Justin Young Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

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Justin Young celebrates his first WPT title with his wife Morgan and close friends including Eric Baldwin, David Peters and Jonathan Little (Joe Giron/WPT Photo)

More than eight years ago, Justin Young found himself at the final table of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio.

After outlasting a final table that included Hoyt Corkins, Amonn Filippi and Steve Sung, Young was heads-up with Chino Rheem for the title and just over $1.5 million. It ended with Rheem in the winner’s photo and Young settling for second place. Wednesday night in Hollywood, Florida, Young again found himself heads-up for a WPT title, but this time the outcome was different.

Young beat out a final table that included Cate Hall, Tim Reilly, Matt Haugen and eventual runner-up Garrett Greer to win the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

“This makes it all worth it. I promise you it really does. Unbelievable feeling,” said Young. “It makes the last seven years just completely worth it.”

The day began with 10 players remaining in the hunt. Once the six-handed WPT final table was reached, it took almost another 50 hands for the first player to be eliminated. Chae limped from UTG and Ben Tarzia moved all-in from middle position for 1.275 million. Chae called and tabled 8d8h and found himself racing against Tarzia’s AhTh. The board ran out 9d9h2cJc4c and Tarzia was out in sixth place.

It was just five hands later that a Chae UTG open led to another elimination. Chae raised to 350,000 and Haugen called from the cutoff before Tim Reilly raised to 2,600,000. Chae called and Haugen folded. The flop came KdQc3c and both players checked. After the 4d, Reilly moved all-in and Chae called. Reilly was behind with 7c7d against Chae’s JcJs. The river was the 9s and Reilly was eliminated in fifth.

After starting the WPT final table with the chip lead, Haugen was unable to muster much else throughout the evening. With blinds at 125,000/250,000 (25,000 ante), Young raised to 525,000 from UTG and the action folded to Haugen in the big blind who moved all-in for 4,975,000. Young called and tabled JhJs and Haugen showed AsJc. The KdTd7c flop gave Haugen some Broadway outs, but the 7s turn and 3d river were no help and he was sent to the rail in fourth place.

Even though Chae picked up the first two eliminations, his run at a WPT title ended in a third place finish. Down to just over 600,000, Chae moved all-in from the button. Young raised behind him, forcing Greer to fold, and tabled 5d5h. Chae turned over AcQh and watched as the board ran out 9c9h2c7d4h and sent him home in third place.

Heads-up play began with Greer holding a 3-2 chip lead that stretched to as high as 3-1 before Young began climbing back to eventually overtake Greer. After just 24 hands of heads-up play, Young and Greer found themselves all-in pre-flop with Greer holding As8d and Young behind with KhQc. The AhKs4c flop paired both players but left Greer in the lead. The Jd turn was a blank, but the Qh river gave Young two pair and the title.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Justin Young – $669,161
  2. Garrett Greer – $458,722
  3. Hyoung Chae – $297,336
  4. Matthew Haugen – $220,207
  5. Tim Reilly – $164,113
  6. Ben Tarzia – $132,560

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