Event #31 at 2012 WSOP Goes to Carter PhillipsFriday, June 22nd, 2012 by Ryan
Event #31 at the 2012 World Series of Poker was one of the “lower” buy-in tournaments, featuring a $1,500 buy-in, and was a No Limit Hold’em event. The event featured some big named players, and the final table actually drew a ton of interest from any poker player in the area as it featured the 2009 Main Event winner in Joe Cada, as well as a few other strong players also. Cada was the talk of the tournament though as he was holding the chip lead with only 19 players left to go, and was looking to be the first Main Event winner to win another bracelet since Carlos Mortensen did it back in 2003 after he won the Main Event in 2001. While Cada made an incredible run, it was actually a 23 year old player from North Carolina by the name of Carter Phillips who took home the bling at the end of the day.
While Cada was the favorite with 19 players left, when the final table actually began he found himself sitting at the back of the field in last place with 720k in chips. Our eventual champion wasn’t sitting in a great spot either, as he had only just a bit over a million chips. The put this number into perspective, the leader in chips was Tom Chambers who had 2.575 million chips. Both players made some huge moves though right off the bat, as the first hour ran out and Phillips found himself with 1.8 million chips, while Cada was able to double up just around the end of the second hour. Cada then went on to send home Jonathan Poche in 8th place giving him a chip stack of 1.8 million. When dinner time rolled around the two were almost even in chips and were sitting in a close race for third place overall.
Cada then just went into beast mode and took over the table after dinner time. He started off by knocking out Michael Aron to put his stack at 3.35 million, and then took a big pot off of Chambers to get over 4 million in chips. Phillips came out of nowhere as well and after a few up and down swings throughout play, he found himself with over 5 million chips, and then Cada went back to work knockout out two players in Cherish Andrews and Tom Chambers in 4th and 3rd place to set up this heads up match against Phillips. Cada was a big favorite to start the match as he had a chip lead of 8.9 million to 3.7 million to start it off.
The lead went back and forth between these two players five different times throughout their heads up match which lasted nearly two and a half hours. After Phillips doubled up through Cada when the two were incredibly close, and this left Cada incredibly short stacked, and he had to make a miracle comeback. This comeback didn’t happen though, as the last hand saw of play saw Cada push all in with 7-9 off suit and was called by the Q-J of Phillips. None of the cards affected either hand, and Phillips held on to win his second gold bracelet and the nice first place pay day of $664,130. For Cada’s efforts he took home $412,424 for second place.