The World Poker Open (WPO) in Tunica, Mississippi has been a longtime staple on the tournament circuit. At one point it was a stop on the World Poker Tour and it continues to be one of the bigger tournaments offered in the Southern United States. The most recent edition of the WPO just wrapped up and it featured a final table populated with some familiar faces including 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker. In the end it was not Moneymaker who walked away with the title though. The eventual winner was internet pro Jeremy “thechemist83” Gaubert of Lockport, LA who navigated through a tough final table on the way to a victory worth over $192,000.
A grand total of 126 players showed up for this year’s WPO which was a slight increase over last year’s 107 person field. A number of name pros from the online and live poker circuits turned up in Tunica for the event including Moneymaker, newlyweds Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown, Shaun Deeb, Chris Bell, Jordan “scarface_79” Smith, Soheil Shamseddin and Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah.
Several of those big names made deep runs in this year’s event and both Brown and Moneymaker found themselves at a stacked final table along with Gaubert and New York pro Tommy Vedes, who is fresh off a deep run in the Main Event of this year’s WSOP. Moneymaker held a commanding chip lead at the start of Tuesday’s final table, but the rest of the field gradually inched towards the chip leader. Gaubert leapt to the top of the leaderboard late in the event when he doubled through Moneymaker and then eliminated Brown in 4th place. Gaubert’s rush continued as he hit a flush on the river to bust Moneymaker in 3rd place.
Heads-up play came down to Gaubert and Steve Hamontree of Tennessee. The two were rumored to have negotiated a chop based on chip counts and were playing it out for the title and the $10,000 seat into January’s Southern Poker Championship in Biloxi. If that was the case, Gaubert likely got the bigger piece of the prize pool as he held a 3 to 2 chip advantage at the start of heads-up play. After just over an hour of play the two got it all-in on a ten high flop with Gaubert holding pocket aces to Hamontree’s 8-10. The aces held and Gaubert took down his first major live poker title.
Gaubert has over a million dollars in online poker winnings, including a chop in the PokerStars’ Sunday Million worth over $230,000. His win here is his largest live cash to date, besting the $115,800 he earned for finishing 58th in last year’s WSOP Main Event.
Here are the complete results from Tuesday’s final table:
1st – Jeremy Gaubert – $192,953
2nd – Steve Hamontree – $109,400
3rd – Chris Moneymaker – $60,110
4th – Chad Brown – $48,088
5th – Thomas Creel – $36,066
6th – Gil George – $30,055
7th – Tommy Vedes – $24,044
8th – Jerry Milanos – $18,033
9th – Parris Heard – $12,022

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