Will Pengelly wins WinStar River Poker Series main event

Cutting class for the day proved to be quite lucrative for Will Pengelly.

The 20-year-old student from the University of North Texas skipped out on classes for the final day of the WinStar River Poker Series main event, and it paid off handsomely as he posted his first major tournament victory.

Pengelly went up against an 807-player field in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. For the win Pengelly pocketed $249,310. The amount could have been more but when the final table reached five players, a deal was struck between the remaining players to split the prize pool more evenly. They played it out the rest of the way to determine who would take home the tournament title and the championship bracelet.

Early on at the final table, it looked like Pengelly’s day was going to be a short one. He lost two big pots early on, both while holding queen-10 suited, and it left him as one of the shortest stacks at the table. Luck turned around for him quickly, though, and he got his stack growing again when he cracked one of his opponents with ace-king suited.

Pengelly vs Green heads-up

After the payouts deal was struck with five players remaining, Pengelly rode his leading chip stack and eliminated the next three players at the table. That left him heads-up with Ricky Green for the tournament title.

When heads-up play began, Pengelly had a large chip lead with 13.3 million chips to Green’s 6.8 million. His lead only grew from there as he took an early pot to bump up his stack to 16.3 million.

On the final hand of the tournament with blinds at 60,000/120,000, Green came out betting 500,000 and Pengelly called. The flop showed 2s-10s-3c. Both players checked and the turn card was the Jd. Pengelly checked again and Green bet 500,000. After a call from Pengelly, the river was the Qs. Pengelly immediately went all-in and Green made an equally quick call. Green had Q-9 for a pair of queens, but it wasn’t good enough as Pengelly showed 7s-3s for a rivered flush. Green’s payout was $205,710.