Later this week Grant Hinkle will turn 28. He’ll have cake and open presents from friends and family. One item you can scratch off of his wish list is a bracelet. Early Wednesday morning Hinkle finished off the last remaining player, James Akenhead, to capture the World Series of Poker bracelet and $831,279 in Event #2 ($1,500 No Limit Hold'em), the fourth largest WSOP tournament of all time.
On the final hand of the night Hinkle attempted to push Akenhead off of the pot with a pre-flop all-in raise. Akenhead would have nothing of it and called with Ace-King. Hinkle, who held a 2-1 chip lead at the time turned over 10-4 of diamonds. The flop however ended any chance for Akenhead when it fell 10-10-4. The fourth ten on the turn sealed the deal for Hinkle and forced him to change some travel plans.
“I actually booked my flight to come to Las Vegas last Friday and return on Sunday. I actually had to re-schedule my flight five times during the course of (this tournament). In fact, I have a 6:58 flight that I don’t think I’m going to make. So I have to re-schedule again,” Hinkle said after his win.
Akenhead earned $520,219 for his runner-up performance.
Hinkle, a marketing manager from Kansas City, MO said he’s undecided if he’ll quit his job to play poker full time.
“My goal coming in was just go as deep as I could. After Day One, I was top-ten in chips and once I got there I started to think – how much money can I make and how far can I really go? I kept going and winning pots and I eventually got here,” said Hinkle. “I’m not going to (think about quitting my job) right now. I have to talk to my wife and family and make that decision.”
Hinkle’s cheering section at the final table included his mother who had flown in just to see her son play. His wife was unable to make it but had been following the action at WorldSeriesofPoker.com. But, as the tournament lasted until 5 am Las Vegas time she had fallen asleep. Hinkle’s mom phoned her to deliver the good news.
Also in that cheering section was his brother, Blair Hinkle, who finished 6th at the WSOP Circuit event at Caesars Palace last month.
"I talked to Blair about playing (at the final table). He told me that early in the day everyone is pretty tight. So, just go in there as the short stack and start firing away. That helped me build up to over a million in chips,” said Hinkle, who actually started the final table with the second smallest chip stack. “Since I won a WSOP gold bracelet before him, I have bragging rights now.”
Along with being the fourth largest WSOP field of all-time, the event also had the fourth longest playing time ever at 53.5 hours spread over five calendar days.