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Juttelstad Wins 2012 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts
Poker Open - 15th February 2012
story going into the final day of the World Poker
Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
yesterday was the possibility of history in the making,
as the chip leader, Gigi Gagne, was in position to
become the first female ever to win an open WPT Main
Event. In the end, though, it was Matt Juttelstads
amazing consistency that became the story as he won
his first ever live tournament title and over a quarter
was Juttelstads tournament virtually the entire
way, as he finished both Days 1 and 2 as the chip
leader while only slipping to the second spot at the
end of Day 3. Because of Gigi Gagnes attempt
at history as well as her more than one million chip
lead, however, Juttelstad was not the talk of the
final table despite his overall dominance of the event.
funny thing was, Matt Juttelstad wouldnt have
even been there if it wasnt for graduate school.
He had taken about a year off from the game, but happened
to be in Miami for a grad school interview at Florida
Atlantic University, so he decided to give the WPT
Lucky Hearts Poker Open a shot while he was in the
area. The tournament had a relatively unique structure
in that not only did it have two starting days, but
anyone who busted on Day 1A could buy-in again and
give it another try on Day 1B. Juttelstad was one
of the many who hit the rail on Day 1A and had no
plans to re-enter on Day 1B except that his interview
turned out to be shorter than expected. Who knows
what that means for his chances at acceptance, but
if he does get into FIU, he will definitely be able
to pay the tuition bill.
Gagne and Juttelstad fittingly ended up as the final
two competitors, they both had their issues on their
journeys from the final six to the final two. Gagne
ran into a rough hand early, holding A-4 on a flop
of A-5-4 while Keith Ferrera was in the unfortunate
position of holding A-T. Well, temporarily unfortunate.
After a raising battle, Ferrera shoved all-in for
859,000, to the horror of WPT webcast commentators
Mike Sexton, Dan OBrien, and Tony Dunst. Gagne
of course called and it looked like she would take
command of the final table, but the turn card was
a Ten, exactly what Ferrera needed.
that, Gagne seemed rattled, which resulted in her
making a series of questionable plays. It seemed like
she would bow out early, falling all the way down
to almost 500,000 chips, but Gagne held firm and got
herself back in the thick of things.
Gigi Gagne was sinking, Matt Juttelstad was rolling,
climbing from 1.6 million chips to 2.6 million (thanks
to Gagne) to 3 million to as much as 4.8 million.
During level 24 (the final table began at level 21),
he started slipping a bit, even doubling-up short
stack Todd Jacobson, but Juttelstad still held steady
at around the 3 million chip mark for quite a while.
During level 27, however, when play was three-handed,
Juttelstad actually dropped so far as to be the short
stack at the table, reaching a low point of 1.575
million chips. With Gagne a million ahead of him and
Uri Kadosh more than 3 million ahead, it looked like
Juttelstad might have to settle for just
a $100,000 pay day. But he was able to double through
Kadosh, then take a few more big pots off of him before
eliminating him in 3rd place. It was a short-lived
stay at the bottom for Juttelstad; he would not make
a return trip.
into heads-up play, Juttelstad had an almost 3.5-to-1
chip lead on Gagne, 6.82 million to 2.03 million.
It was an odd one-on-one match in that it lasted just
over 30 hands, but virtually nothing happened. Until
the final hand, of course. With stacks about the same
as they were when heads-up started, Juttelstad limped
into the pot pre-flop and Gagne checked her 80,000
chip big blind. Gagne liked the 5c-3s-2h flop, leading
out for 300,000 chips. Juttelstad called and the two
watched the As peel off on the turn. At that, Gagne
moved all-in, insta-called by Juttelstad. And it was
no wonder Juttelstad had 4c-6h for the turned
nut straight. Nobody can blame Gigi Gagne for making
her move, either, as she also had a 4 for a straight.
Unfortunately, she was drawing virtually dead, needing
one of the three remaining 6s for just a chop.
It didnt happen and Matt Juttelstad had his
first ever live tournament title.
the win, Juttelstad received $268,444, the WPT Champions
Trophy, another trophy from the host venue, and a
seat in the season-ending WPT Championship at the
Bellagio. And while Gigi Gagne didnt claim victory,
she did tie Kathy Liebert (2009) and J.J. Liu (2007)
for the best finish for a woman in an open WPT Main
Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Final Table Results
Matt Juttelstad $268,444
2. Gigi Gagne $158,194
3. Uri Kadosh $105,463
4. Sharon Levin $73,344
5. Todd Jacobson $54,649
6. Keith Ferrera $42,185 (Credit:
Poker News Daily)
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa is a gaming complex
and four-diamond hotel that opened in Tampa, Florida
in 2004. It is a 24-hour venue, with a nightclub that
is open until 6 AM.
features many displays of Rock and roll memorabilia,
such as clothing and musical instruments. Rock videos
and music play on multiple screens, including one
displayed inside a waterfall. Many song lyrics are
displayed on the walls. Among its many services are
a food court and tour bus parking.
membership cards allow points accumulated by gambling
to be redeemed for retail discounts.
Hard Rock Cafe opened in December 2010, replacing
Floyd's Nightclub. Other bars exist openly across
the playing area, complementing several high-end restaurants.
Creative Loafing voted the casino's Council Oak steakhouse
as the "Best of the Bay" 2009. (Credit:
Man is in talks with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and
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