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Best of Ryan McLane
A 21-year old self-proclaimed Limit Hold'em specialist from Chapel Hill, N.C. bested a 540-person field of the world's toughest No-Limit Hold'em players to claim $1.5 million at the 2006 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Open.
Mark Newhouse, who made the final table of the $3,000 Limit Hold'em event in the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP), is a high-stakes-online Limit player who had never won more than $56,000 in a live tournament.
Now he's a World Poker Tour millionaire and he won it in style.
Holding pocket Queens against 27-year old Florida poker pro Chris McCormack, Newhouse was delighted when his opponent went all-in over the top of an initial raise.
The short-stacked McCormack flipped over a dominated A-J. A Newhouse friendly flop of Q-10-10 reduced McCormack's outs to a runner runner aces and Newhouse began to celebrate. The turn and river provided no help for McCormack, handing Newhouse his first major tournament win.
For second place, McCormack earned a hefty $802,895 check.
The best-known player at the WPT televised final table finished in third place. David Sklansky, an accomplished player and a renowned poker author, was able to double up twice against Newhouse and once against McCormack to move from the table's short stack to become a serious title contender.
It was McCormack who finished off the famous poker writer, getting Sklansky to call an all-in bet after a series of pre-flop raises. When the cards were flipped, McCormack's pair of tens dominated Sklansky's pocket fives. The board brought a group of blanks and McCormack's hand held up, sending Sklansky to the rail in third place to collect his career best $419,040 tournament check.
The lengthy final table got off to a slow start. All six players remained three hours into the battle, but once Newhouse bounced fan favorite Blaise Ingoglia, the participants began to fall quickly. Less than 30 minutes after the first bust, experienced tournament professional Chris Bell was also sent to the rail by the eventual champion.
Newhouse, who entered the day as a massive chip leader, used an aggressive style to bully his opponents and eliminate his foes. He built his massive stack the day before the final table by eliminating players, and the final table was no different as the Limit specialist sent three contenders packing.
The only other player to knock anyone out was McCormack. The second-place finisher busted Anthony Argila right before finishing off Sklansky. The two knockouts were timely, building McCormack's stack to a point where he was ahead of Newhouse by a 2-1 margin going into heads-up play.
But that changed in one hand. After a pre-flop raise and a call, both players began firing raises at a K-8-5 rainbow flop. Eventually, McCormack moved all-in and Newhouse quickly called. Newhouse's K-5 held up against McCormack's top pair and the lead changed for good.
Newhouse, who won a $1,000 satellite to earn his seat at the Borgata, never looked back once he took the lead from McCormack. He continued to be aggressive, finally ending the match when he flopped his full house.
Season 5 of the WPT Season 5 continues next month at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The next event on the schedule is the Festa al Lago $10,000 Main Event on October 15.