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World Series of Poker -- Ryan Welch Wins Event No. 51

Takes Home First Bracelet And $559,371

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Ryan WelchRyan Welch (pictured right) won event No. 51 ($3,000 no limit hold’em triple chance) at the 2010 World Series of Poker after a three hour heads-up match against Jon “sketchy1” Eaton. He outlasted the fellow online pro in a back-and-forth match that saw the two exchange the lead multiple times.

It was Welch’s first bracelet and he took home $559,371 for the biggest live score of his career. The victory was also Welch’s first live title and it increased his lifetime earnings to just under $2 million.

The final day had 12 players return to play down to a champion. It took two hours for them to reach the final nine players and it was a table full of talent. Welch had nine online titles under his belt while Eaton held four.

Tad Jurgens, Tommy Vedes, and Will “The Thrill” Failla made it to the final nine. Jurgens scored his seventh cash of the 2010 WSOP and Failla scored his 12th career cash at the WSOP, reaching his second career final table. Vedes nailed down his fourth cash of the 2010 WSOP.

Welch entered the final table in the middle of the pack while Eaton was the chip leader. Jurgens was the first to fall at the final table, but he had company in the name of Noel Scruggs as they were both knocked out on the same hand by Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt.

Vedes was next to fall as he could not crack the pocket eights of Sergey Lebedev. After the players returned from dinner, it took just a couple of hours to get down to heads-up play. Eaton entered the heads-up match with a chip lead just under 2 million.

But Welch clawed back and took the lead and it appeared that Welch had Eaton dead to rights. Eaton moved in with AHeart Suit JHeart Suit and was called by Welch and his KHeart Suit QHeart Suit. Welch flopped a queen but Eaton was able to hit a straight on the river to double up and retake the chip lead.

But Welch would not be denied his claim to the top spot and, on the last hand of the night, Welch got Eaton to call off his entire stack when Welch held the nut straight. Eaton took home $344,830 for his second-place finish.

Here are the official final table results:

1. Ryan Welch — $559,371
2. Jon Eaton — $344,830
3. Guillaume Darcourt — $223,459
4. Will Failla — $163,532
5. Bradley Craig — $121,451
6. Sergey Lebedev — $91,407
7. Tommy Vedes — $69,647
8. Noel Scruggs — $53,694
9. Tad Jurgens — $41,842

Here are the elimination hands as reported on CardPlayer.com’s live updates:

Tad JurgensTad Jurgens Eliminated in Ninth Place ($41,842), Noel Scruggs Eliminated in Eighth Place ($53,694)

Tad Jurgens moved all in for 150,000 and the action was on Noel Scruggs. He moved all in for 415,000 and the action folded around to Guillaume Darcourt in the small blind. He made the call, having both opponents covered.

Jurgens: QClub Suit QDiamond Suit
Scruggs: ASpade Suit QHeart Suit
Darcourt: 7Diamond Suit 7Heart Suit

Jurgens was prime to triple up but the board ran out 9Diamond Suit 7Spade Suit 3Spade Suit 2Club Suit 4Spade Suit and Darcourt flopped a set to eliminate both players.

Tommy VedesTommy Vedes Eliminated in Seventh Place ($69,647)

Sergey Lebedev raised preflop and the action folded to Tommy Vedes in the big blind. He moved all in and Lebedev made the call. Here were their cards:

Vedes: ADiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit
Lebedev: 8Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit

The race was on as Vedes had two over cards, but the board ran out 5Heart Suit 5Diamond Suit 3Club Suit 5Spade Suit JClub Suit and Vedes could not pair up and he was out.

Sergey Lebedev Eliminated in Sixth Place ($91,407)

Sergey Lebedev moved all in preflop and he was called by Guillaume Darcourt. Here were their cards:

Darcourt: ADiamond Suit KSpade Suit
Lebedev: AClub Suit JClub Suit

Lebedev was dominated and needed help. The flop came down 10Club Suit1 0Diamond Suit 9Heart Suit, offering no help. The turn was the 10Spade Suit, giving Lebedev some outs to a chop. But the river was the KHeart Suit, filling up Darcourt and Lebedev was eliminated.

Bradley Craig Eliminated in Fifth Place ($121,451)

Bradley Craig moved all in preflop and he was called by Guillaume Darcourt. Darcourt was trying for his second straight knockout when the players flipped over their cards:

Darcourt: 9Diamond Suit 9Club Suit
Craig: AHeart Suit 8Spade Suit

Craig needed help as he only had one over card, but the board ran out JDiamond Suit 8Club Suit 4Diamond Suit 6Spade Suit 7Heart Suit.

The nines held and Craig was eliminated in fifth place.

Will FaillaWill Failla Eliminated in Fourth Place ($163,532)

Will Failla moved all in preflop and Ryan Welch was next to act. He then pushed all in, having Failla covered. The other two players got out of the way and the players showed their hands.

Failla: ADiamond Suit 7Spade Suit
Welch: ASpade Suit JClub Suit

The board ran out KSpade Suit QHeart Suit 2Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 6Diamond Suit and Failla received no help as he was eliminated.

Guillaume Darcourt Eliminated in Third Place ($223,459)

Guillaume Darcourt raised to 125,000 from the small blind and Jon Eaton made the call from the big blind. The flop came down 9Heart Suit 6Club Suit 5Club Suit and Darcourt bet 195,000. Eaton raised to 600,000 and Darcourt moved in for 1.6 million. Eaton made the call and they showed their cards:

Darcourt: 8Spade Suit 6Diamond Suit
Eaton: 7Club Suit 4Club Suit

Darcourt flopped middle pair with a gutshot straight draw but Eaton held a straight flush draw. The turn was the 8Club Suit and Eaton made the absolute nuts with his straight flush. The river was the meaningless 9Spade Suit and Darcourt was eliminated.

Ryan WelchRyan Welch Wins Event No. 51 ($559,371), Jon Eaton Eliminated in Second Place ($344,830)

Ryan Welch raised it up preflop and Jon Eaton made the call. The flop came down 9Club Suit 7Spade Suit 6Club Suit and both players checked.

The turn was the 10Diamond Suit and Eaton bet 225,000. Welch made the call and the river was the KDiamond Suit.

Eaton bet 525,000. Welch then came over the top with all of his chips and Eaton went into a tank session. After much thought he made the call and Welch turned over QHeart Suit JDiamond Suit for the nut-straight.

A count had to be made but after it was all said and done, Welch had Eaton covered and took home his first bracelet.