Phillips defeats Cada to win Event 31

Updated: June 22, 2012, 12:34 AM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

In 2009, a WSOP rookie named Joe Cada emerged from the masses to become the youngest main event champion in history. In 2010, another rookie, Carter Phillips, captured gold in the $1,500 six-handed no-limit hold 'em event. Both players had experienced the highs of winning on poker's greatest stage, and as Event 31 reached heads-up play, it was time for one of them to claim that feeling once again.

Cada entered heads-up play with the chip lead and hopes of becoming the first WSOP main event champion since Carlos Mortensen to win a WSOP bracelet after their main event victory. Phillips had a personal goal: earning the validation that comes with a second bracelet. After three hours, Phillips got the best of Cada to capture the win in the 2,811-player $1,500 no-limit hold 'em event. The 23-year-old from Charlotte pocketed a career-best $664,130 and felt rejuvenated with the win after losing his passion for the game over the past few years.

"It feels amazing," said Phillips. "This confirms my place in the poker world for me. Bracelet No. 1 felt good because it was new and exciting, but bracelet No. 2, there's not as many people that have two, so this feels really good right now."

Phillips dropped out of college to play poker professionally in 2007 but is returning to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the fall to continue his education.

"I was feeling pretty bad about poker because I didn't enjoy the game at all," he said of his last few years on the felt. "I played four years in a row for a living before I ever took a break. That wears on you. When I was traveling at my most I was staying in hotels all the time. Airplanes, airports, no place that was home, basically. I had a chance to go back to school and refresh and re-focus. It made me a better poker player this summer.

"I remember last summer, I didn't really go on a down swing or anything during the Series; I just played really bad in every tournament," Phillips continued. "That was because I didn't care if I was in them. I knew that I would rather not be in the poker world than doing that. School was an option for me."

Going back to school won't diminish Phillips' passion for the game, and it's clear from his play in this event that the EPT and two-time WSOP champion will remain a strong competitor on the felt for years to come.

Phillips and Cada entered the final table in the bottom half of the chip counts. By the time there were five players remaining, Cada was the chip leader and Phillips wasn't far behind. Phillips jumped Cada thanks to a huge double-up through Tom Chambers (A-Q versus J-J), but Cada's eliminations of Cherish Andrews (fourth) and Chambers (third) gave him a significant edge to start heads-up action. Andrews, 22, became the ninth woman to make a WSOP final table this year. The $ 210,083 she earned was nearly 10 times her previous largest career cash.

Cada's lead vanished instantly as Phillips found his key double-up early. For the next few hours, they traded pots as the rail waited for the one big hand that would change the match for good. With stacks nearly even, the waiting ended, as Phillips flopped a set of nines and trapped Cada on the turn, getting him to commit his stack drawing dead with top pair. Phillips was in control with an 11:1 edge and won the bracelet shortly after. Phillips had nothing but praise for "The Kid."

"Joe is probably one of the toughest opponents I could be playing," said Phillips. "I knew coming in to today that if I was going to make it deep in this, then he was going to be my biggest threat. Heads-up was tough. There was a lot of three-betting and a lot of different situations going on. I was lucky to come out on top.

Cada earned $412,424, his largest cash since his WSOP main event victory.

Other notable finishers included Dwyte Pilgrim (11th), J.C. Tran (12th), Terrance Chan (20th) and Soi Nguyen (32nd).

Below are the complete results of Event 31 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:

Event 31: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $1,500
Entries: 2,811
Prize pool: $3,794,850
Players in the money: 297

