5 Crucial Hands from the WPT Rolling Thunder Championship Final Table

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WPT Rolling Thunder

Casey Sandretto captured his first World Poker Tour (WPT) title on Tuesday in the $3,500 buy-in WPT Rolling Thunder Championship. Now that the tournament has ended, let’s take a look back at some of the most exciting hands played at the final table.

Sandretto, who previously had just $160,000 in The Hendon Mob cashes, won $246,000 as part of a heads-up chop with Michael Kinney, before playing it out and officially winning the tournament. Although he ran hot at the final table, Sandretto wasn’t the player who benefited from all the fortunate hands, as you’ll notice below.

Song’s Final Table Downfall

Yunkyu Song
Yunkyu Song

Entering the final table, Yunkyu Song had over half the chips in play. While he had over 130 big blinds, the other five players were all short stacked. But the final table didn’t go so well for him.

One of the most crucial pots Song played at the final table was against Kinney, who won a WPT event in Reno way back in 2004. In that hand, Song was all in preflop with AxQx and well ahead of AxJx. But the run-good for him simply came to and end on Day 4 after running red hot the first three days, and the worst hand came from behind to scoop one of the most crucial pots at the final table.

The 6 million chip pot loss — mind you, he began the day with 13 million and over half the chips in play — would have kept him out in front. Instead, if dropped him to among the small stacks. He would inevitably bow out in fourth place for $105,000, which isn’t a bad outcome, but certainly not what he was looking for entering the finale.

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High Stakes Crusher Races for Tournament Life

Brock Wilson
Brock Wilson

Like everyone not named Yunkyu Song, Brock Wilson entered the final table with a short stack. In fact, he’d been nursing a 20-big blind-or-less stack for quite some time before Day 4. But he found an opportunity to double up his 10 big blind stack early on at the final table.

The high roller with over $7 million in live tournament cashes was all in with 77 against Kinney’s AK, and off to the races they went. After the 954 flop, Wilson was feeling better about chances of winning the hand. When the 3 appeared on the turn, it gave Kinney a big chunk of the deck as outs.

Have you ever heard the saying “you have too many outs?” Well, that doesn’t apply to this hand because the A turned over on the river, sending Wilson home in sixth place for $60,000.

Egbert Check-Raises Chip Leader

Travis Egbert
Travis Egbert

As mentioned, it just wasn’t Song’s day, and here’s another example of what we’re talking about. Shortly after Wilson exited the tournament, Travis Egbert took his shot at making a move.

Song raised under the gun to 225,000 with AK, and Egbert made the call with J10 in the big blind. The flop came out 1027, and both players checked to the 3 on the turn.

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Egbert, with top pair, would check the action again over to his opponent, who this time bet out 150,000 with ace-high. A check-raise all in for 475,000 was then in store, which put Song in the tank. Despite not having a pair, he couldn’t fold with so many chips behind and made the call, but lost the hand when the 6 on the river didn’t improve his hand.

The Most Crucial Hand for Sandretto

Casey Sandretto
Casey Sandretto

There are always one or two key pots that an eventual tournament winner scoops at the final table, and this is it. Song raised from the small blind to 375,000 with K4, and Sandretto came along for the ride in the big blind with K6.

The flop showed K106, a mild cooler in a heads up pot. Song, with top pair, made a continuation bet of 275,000. Sandretto, sensing a potential opportunity to double up, jammed all in with two pair for 2,925,000. Once again, Song couldn’t get away from it and made the call drawing extremely thin. He’d receive no help on the turn or river, and Sandretto had nearly closed the gap on the start-of-day massive chip leader.

Egbert’s Kicker Problems Against Kinney

Michael Kinney
Michael Kinney

During three-handed play, Kinney raised from the small blind to 600,000 with K9 and received action from Egbert, in the big blind holding K2. The flop ran out K64, giving both players top pair.

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Kinney, with the better kicker, took the initiative to bet, making it 200,000. His opponent called, and both players saw the Q on the turn, which didn’t change much other than to provide some chop outs for Egbert on the river if a 6x or 4x would land. Kinney again bet, this time for 475,000, which again induced a call from the inferior hand.

The river was the 7, and Kinney put his opponent all in for 1,425,000. Egbert couldn’t find a fold and made the call to see the bad news that his tournament was over in third place, a $140,000 payday. This hand was crucial in that it gave Sandretto and Kinney the opportunity to discuss a heads up chop moments later, which they agreed was the best play.

*Images courtesy of the World Poker Tour/Drew Amato.

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