Tenacious Tim West Triumphs At Wynn Classic

There’s always some good high stakes poker going down in Las Vegas – home to many of the world’s most recognizable pros – but last week the action was especially hot thanks in large part to the Wynn Classic Championship. The competition at the Wynn was so stiff that top players like Phil Hellmuth and Men Nguyen didn’t even make the final table. The nine players that did – Francisco Braga, Eric Froelich, John Kim, Carter King, Vasili Lazarou, Annette Obrestad, Max Steinberg, Matthew Waxman and Tim West– were largely a who’s who of the game’s most promising young faces.

The Wynn Classic ran from March 2 through March 24, offering several events to both the local players and to visiting pros. The Wynn Classic Championship’s total field of 212 may sound small in comparison to the turnouts found at larger tournaments (and even more so online), but it was all about quality over quantity. With a $5000 buy-in the championship still managed to scrape together a prize pool of more than $1 million. Furthermore, with the new Wynn and PokerStars partnership, many are speculating that this tournament could be integrated into one of the poker site’s many sponsored tours next year.

Now back to the action. Eric Froehlich came to the final table as the big stack, but the other stacks were sizable enough that there weren’t any obvious favorites when play resumed on Thursday night. Obrestad was the only female pro to crack the final rounds of the tournament, and as a WSOPE Champion she seemed like the player to beat. Indeed, Obrestad put on quite a show, making it all the way to the heads-up portion and fighting tooth and nail for another title, though this one would ultimately evade her. It evaded Froehlich, too, as the initial chipleader hit some bad beats and exited the table in fifth.

Tim West was the other player that prevailed to see the heads-up portion. He and Obrestad proved to be very well-matched. The two dragged the finale out into the wee hours of Friday morning in one of the longest final table finishes thus far this year. Even the final hand was close. Obrestad moved all in after a flop of Q-6-3 showing a Q-10. West called her and revealed a K-9 suited with outs toward a flush. The turn came up a King, putting West into the lead, and a 9 on the river was all she wrote.

Here are the full final table placings for the 2011 Wynn Classic Championship:

Tim West – $318,738

Annette Obrestad – $215,922

Matthew Waxman – $120,814

Max Steinberg – $71,974

Eric Froehlich – $51,410

Vasili Lazarou – $41,128

Carter King – $30,846

Francisco Braga – $20,564

John Kim – $17,944

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