The latest WPT champion has been corwned at the Jacksonville bestbet Open and it is part time player - and founder and owner of Wireless, a Verizon Wireless retailer in Ohio - Shawn Cunix who took down the title and the $400,000 first prize money and a $25,000 seat at the WPT Championship
The final six players from the starting 320 to pony up the $5000 entry fee sat down yesterday to duke it out for the title, the cash and WPT player of the year points - and with current WPT player of the year points leader Will "The Thrill" Failla among the finalists yet again he stood to take a decent lead in the 2012 standings.
Failla however was the first to bow out despite starting the day in the middle of the pack and was dispatched by the start (and end) of day chip leader Cunix who's top pair held up against Failla's overcards and higher flush draw. Failla left with $54k for his troubles.
Everything seemed to be going Cunix's way as he steamrollered the table for the first few orbits - and just two hands after eliminating Failla he held 5 million chips - more than the remaining four
players combined. Cunix continued to build his lead and as the table became four handed (after WPT personality Tony Dunst's shove with Kh3h ran into Darren Elias Ac9h - Dunst walked away with $66.5k ) and with 5.5 million chips it looked like he was going to run away with the title. However, when play became three handed and with hefty blinds (30k and 60k) Cunix's stack began to dwindle, and with just over 100 hands played he was down to 1.35 million chips. Things quickly changed however as a substantial piece of luck (Cunix Jh9h rivering a flush after making a dubious all in call against Darren Elias's AQ) gave Cunix the momentum to forge ahead. Things were looking grim for Elias however and a couple of hands later he fell to the latest chip leader, James Calderaro and hit the rail in 3rd place for $148k
Calderaro started with a 5.6m to 4m lead over Cunix but the lead changed hands several times before Cunix was eventually able to put a string of decent hands together.
The final hand occurred with Cunix holding around 8million of the 9.5million chips in play as he shoved with 33 and flopped a set after being looked up by Calderaro who held JdTd. Caldrearo's second place finish was good for $236.5k
Cunix played the entire tournament in a sling nursing a broken collarbone after recently injuring himself whilst saving his son from a toppling ATV, almost certainly saving his life. The pain he suffered the past few days will now seem more than worth it as he brought home the trophy, the cash and the WPT Championship seat.
Final Standings and Payouts
1. Shawn Cunix – $400,600
2. James Calderaro – $236,560
3. Darren Elias – $147,850
4. Daniel Buzgon – $94,624
5. Tony Dunst – $66,532
6. Will Failla – $54,704