later stages of event no. 48. Cantu was the chip leader going into the final table, with an almost 2-1 chip advantage over the next closest stack.

There were bumps in the road along the way to short handed play, as Cantu began leaking chips and eventually lost the lead. However, the 2008 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star champion never lost focus near the end.

Cantu entered heads up play against fellow bracelet winner Lee Watkinson as a 3.25-1 chip underdog. By far the two most experienced players at the final table, Cantu and Watkinson had more career cashes than the rest of the starting table combined.

Initially losing some chips at the beginning of the match, Cantu battled back from just 700,000 to take the chip lead once again. He eventually went on to finish off Watkinson and secured a bracelet to calm the frustration from earlier in the week.

Here are the final results:

1. Brandon Cantu – $228,867
2. Lee Watkinson – $141,873
3. Jacqmin Mathieu – $92,946
4. Ted Weinstock – $64,727
5. Tommy Vedes – $47,617
6. Steve Jelinek – $36,893
7. Aaron Sias – $30,028
8. Ronnie Hofman – $25,618
9. William McMahan – $22,862

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

William McMahan Eliminated in Ninth Place ($22,862)

Tommy Vedes raised to 36,000 and William McMahan reraised out of the small blind to 120,000.

Vedes then put him all in and McMahan called for his tournament life with the ASpade SuitAHeart SuitKClub SuitQHeart Suit. Vedes showed AClub Suit10Club Suit10Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit and was behind against the aces of McMahan. Vedes made the winning hand with trip fours when the board ran out 8Spade Suit4Heart Suit4Spade Suit5Club SuitJClub Suit.

Ronnie Hofman Eliminated in Eighth Place ($25,618)

Ronnie Hofman raised pot in early position and was called by Lee Watkinson. Hofman committed the rest of his stack on a flop of 7Spade Suit4Heart Suit2Heart Suit with the ASpade SuitKSpade SuitQDiamond SuitJHeart Suit, and was drawing extremely slim to Watkinson’s ADiamond SuitKClub Suit4Diamond Suit2Club Suit.

The turn was the 7Club Suit giving Hofman hope, but the river 3Spade Suit sent him packing early at the final table.

Aaron Sias Eliminated in Seventh Place ($30,028)

Sias raised to 56,000 and was three-bet by Ted Weinstock. Sias moved the rest of his chips in and both hands were tabled. Sias showwed the ASpade Suit3Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit8Heart Suit and was up against the AHeart SuitADiamond Suit6Diamond SuitKHeart Suit of Weinstock.

The board ran out AClub Suit2Spade Suit10Diamond SuitKSpade Suit9Diamond Suit, eliminating Sias in seventh place.

Steve Jelinek Eliminated in Sixth Place ($36,893)

Tommy Vedes made it 70,000 on the button and Steve Jelinek made it 222,000 from the big blind. Vedes made the call and they took the flop heads up.

The flop was KClub Suit6Club Suit6Spade Suit and Jelinek moved all in for his last 184,000 and was called by Vedes. Vedes tabled the AClub Suit2Club Suit10Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit and Jelinek showed the AHeart Suit2Heart SuitKSpade SuitQHeart Suit.

The ADiamond Suit fell on the turn and the 2Diamond Suit sealed Jelinek’s fate, as he was eliminated in sixth place.

Tommy Vedes Eliminated in Fifth Place ($47,617)

Tommy Vedes called a 90,000 preflop raise from Jacqmin Mathieu, and they saw a flop of 8Club Suit8Heart Suit7Club Suit. Mathieu check-raised all in after Vedes bet 225,000. Vedes made the call.

Vedes had the KDiamond SuitQClub Suit9Club Suit10Diamond Suit and was up against the AClub Suit5Club Suit8Club SuitJClub Suit of Mathieu. The turn was the 9Diamond Suit and the river was the 2Heart Suit, sending Vedes home in fifth place.

Ted Weinstock

Ted Weinstock Eliminated in Fourth Place ($64,727)

Brandon Cantu, Ted Weinstock, and Jacqmin Mathieu saw a flop of QDiamond Suit7Spade Suit6Diamond Suit.

Cantu bet 300,000, Weinstock moved all in for 500,000 and then Mathieu moved all in over the top. Cantu folded.

Mathieu showed ASpade SuitADiamond Suit2Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit and was up against Weinstock’s AHeart Suit2Spade SuitKSpade Suit6Club Suit. The turn was the 9Diamond Suit, giving the high half to Mathieu and the 6Heart Suit on the river couldn’t give Weinstock a quarter of the pot and sent him home in fourth place.

Jacqmin Mathieu Eliminated in 3rd Place ($92,946)

Jacqmin Mathieu raised pot from the small blind and Lee Watkinson called from the big blind. The flop came QSpade Suit9Spade Suit5Diamond Suit and Mathieu elected to check. Watkinson didn’t check behind and eventually bet out pot. Mathieu quickly went all in and Watkinson made the call. Watkinson tabled the QHeart SuitQDiamond Suit6Diamond Suit2Club Suit and was ahead of the AClub Suit7Diamond Suit7Spade Suit2Spade Suit of Mathieu. Watkinson’s set of queens had to dodge spades that didn’t pair the board and a runner-runner low draw. The 8Club Suit hit the turn, giving Mathieu a low draw but the KHeart Suit fell on the river, eliminating Mathieu. Watkinson was then up to 2,485,000 to the 764,000 of Brandon Cantu.

Lee Watkinson

Brandon Cantu Wins Event No. 48 ($228,867), Lee Watkinson Eliminated In Second Place ($141,873)

Brandon Cantu raised to 150,000 from the button and Lee Watkinson just called. The flop came QClub Suit6Heart Suit4Club Suit and both players got all their chips into the middle. Cantu exposed the AHeart Suit10Club Suit7Club Suit4Diamond Suit, for a pair of fours with a flush draw. Watkinson tabled the 2Club Suit3Club Suit5Spade Suit7Heart Suit for a low draw, a straight draw with multiple cards completing it, and an inferior flush draw. However, the turn brought the 9Spade Suit and the 4Heart Suit fell on the river, giving Cantu trip fours. Watkinson was eliminated in second place.