Gavin Griffin won the 2008 WPT Borgata Poker Classic, and by doing so, became the only poker player in history to win a World Series of Poker bracelet, a World Poker Tour title, and a European Poker Tour Title. Griffin won a WSOP bracelet in 2004 while playing pot limit holdem, and his EPT title came at the 2007 EPT Grand Final. Like his other accomplishments, Griffin’s WPT title did not come easy, and he had to fight every step of the way to accomplish what has never been accomplished before.
Gavin Griffin was second in chips going into the final table at the Borgata Poker Classic, slightly trailing David Tran. The first elimination of the final table came only five hands into play, when Ervin Prifti pushed all-in preflop after David Tran raised. Prifti held [Ks][Qd], which was dominated by Tran’s [Ah][Kc]. No help came for Prifti on the board of [Js][7h][6c][9d][5c] and Prifti was going home in sixth place with $233,600.
Lee Watkinson was the next to fall when his pocket sevens ran up against Noah Schwartz’s pocket eights. The first four cards gave Watkinson a gutshot straight draw where an eight would keep him alive, but the river card was a deuce, and Watkinson was eliminated in fifth place. Lee Watkinson earned $282,779 for his performance.
A race situation developed when Noah Schwartz went all-in with pocket nines, facing David Tran’s K-Q. A king fell on the flop, and the turn and river cards were both blank, sending Schwartz to the rail in fourth place. Noah Schwartz was rewarded for his efforts with $331,958.
The tournament was down to three players, and play slowed down as the three survivors battled for dominance. Tran held the chip lead, while Gavin Griffin and Thomas Hare were well behind Tran in chips. The deadlock was broken when Griffin doubled up off of Thomas Hare, severely crippling Hare’s chip stack. Hare pushed all-in on the very next hand while holding K-3. Unforutnately for Hare, Griffin was holding K-Q and made the call. No help came for Hare, although Griffin did make a pair of queens. Thomas Hare walked away with $381,137 after his third place finish.
Gavin Griffin and David Tran were left to fight it out in heads-up play. Tran had a 2 million chip advantage over Griffin, Tran holding a little over eight and a half million chips while Griffin held six and a half. The heads-up battle was exactly that, a battle. The two players exchanged the chip lead several times, with Griffin eventually gaining a large advantage in chips. Tran was not deterred, however, and fought his way back from the brink of elimination several times. On the last hand of the tournament, Tran went all-in preflop with [Ks][8s] against Griffin’s [Qs][Jc]. A queen came on the turn to vault Griffin’s hand ahead of Tran’s king high, and after the river card came up empty, the tournament was decided. Gavin Griffin had won the WPT Borgata Poker Classic, $1,401,109, and became the first player ever to win WSOP, WPT, and EPT titles. David Tran received $737,685 for his runner-up finish.