Randal Flowers Takes WPT Festa Al Lago Title At Bellagio, Las Vegas And Becomes Youngest Ever 2-Time WPT Champion.
(LAS VEGAS, NV) - Randal Flowers defeated a table featuring some of poker's best online players and two previous World Poker Tour(R) Champions to capture the WPT Festa al Lago title and $831,500 at Bellagio in Las Vegas and cemented his World Poker Tour legacy as the youngest ever player to hold 2 WPT titles. In 2009, Flowers roared onto the poker stage taking down the WPT Spanish Championship in Barcelona and became the youngest WPT title holder in history. This time he defeated a final table featuring top young online pros, recent WPT Champion Andy Frankenberger and veteran Skip Wilson to capture the WPT Festa al Lago Championship.
Flowers started the day as chip leader and maintained his dominance throughout the final table. After a relatively fast bust out from Skip Wilson, Randal broke Andy Frankenberger, Jason Koon and Noah Schwartz building a dominating chip lead. Heads up was a battle of the young guns with 22-year-old Flowers eventually winning out over 24-year-old Michael Benvenuti with aggressive action emblematic of the new online guard that have taken over live tournament poker in recent years.
"I felt like it was going to be tough because most of the players were competent with shallow stacks. So there was mandated gambling," said Flowers. "But I was confident." On his plans after becoming the youngest ever 2-time WPT final table title holder, Flowers remarked, "I'm coming back to the Five Diamond to take my shot at a third WPT title."
Hosted at Bellagio, Festa al Lago's 335 entrants marked an 18% increase over 2009 and the 4th straight U.S.-based WPT event with increased attendance in Season IX.
Festa al Lago showcased a stacked field, featuring some of poker's toughest young players, such as Annette Obrestad, Justin "Boosted J" Smith, Tom Dwan, Jeff Madsen, Matt Affleck and some of poker's legendary names like John Hennigan, Daniel Negreanu, Allen Kessler, Barry Greenstein, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman and Gavin Smith.
5th place finisher Andy Frankenberger is quickly turning himself into the WPT story of the year. The 37-year-old derivatives trader left Wall Street to try a career in poker. Good choice. He's already won nearly $1,000,0000 in Season IX WPT events, including capturing the Legends of Poker title at The Bicycle Casino. His finish at Festa al Lago propels him past Dwyte Pilgrim, Moritz Kranich and Theo Jorgensen to the top spot and an early lead in the WPT Player of the Year standings.
Festa al Lago kicked off with the formal introduction of Tony Dunst. Dunst was announced last week as the host for WPT's new television segment, the Raw Deal. Dunst welcomed the players to the tournament and wished everyone good luck. Dunst will be playing in many WPT events.
Final Table Standings and Payouts
1st Randal Flowers - $831,500
2nd Michael Benvenuti - $564,200
3rd Noah Schwartz - $344,968
4th Jason Koon - $225,680
5th Andy Frankenberger - $161,200
6th Skip Wilson - $112,840
Prior to the start of the final table, Flowers already held the record for youngest WPT winner in the WPT's nine-season history. At just 20 years-old, Flowers took down the WPT Barcelona event, besting Nick Schulman for the age record and setting a tough benchmark for future poker whiz kids to best.About World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (WPT) is one of the most recognized names in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in over 150 countries and is currently filming its all-new 9th season. WPT is a subsidiary of PartyGaming Plc. For more information, visit www.worldpokertour.com.
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