1. Carter Phillips ($664,130)
2. Joe Cada ($412,424)
3. Tom Chambers ($290,875)
4. Cherish Andrews ($210,083)
5. Najib Kamand ($153,578)
6. Maximilian Lehmanski ($113,618)
7. Michael Aron ($85,043)
8. Jonathan Poche ($64,399)
9. Huy Quach ($49,333)
10. Jim Kasputis Jr. ($38,214)
11. Dwyte Pilgrim ($38,214)
12. J.C. Tran ($38,214)
13. Patrick Karschamroon ($29,941)
14. Valentyn Shabelnyk ($29,941)
15. Jean-Marc Thomas ($29,941)
16. Jerrimie Pacheco ($23,718)
17. Adam Kornuth ($23,718)
18. Kevin Huddleston ($23,718)
19. John Nelson ($19,012)
20. Terrence Chan ($19,012)
21. Manig Loeser ($19,012)
22. Alvaro Santamaria ($19,012)
23. Baret Grigorian ($19,012)
24. Vincent Lucardie ($19,012)
25. Maxim Sorokin ($19,012)
26. Stephen Foutty ($19,012)
27. Mitch Schock ($19,012)
28. Andrew Dean ($15,047)
29. Thomas Miller ($15,047)
30. Michael Snorden ($15,047)
31. John Dull ($15,047)
32. Soi Nguyen ($15,047)
33. Evan Clotworthy ($15,047)
34. Douglas Redmann ($15,047)
35. Drew Crawford ($15,047)
36. Giuseppe Pastura ($15,047)
37. James Akenhead ($12,599)
38. Matthew Wierzel ($12,599)
39. Simon Lam ($12,599)
40. Vaughn Prichard ($12,599)
41. Jose Olegario ($12,599)
42. Gabriel Nassif ($12,599)
43. Wai Cheng ($12,599)
44. Denver Haslam ($12,599)
45. Ted Forrest ($12,599)
46. Nate Jeo ($10,436)
47. Daniel Makowsky ($10,436)
48. Christopher Bolek ($10,436)
49. Erik Cajelais ($10,436)
50. Edward Galpine ($10,436)
51. Robert Topham ($10,436)
52. Bernard Lee ($10,436)
53. Adam Cook ($10,436)
54. Jonathan Lane ($10,436)
55. Steven Krupnick ($8,728)
56. Dong Dinh ($8,728)
57. Thomas Dickson ($8,728)
58. Erika Moutinho ($8,728)
59. Kenneth Adams ($8,728)
60. Ryan Snickles ($8,728)
61. Richard Rush ($8,728)
62. Jim Collopy ($8,728)
63. Rodrigo Portaleoni ($8,728)
64. Zach Clark ($7,362)
65. Craig Haugland ($7,362)
66. Elliot Smith ($7,362)
67. Ken Aldridge ($7,362)
68. Joao Post Darella ($7,362)
69. Casey Johnson ($7,362)
70. Ilan Boujenah ($7,362)
71. Andre Goldbaum ($7,362)
72. Ariel Spivack ($7,362)
73. Remy Biechel ($6,299)
74. Nam Le ($6,299)
75. Michael Carr ($6,299)
76. Bryan Piccioli ($6,299)
77. Christopher Johnson ($6,299)
78. Yeping Shan ($6,299)
79. Niall Farrell ($6,299)
80. William Reynolds ($6,299)
81. Jurrien Eisinga ($6,299)
82. David Mowery ($5,427)
83. Chris Grigorian ($5,427)
84. Dan Smith ($5,427)
85. Benjamin Martin ($5,427)
86. Alexander Nudin ($5,427)
87. James Moon ($5,427)
88. Bradley Duck ($5,427)
89. Priyan de Mel ($5,427)
90. Florian Hellweger ($5,427)
91. Kyle Burnside ($4,744)
92. Jack Sumner ($4,744)
93. Ben Mintz ($4,744)
94. Joshua Rotenberg ($4,744)
95. John Galik ($4,744)
96. Marek Blasko ($4,744)
97. Philippe Boucher ($4,744)
98. Jeffrey Schneider ($4,744)
99. Steve Matulac ($4,744)
100. Cesar Garcia ($4,174)
101. Mark Manges ($4,174)
102. Edward Leach ($4,174)
