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Garcia wins WSOP Colossus title, $638,880

3 Jun 2015

By Aaron Todd
LAS VEGAS — Cord Garcia defeated Brad McFarland heads-up to win the World Series of Poker's $565 Colossus event -- the largest tournament in poker history. Garcia won $638,880 and his first World Series of Poker bracelet for finishing first.

Garcia is a professional poker player who started playing in underground games in Houston when he was 15 years old.

Garcia stares down McFarland during the final hand.

Garcia stares down McFarland during the final hand. (photo by Aaron Todd)

The tournament drew a whopping 22,374 entries, including 14,284 unique entries, shattering the previous record of 8,773, set by the 2006 Main Event. It took six days, including four starting flights held over two Day 1s, to play down to a winner.

"When you market a tournament well and you get more people outside of poker into poker, it's always good for the game," said Garcia. "I was really impressed with the turnout. I liked that there were a lot of normal people coming out to take a shot at a poker tournament. That's what it's all about, that's what keeps this game alive."

McFarland won $386,253 for second, though the players likely flattened the payout structure for the top two places, as the players were granted an unscheduled 10-minute break after they started discussing a deal to split up the top-two prizes based on chip counts on the ESPN Main Stage.

Other than the size of the field, the biggest buzz generated by the tournament was a controversial payout structure that saw just 5.7 percent of the prize pool go towards the first-place prize, while more of the money was given to in-the-money finishers lower down the payout ladder. The industry standard for most poker tournaments is 10 percent or more to the winner, but the size of the field in this event was unprecedented.

"I think for the overall best interests of the game, it's definitely good," Garcia said. "I was okay with the structure and the way that the payouts went. I'm not complaining in the least bit; I'm very blessed."

Garcia won the tournament when McFarland bluff-raised all-in on the river with just ace-high into Garcia's full house.

"I decided to bet and hope he would shove or even just call," said Garcia. "When he shoved, I just lost it mentally and thought 'Show me quads or I'm good.'"

Garcia said he won four huge hands in the final three days with pocket fours.

Garcia said he won four huge hands in the final three days with pocket fours. (photo by Aaron Todd)

Anthony Blanda, the lone amateur at the table, was the first player eliminated. He shoved his short stack in with jack-10 on the sixth hand of the final table and was called by McFarland, who held pocket sixes. Blanda failed to improve, and claimed $67,681 for ninth.

Just four hands later, David Farber called off all his chips while holding ace-nine with the board reading 10-9-3. He was ahead of Paul Lentz's ace-king, but was eliminated when Lentz hit a king on the turn. Farber won $87,817 for eighth.

Garry Simms lost a race to Adi Prasetyo to finish seventh and win $109,632. Prasetyo, who started the day with more than 35 percent of the chips in play, was eliminated next in a wild three-way all-in. Prasetyo three-bet all-in after McFarland opened with a raise, and Ray Henson shoved all-in over the top from the big blind. McFarland snap-called and rolled over pocket kings. Henson held pocket queens, while Prasetyo had ace-nine suited. The kings held up to triple up McFarland, while Prasetyo headed for the exit in sixth, cashing out for $140,956.

Kenny Hallaert suffered the worst beat of the final table when Henson's pocket fours beat his pocket 10s on the river. He won $234,927 for finishing fourth.

Henson, who is sharing a house with Garcia this summer, had a rollercoaster day. After starting with just six big blinds, he worked his way up to the chip lead. He found himself back on a short stack three-handed, however, and shoved from the small blind holding 10-8. He didn't catch a miracle card to outrun McFarland's king-10 and won $308,761 for finishing third.
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