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Graham Wins New Orleans Main Event

Luke Graham has bested a field of 762 players to take out the 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans Main Event.

It was a happy ending for the Florida player, who entered the final table with the second lowest chip stack of the remaining players. Graham was patient and at the top of his game on the last day, however, and after knocking out Dan Schmiech in sixth place, he boosted his stack from 1.5 million chips to a little less than 2.8 million.

Daniel Weinman was highly anticipated to win the tournament when the final table began, however. Weinman was the chip leader at the start of the table, and almost instantly cemented that lead when he eliminated Pavan Bhatia in ninth place. He also eliminated Rogen Chhabra in fifth place, but was himself knocked out in fourth spot three hours later after being beaten by Joseph Hebert’s Ace Queen.

Hebert and Graham would face each other in heads-up play after Kasra Khodayarkhani was knocked out by Graham in third place. After initially having relatively even chip stacks, Hebert suffered a massive loss of chips after Graham called a bluff from the eventual runner-up.

Raises, re-raises and calls were made throughout a board which had Two of Spades, Eight of Diamonds, Three of Clubs, Three of Spades and Three of Hearts. Hebert, who had a starting hand of Seven Ten of Hearts, moved all in after the river in an attempt to capture the pot.

Graham, who had a full house with Eight King, had other ideas.

After spending some time contemplating what his move should be, Graham called Hebert’s bluff and put him down to 500,000 chips. It was a risky move, but one that paid off for Graham as he put himself in prime position to take first place.

In the next hand, Hebert, possibly conceding defeat, moved all in with a Six Ten off suit, which Graham called with Ace Eight off suit. The Eight of Diamonds, Nine of Clubs and Eight of Clubs flop all but sealed the deal for Graham, giving him three of kind. The Ace of Hearts of the turn confirmed Graham’s tournament win after it gave him a Full House while Hebert was yet to hit the board.

With the Two of Spades being shown on the river, the tournament was officially over with Luke Graham as its victor, taking home $228,600 for his stellar play.

The win was Graham’s second first place finish in less than a month. He also took out a $1,060 No Limit event at last month’s WPT Bestbet Open/Spring Series in Jacksonville Florida, winning $34,960 for that effort.

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