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Seidel 2nd at WPT Hollywood Poker Open

By Nathan Carroll, Rakeback.com Poker News Senior Writer

mike-scarborough-wpt-winnerWhile Vanessa Selbst was busy wrapping up her repeat win in the NAPT Mohegan Sun, amateur player Mike Scarborough was battling his way through a star-studded final table at the World Poker Tour Hollywood Poker Open. The $10,000 event, held at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, fetched 97 entrants.

As the final table got underway on Wednesday afternoon, Scarborough found himself playing alongside 2011’s hottest tournament player, Full Tilt Pro Erik Seidel. In three and a half months so far this year Seidel has added to his already substantial resume by notching victories in the Aussie Millions Super High Roller, the LA Poker Classic High Roller and the NBC Heads-Up Championship and has final tabled a remarkable nine events on the year so far.

Joining Seidel and Scarborough at the table were accomplished poker pros Ali Eslami, Tom Marchese and William Reynolds. The sixth spot was filled out by ClubWPT qualifier Andy Whetstone.

The final table got off to a very quick start as Eslami, Whetstone, and Marchese were eliminated within a few orbits. With Scarborough, Reynolds, and Seidel remaining, the pace of the game slowed to a crawl as each player fought tooth and nail to gain an advantage over his competitors.

The chip lead was with Reynolds for much of the time, but things changed when Scarborough moved all-in against Reynolds with the board showing A-J-5-K-3 with two diamonds. After a long delay Reynolds made the call and was forced to muck when Scarborough revealed Q-9 of diamonds for the flush.

The hand propelled the amateur from Cincinnati into a lead he would never give up. He chipped up steadily while the two pros struggled to stay in the race.

Reynolds was the first to fall, going out in 3rd place ($110,788) when his A-T couldn’t catch up to Scarborough’s A-J with the chips all-in pre-flop. Scarborough was left heads-up with one of the best poker players in the world, but he held a 4-1 chip advantage over the more experienced Seidel.

It took just 12 hands to decide a winner. Shortstacked, Seidel moved all-in with A-9 of diamonds over one of Scarborough’s button raises. Scarborough made the call with J-T of hearts giving himself a 45% chance to take down the title. The T-9-7 flop put him in the lead, and the 8 and T on the turn and river didn’t change anything for Seidel.

Seidel was awarded $155,103 for his second-place finish, while Scarborough took home $273,664 and his first WPT trophy. His career tournament winnings have leaped from less than $70,000 to nearly $350,000, and he reported to WPT anchor Kimberly Lansing after the win that he’s now strongly considering going pro.

The ALS Foundation for a Cure might be happy about that as Scarborough made a $2,500 donation to the charity immediately after his WPT win.

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