David Williams survived a back-and-forth heads-up match against Phil Laak and won the World Poker Tour Monster Invitational. Williams earned $20,000 in cash and $35,000 in WPT buy-ins to the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, LA Poker Classic and World Championship in April.
“It feels good to win, the last invitational I was at was the Young Guns Invitational and that was like ten years ago,” Williams said. “Going into it I was cocky and brash but now ten years later against these great players and two people I really look up to, I wasn’t just getting lucky on the all ins. When the broadcast airs and you see my hole cards out you’ll see I really put it all on the line and made some gutsy moves.”
The event featured Antonio Esfandiari, Laak, Tony Dunst, Scotty Nguyen, Vanessa Selbst and Williams. The winner-take-all format included a pair of Monster 24K headphones and a Hublot King Power Unico watch.
After 90 minutes of play Esfandiari opened and Nguyen moved his short stack in on the button. Esfandiari called holding K 9 and Nguyen had a small lead with A 8. The board ran T 9 3 K J and Esfandiari’s two pair ended Nguyen’s day.
An orbit later Dunst open-shoved his short stack and Selbst called. Dunst turned up Q 4, Selbst showed A 9 and the dealer spread the K K 5 3 A board and Selbst won the pot. Dunst was out in fifth place as Seblst took over the chip lead.
About 30 minutes later Esfandiari opened on the button, Selbst three-bet from the big blind and Esfandiari moved all in holding K J. Selbst called and tabled pocket tens. Esfandiari had a flip for his tournament life and came up blank when the board ran 9 5 3 5 8. Esfandiari was eliminated, Selbst flirted with a million, while Williams held 317,000 and Laak held 224,000.
The stacks evened out over the course of an hour before Laak and Selbst went to a J T 7 flop. Selbst led out, Laak raised and Selbst called after some thought. The turn came 3, Selbst checked, Laak bet and Selbst check-raised all in. Laak insta-called having flopped a straight holding 9 8. Selbst sighed, tabling J T for two pair. The river bricked with the 2 and Selbt was eliminated as Laak and Williams readied for heads-up play.
They began with Laak holding 906,000 and Williams had 594,000. After a dozen hands of heads-up play, Laak limped and Williams moved all in. Laak called with pocket sixes and Williams turned up A Q for two over cards. He hit the flop straight away when it came Q 7 3. The turn came 5, giving Laak a straight draw but the river came T and Williams doubled up to take the lead.
Laak doubled up shortly later when his K T flopped a straight when it came Q 9 8. Williams held two pair with Q 8 and needed to improve to a full house to end the tournament. The board completed J J and Laak was back on top by a small margin. Williams came roaring back and doubled again after flopping a set and Laak held two pair.
The back and forth heads-up match came to an end when Laak moved in preflop holding Q 9 and Williams called holding A 5. The board ran J T 6 J 5 and Williams won the tournament with two pair.
WPT Monster Invitational Final
- David Williams
- Phil Laak
- Vanessa Selbst
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Tony Dunst
- Scotty Nguyen
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