WSOP Update - Day 23
Phil Hellmuth's second legitimate chance to capture his record-tying tenth WSOP bracelet ended in continued frustration Monday as the poker superstar again watched a first time WSOP champion take home the hardware. Scott Clements, who went into the $3,000 WSOP Event #24 Omaha High-Low final table as the chip leader, led wire to wire. The Mount Vernon, Wash. native has cashed twice in previous WSOP events, including an Omaha event earlier this Series and the 2005 WSOP Main Event. His win yielded him $301,175. To secure his first major victory, Clements had to battle through an experienced final table, besting three WSOP bracelets holders and decades worth of WSOP final table experience.
Second place finisher Thor Hansen has been a staple at the WSOP since 1988 when he won his first gold bracelet playing 7-Card Stud. Since that time, Hansen has added another bracelet (2002, Ace to 5 Lowball), made 14 final tables, and cashed in 31 events. So far in the 2006 WSOP, Hansen has cashed three times.
Poker veteran Brent Carter, who has two bracelets, 14 final tables, and 35-cashes in his WSOP career, finished in third place.
Hellmuth was the final table's main attraction, but after an early series of bad hands, Hellmuth busted in sixth place. His play in WSOP Event #24 was good enough for his fourth cash in the 2006 WSOP and another $48,576 in prize money. Hellmuth now had 53 cashes in the WSOP all-time, adding to the record he set earlier in the series.
The Young Keep Getting Richer
One day after Jeff Madsen became the youngest WSOP champion in history, 21-year old Seattle, Wash. native Ian Johns won his first gold bracelet in WSOP Event #23, a $3,000 Limit Hold'em event.
Johns won $291,755 for defeating 340 players. Before Monday, his largest poker victory to date was a 14th place finish at a minor event in the 2006 Fourth Annual Five Star Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Vegas.
Johns began playing poker online with a $50 bankroll. After watching his money dwindle down to $6, he told his wife Mandy Twiggs-John that he would quit playing if he lost the rest. He never did and now he is a WSOP champion.
Because Johns is from a state that recently made online gambling a felony, he has changed his focus to land-based poker, a move that seems to be working out so far for the budding young player.
"It's ridiculous," Johns said about the Washington state law. "I have not played online poker since June 7th (when the law went into effect). We will probably be forced to move because of the law."
Jerrod Ankenman, who is the co-author of the upcoming poker book "The Mathematics of Poker" with two-time 2006 WSOP bracelet winner William Chen, finished second to Johns in a one-sided heads up match.
Johns went into the final pairing with a sizable chip lead and never let up.
Ankenman received $150,586 for his second-place finish and his success, combined with Chen's, will likely result in an even better return when the book is released.
Final Table Set for the $2,000 WSOP Event # 25 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
For those not familiar with a shootout format, players must defeat everyone at their table before advancing to the next round. Players continue to advance by winning their tables until only 10 players remain. Once that occurs, final table play begins.
Everyone playing at the Event #25 final table will begin with 200,000 chips. Professionals Roland de Wolfe and David Pham will enter with the most experience.
A regular on the World Poker Tour (WPT), de Wolfe won the WPT Grand Prix de Paris in Season Four and placed third in the WPT Championships at the Bellagio this spring.
Pham has one WSOP gold bracelet (2001 S.H.O.E), three WSOP final tables and 11 WSOP cashes.
But everyone who qualified for the final table had to defeat each of the competitors at their previous tables, competition that included some of the biggest names in the sport.
Chad Layne outlasted tournament poker superstar Kathy Leibert in a classic heads-up bout to earn his spot. David Bach had to defeat eight players, then play David Singer heads-up for his seat and Pham had to beat Mike Sexton to make Day Three.
Here are the final table participants for Event #25. Play will begin again today (July 18) at 2 p.m. PST.
Roland de Wolfe
Two Omaha Events Move to Day Two
WSOP officials added another Omaha event to the tournament schedule yesterday. Event #300, a Pot-Limit Omaha with rebuys tournament, began Monday (July 17) with 158 participants and is now down to 18. Professional high stakes player Chau Giang leads the remaining players with 150,400 chips. Sherkhan Farnood is in second place with 112,000. The rest of the field, which includes Eric Froehlich (bracelet winner in 2005) and Rafi Amit (bracelet winner in 2005, four cashes and one final table in 2006 WSOP), has less than 100,000 chips remaining.
Event # 25 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
Of the 506 players who entered Event # 25 on Monday (July 17) only 16 players remain. Rafael Perry, who finished 15th in the $50,000 Horse event Saturday, has the most chips with 129,000.
Event #26, a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event, begins today (July 18) at noon. According to live blogs, the Amazon Room of the Rio all Suites Hotel and Casino is packed with players. Expect a large field in this event.