103. Michael Stefanoff ($4,174)
104. Nicholas Ricciardi ($4,174)
105. Julian Parmann ($4,174)
106. Tom Alner ($4,174)
107. Matthew Butler ($4,174)
108. Daniel Jose ($4,174)
109. Jensen Toma ($4,174)
110. Justin Rice ($4,174)
111. Jeffrey Hilliard ($4,174)
112. Daniel Plonsker ($4,174)
113. Andrew Bell ($4,174)
114. Robert Tepper ($4,174)
115. Adolfo Monreal ($4,174)
116. James Edminister ($4,174)
117. James Malone ($4,174)
118. Cludo Georgiadis ($4,174)
119. Tony Dam ($4,174)
120. Kristian Pedersen ($4,174)
121. Collin Moshman ($4,174)
122. David Feldman ($4,174)
123. Daniel Furnival ($4,174)
124. Craig Rutledge ($4,174)
125. Jack King ($4,174)
126. Mohammad Abedi-Arani ($4,174)
127. Alexandre Pinol ($4,174)
128. Michael Hudson ($4,174)
129. Armando Soria ($4,174)
130. Conrad Monica ($4,174)
131. David Chase ($4,174)
132. Ryan Welch ($4,174)
133. Andrew Kerstine ($4,174)
134. Peter Graham ($4,174)
135. Matthias Kurtz ($4,174)
136. Jonas Mackoff ($3,719)
137. Chi Sang Wong ($3,719)
138. Philip Hickman ($3,719)
139. Brandan Caulkins ($3,719)
140. Angel Guillen ($3,719)
141. Chad Holloway ($3,719)
142. Karl Spatz ($3,719)
143. Pedro Cabeca ($3,719)
144. Matthew Wantman ($3,719)
145. Kristina Holst ($3,719)
146. Daniel Thomas ($3,719)
147. Nicolas Long ($3,719)
148. Joel Bullock ($3,719)
149. Fawz Bennis ($3,719)
150. Steven Mcnally ($3,719)
151. Michael Bena ($3,719)
152. Artem Kobylynskyi ($3,719)
153. Kevin Baker ($3,719)
154. Thomas Laviano ($3,719)
155. John Mazzola ($3,719)
156. Dane Canelas-Miller ($3,719)
157. Paul Degiulio ($3,719)
158. Clyde Sauder ($3,719)
159. Thomas Payne ($3,719)
160. Raymond Coburn ($3,719)
161. Zachary Stites ($3,719)
162. James Frangoulidis ($3,719)
163. Philippe Ktorza ($3,719)
164. Mike McDonald ($3,719)
165. Timothy Vance ($3,719)
166. Mohsin Charania ($3,719)
167. Dylan Linde ($3,719)
168. Sebastion Saffari ($3,719)
169. Louis Laxineta ($3,719)
170. Ted Bui ($3,719)
171. Lance Turner ($3,719)
172. Sarkis Sarkisian ($3,339)
173. Paul Sharbanee ($3,339)
174. Eric Revak ($3,339)
175. Gerald Porrello ($3,339)
176. Christopher Authement ($3,339)
177. Barry Bounds ($3,339)
178. Anton Morgenstern ($3,339)
179. Jonathan Plens ($3,339)
180. Charles Chattha ($3,339)
181. Jorge Ufano ($3,339)
182. Sean Getzwiller ($3,339)
183. Cory Zelna ($3,339)
184. AP Phahurat ($3,339)
185. Daniel Suied ($3,339)
186. Brandon Liberman ($3,339)
187. Sam Lee ($3,339)
188. Shirley Ng ($3,339)
189. Robert Brown ($3,339)
190. Fabien Perrot ($3,339)
191. John Gulino ($3,339)
192. Mikhail Lakhitov ($3,339)
193. Charles Copeland ($3,339)
194. Jerry Johnson ($3,339)
195. Jeffrey Forrest ($3,339)
196. Jesse Rockowitz ($3,339)
197. Donna Murray ($3,339)
198. John Mcnulty ($3,339)
199. Frank Goulard ($3,339)
200. Clyde Hinton ($3,339)
201. Konstantin Klimenkov ($3,339)
202. Matthias Nilsson ($3,339)
203. Tom Luce ($3,339)
204. Stephen Kornfeld ($3,339)
205. Thomas Hammers ($3,339)
206. John Anderson ($3,339)
207. Kory Kilpatrick ($3,339)
208. Mark Morris ($3,036)
209. Robert Jones ($3,036)
210. Roger Hardy ($3,036)
211. Mike Carson ($3,036)
212. Michael Dolgin ($3,036)
213. Mark Gardner ($3,036)
214. Luke Vrabel ($3,036)
215. Matthew Tuckfield ($3,036)
216. Steven Dubin ($3,036)
217. Vincent Bartello ($3,036)
218. Stanley Webb ($3,036)
219. Constantino Perales ($3,036)
220. Ryan D'Angelo ($3,036)
221. Olaoluwa Okelola ($3,036)
222. Douglas Mackinnon ($3,036)
223. Nick Binger ($3,036)
224. Jamey Kramer ($3,036)
225. Mikhail Glushankov ($3,036)
226. Michael Neuber ($3,036)
227. Nicholas Mitchell ($3,036)
228. Sandeep Pulusani ($3,036)
229. Thomas Woolen ($3,036)
230. Lawrence Green ($3,036)
231. Arash Behnam ($3,036)
232. Jeffrey Forsyth ($3,036)
233. Eric Baldwin ($3,036)
234. John MacDonald ($3,036)
235. Lee Thomas ($3,036)
236. William Gottman ($3,036)
237. Bjorn Li ($3,036)
238. Gerard Dower ($3,036)
239. Stephen Falcon ($3,036)
240. Neal Lilienthal ($3,036)
241. Scott Laird ($3,036)
242. Vic Butler ($3,036)
243. Arthur Anderson ($3,036)
244. David Arnold ($3,036)
245. Michael Malm ($3,036)
246. Robert Jr Durant ($3,036)
247. Kyle Ho ($3,036)
248. Joshua Stevens ($3,036)
249. Benjamin Sarnoff ($3,036)
250. Dwight Farrell ($3,036)
251. Konstantin Streletskiy ($3,036)
252. Christopher Eade ($3,036)
253. Peter Busch ($2,770)
254. Gerald Fulcher ($2,770)
255. Vitaly Lunkin ($2,770)
256. Bona Sar ($2,770)
257. Justin Conley ($2,770)
258. Alberto Holguin ($2,770)
259. Ted Goldstein ($2,770)
260. Tim West ($2,770)
261. Yin Sun ($2,770)
262. Mark Scacewater ($2,770)
263. Robert Mairley ($2,770)
264. Roger Despres ($2,770)
265. Rick Fuller ($2,770)
266. Gregory Corley ($2,770)
267. Jesus Abreu ($2,770)
268. Christen Shaner ($2,770)
269. John Barkle ($2,770)
270. Jason Gwinn ($2,770)
271. Bradley Sandig ($2,770)
272. Sam Chartier ($2,770)
273. Rodney Brown ($2,770)
274. Jean-Philippe Piquette ($2,770)
275. Steen Jensen ($2,770)
276. Ryan Mackinnon ($2,770)
277. Jeff Sluzinski ($2,770)
278. Marc Mclaughlin ($2,770)
279. Robert Flowers ($2,770)
280. Kevin Allen ($2,770)
281. Jessica Sprintz ($2,770)
282. Melvin Stevens ($2,770)
283. Lauren Kling ($2,770)
284. Thomas Ross ($2,770)
285. Billy Lute ($2,770)
286. David Geslak ($2,770)
287. Chad Furbay ($2,770)
288. Mustapha Kanit ($2,770)
289. Kevin Currey ($2,770)
290. Jamie Dale ($2,770)
291. Kevin Englund ($2,770)
292. Gerald Mortensen ($2,770)
293. Konstantin Maslak ($2,770)
294. Robert Lee ($2,770)
295. Gualter Salles ($2,770)
296. Akram Ali ($2,770)
297. Nick Guagenti ($2,770)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

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