In an exciting final table at the 2008 World Poker Tour Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Jonathan Little emerged from the pack to claim his second WPT title, defeating a final table that included Mike “The Mouth” Matusow and David “The Dragon” Pham, The 2007 Cardplayer Player of the Year who is also near the top of this year’s Player of the Year race.
Going into the final table Mike Matusow was desperate for chips, as Jack Schanbacher, who held the next shortest stack at the final table, had nearly twice as many chips as the barely surviving Matusow. Matusow would not find a lucky break, and would be the first to fall at the final table. This happened when Matusow picked up [As][Jh] and pushed all-in after Jonathan Little opened the hand with a raise. The two combatants were in a coin flip situation after Little called and showed pocket nines. Mike Matusow was hoping for an ace or a jack but instead the board would deliver [Kc][5d][3d][5h][4c] to the felt, no help for The Mouth. Mike Matusow collected a payday of $124,048 after exiting in sixth place.
Jack Schanbacher had doubled up early in the contest, but this would not be enough as his stack went back into decline, and he would eventually push all-in with his few remaining chips. David “The Dragon” Pham called the all-in bet with his pocket queens, which held a decisive advantage over Schanbacher’s [9s][8s]. The flop delivered a straight draw to Schanbacher’s suited connectors as it fell [Jd][6c][5s] but the [6h] would land on the turn and the [8c] would land on the river to deny Schanbacher a victorious straight. Instead Jack Schanbacher had to leave the table in defeat, finishing in fifth place and earning a prize of $182,196.
David Pham would not turn this success into victory, as The Dragon would be slain in fourth place, with Charles Marchese acting as the knight to deliver the final blow. Everyone folded to Marchese, who was sitting in the small blind and simply called Pham’s big blind. Pham responded by moving all-in, and Marchese made the call. The two found themselves in a coin flip situation, Marchese’s [Ks][Jc] against Pham’s pocket deuces. The flop would tilt the odds in Marchese’s favor as the [As][Jh][4s] gave him a pair of jacks and the lead. Pham needed one of the two remaining deuces or a runner-runner straight, and he would receive neither as the turn fell [Ad] and the river fell [9h]. David “The Dragon” Pham would, however, receive $240,344 for his fourth place finish. The Dragon is in the hunt for a second consecutive Player of the Year award, and this finish gave him enough points to take over third place in this year’s race. John Phan still holds a strong lead in first place, and David Pham will need more strong finishes if he hopes to win again.
Charles Marchese would make his own exit in third after he took on Jonathan Little. Marchese moved in over the top of Little’s opening raise with [Ac][Jc] and Little made the call with pocket queens. Looking for an ace, a flush, or a straight, Marchese watched in despair as the board rolled out [9c][8s][2s][6c][2d], no help whatsoever. Marchese’s third place performance would earn him a reward of $337,256.
Jonathan Little now had only one more player to defeat, that being Jonathan Jaffe. Little would claim victory over Jaffe in a dominating final hand when Jaffe moved all-in with [Ah][10d] while Little held the stronger [Ac][Qh]. Jaffe needed a desperate ten or an even more desperate miracle straight or flush, but the board delivered [8d][8h][6s] on the flop, [Kd] on the turn, and the [Qd] on the river, which unnecessarily paired Little’s kicker. Jonathan Jaffe earned $670,636 for his second place finish and Jonathan Little claimed his second WPT title along with the victor’s prize of $1,120,310 at the 2008 WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals.