Clonie Gowen Triumphs at WPC

Clonie Gowen took down eight other players Tuesday to score this years World Poker Championship title and the tourney's $508,950 first-place pot. The $5,000 buy-in tournament was held at the Gold Strike Casino in Mississippi.

Gowen began the day as chipleader after struggling to get a foothold the day before, and she moved to make quick work of Blake Huff when he went all-in early on on the Turn with a flush draw that failed to materialize. She then targeted Barry Hatcher who went all-in on an ace-high, turning her outmatched king-high into a pair on the outs.

She continued to grind down her remaining five opponents, nailing Jim Patrick with pocket rockets, calling Brandon Jarret's gunshot with a top pair, and reversing Michael Schneider's luck with a two-outer in an earlier hand by laying down her own three-outer.

After, giving Kirby Brewer the boot with a second three-outer, she settled into heads-up with a 3-2 lead over B.J. McBrayer. The final showdown lasted a grueling two hours, and McBrayer pulled ahead at one point when he pitted pocket jacks against Gowen's A, Q. But, in the end, Gowen was able to turn the tables, chipping away at McBrayer's lead till she was up nearly 4-1 and sealing the deal when McBrayer went over the top against her pocket aces.

With the WPC title, Gowen racks up her second major win and earns a $10,000 seat at the World Poker Tour's Bea Rivage event in January. She also won this year's Bellagio Cup IV for $437,000 and has won several minor events including six Poker After Dark tournaments.

- Phill Provance