David Chiu Wins the 2008 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship

David Chiu overcame a massive chip deficit in heads-up play to come back and shock Gus Hansen, denying the „Great Dane“ of his fourth major World Poker Tour title. Chiu took home USD 3.39 million dollars for his first place finish, while Hansen took home a respectable USD 1.7 million dollars.

It appeared as though this was destined to be Gus Hansen’s day. To say that he was having some „card luck“ in this tournament would an extreme understatement. He demolished most of the final table on Saturday, eliminating four of the other players at the table in record time. It took just 22 hands for Hansen to eliminate Jeff King, Tommy Le, Cory Carroll and John Roveto. Everything was going Hansen’s way when they reached heads-up play; he had 23 million in chips and David Chiu had just 4.3 million.

To give you an idea of how hot Hansen was running at the final table, here are the details of the first four eliminations:

Jeff King – moves all-in holding the A-Q of clubs and is called by Hansen, who holds 10-9 of spades. This is approximately a three million chip pot. The river is the ten of hearts, eliminating King from the event

Tommy Le – gets all-in on a board of Q-10-5-4 and is quickly called by Hansen. Le shows a set of fives, and Hansen shows a set of tens. Le is eliminated in 5th place.

Cory Carroll – a pivotal hand of the final table. Hansen raises to 480k pre-flop, and Carroll re-raises to 1.65 million. Hansen calls. The flop comes Q-J-6 with two diamonds. Carroll checks, and Hansen pushes all-in. Carroll takes his time and eventually calls with A-J for second pair. Hansen flips over 7-5 of diamonds for the flush draw. The river is the three of diamonds, and Cory „UGOTPZD“ Carroll is eliminated in fourth place after making a spectacular call. Surely he deserved a better fate.

John Roveto – Roveto moves in for about 2 million (his remaining stack) and is insta-called by Hansen. Roveto shows pocket Kings, and Hansen shows the A-10 of clubs. The flop comes J-9-8 rainbow, giving Hansen the open-ended straight draw. The turn is a blank, but the river is the 7 of spades, completing Hansen’s straight and eliminating Roveto in third place.

At this point it seemed as though Hansen was going to win his fourth WPT title in record time. As mentioned, he had a massive chip lead on Chiu and seemed destined for victory.

There were two pivotal hands in heads-up play. They were:

With millions in the center of the table and the board reading J-6-3-6 with three spades, Chiu moves in and Hansen folded. This gave Chiu a huge pot and practically leveled the two stacks.

Lastly, the final hand of the tournament – on a flop of A-10-8 with two clubs, Chiu checks and Hansen bets 900k. Chiu calls and there is almost 3.5 million in the pot. The turn is the 5 of spades, Chiu bets 1.2 million, and Hansen pushes all-in. Chiu takes a while and then eventually makes the call, flipping up the A-9 of spades. Hansen turns over 10-8 for two pair.

The river is the Ace of hearts, and Chiu eliminates Hansen from the tournament, completing the shocking comeback.

Chiu played steady poker throughout the tournament, eventually grinding his way to the victory, while Hansen rode a rollercoaster of variance. In the end, Hansen’s luck finally took a turn for the worse and Chiu secured the WPT championship.