Mike Linster outlasted a field of 351 players to win the World Poker Tour Jacksonville BestBet Open yesterday.
Linster produced a consistent performance across the tournament to score the first place prize of $321,521 and an entry into the World Poker Tour Championship.
Linster said he was delighted to score the first big win of his poker career.
“It feels great, I’ve been looking for a big win for a while,” Linster said.
“I’ve had some small victories and this is finally a big one that will hopefully put me on the map on the poker scene.”
Linster had cultivated a tight image throughout the tournament but changed gears and got aggressive on the final table.
“With a six-handed final table it’s always going to be more aggressive in general,” Linster said.
“I tried to pick my spots; I wasn’t as aggressive as I thought I was going to be.
“I made a big bluff early on David Bell and other than that I just had some good spots.
“It was a pretty straight forward final table, nothing crazy.”
With only two players remaining Linster and Bell were almost dead even and what followed was an extremely exciting heads-up battle.
Bell kicked out to a big lead early but Linster was able to get back into the contest with a couple of important double ups.
After almost 100 hands Linster finally secured the win when his Ace-Queen held up against the suited Eight-Six held by Bell.
Linster said he was full of confidence heading into the heads-up battle and admitted that he underestimated Bell.
“David played great, I definitely underestimated him to start the game and he played really well heads-up,” Linster said.
“I have had a lot of experience heads-up, both online and live, and I thought I was going to run him over but that definitely was not the case.”
The result was easily the best in Linster’s poker career improving on his third place finish for $ 132,240 in the Championship Event of the 2012 Mega Stack Series.
We have reached the business end of season XI of the World Poker Tour with the Party Poker Canadian Spring Championship in Montreal the last event before the WPT World Championship that kicks off on May 18th.
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