Ben Palmer Wins First World Poker Tour Title, $431,655

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Ben Palmer picked up $432K in Las Vegas on Tuesday night (WPT photo)

Ben Palmer helped set a record on Tuesday night in Las Vegas and ended up picking up a career-best score and a World Poker Tour title in the process. Palmer emerged victorious at the WPT event in Las Vegas Tuesday night after surviving a 268-hand final table – the longest of season XVII – to win $431,655 and a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions in June.

Will Givens started the final table with 50 big blinds, but over the course of the first 68 hands of play that number dwindled. Down to just 12 big blinds, Givens raised to 1,100,000 from the cutoff. Mark Ioli moved all in from the big blind and Givens called all in. Ioli tabled Ac8c and Given had two live cards with KhTc. The AsTs7h flop gave both players a pair but the Ad turn clinched the hand for Ioli and as the Qd hit the river, Givens was out in sixth place.

Despite picking up those chips from Givens, Ioli was the next to hit the rail. Action folded around to Palmer in the small blind and he raised to 500,000 and Ioli called from the big blind. The flop came Qd9c5s and Ioli called Palmer’s bet of 350,000. The turn was the 8h and Ioli called Palmer’s bet of 575,000. The river was the Kc and Palmer moved all in and Ioli called all in. Palmer showed 7s7s for a turned straight while Ioli showed Qs9h for two pair. Ioli was out in fifth place.

Another player was sent packing a few hands later. From UTG, Orlando Barrera raised to 600,000 and Tony Gargano called from the big blind. After the KdKh7h flop, Gargano check-called after Barrera moved all in for 1,250,000. Gargano quickly tabled KdKh for flopped quads while Barrera showed 6c6h and was drawing dead.The Jc and 8d completed the board and Barrera was officially out in fourth place.

Three-handed play lasted nearly three hours before Gargano picked up another elimination. Gargano raised to 750,000 from the button and Danny Qutami responded by moving all from the big blind for 7,300,000 and Gargano called. Qutami found out he was dominated after tabling Ac8h and seeing Gargano show AhQh. The AsJd7s flop gave both players top pair but neither the 2c turn or 4c river were able to save Qutami from a third place finish.

Gargano started heads up play with 57% of the chips in play and over the first hour of play, he actually increased that lead significantly. Palmer eventually doubled up and then re-took the lead he held earlier in the day. Palmer then continued to apply pressure and eventually found himself with a 2-1 lead. On the final hand, Gargano moved all in from the button for 9,500,000 and Palmer called. Gargano flipped over Ah4c and Palmer showed QdTd. The JcTh9c flop moved Palmer in front. The 6c turn gave Gargano extra outs but the Qh river wasn’t one of them and he was eliminated in second place.

The $431,655 score is the biggest of Palmer’s career. His previous best came in 2008 when he won a Festa Al Lago side event at the Bellagio for $189,975.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Ben Palmer – $431,655
  2. Tony Gargano – $277,760
  3. Danny Qutami – $204,810
  4. Orlando Barrera – $152,690
  5. Mark Ioli – $115,105
  6. Will Givens – $87,760