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Poker News: August 12, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 Launch Poker

HEADLINE: 2006 WSOP - August 10th Coverage


37th annual World Series of Poker is now over. Starting the day as a huge chip leader, about two to one over his closest threat Allen Cunningham, Jamie Gold managed to hold on to a dominating position, playing aggressive poker in about 30% to 40% of the parts, and bringing it home in early morning hours on August 11, becoming the latest World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.

Before the event got started at 5 p.m. Eastern time, however, it was a little matter of Phil Hellmuth in his run for a record-breaking 11th World Series of Poker bracelet. The very last event of the season was being played, a $1,500 one day No-Limit Texas Holdem Event 45.

494 players all took part in this event, a relatively small field considering the thousands that played in just about every one of the 45 events in the past six weeks. A $600,000 prize pool and the eventual winner of this "second chance" event would take home $202,291. Having Phil Hellmuth at the table among the top four got everyone's attention away from the pending Main Event for a moment, but the Poker Brat busted out in fourth place, leaving away wide open for the eventual winner, Anders Hedriksson.

And then the final table got underway. Being broadcast live for the first time by ESPN in a pay-per-view format, many more eyes were on the final table than just the crowd of supporters and officials and camera crew in the room. All the players on the table were guaranteed at least one half-million dollars and the sum of the prize pool for just a final table topped $25 million, definitely the larger share of the total $82 million prize pool for the whole event.

It only took 30 minutes before the first player busted out, and three players went before the four-hour mark. The eventual time of the final table, however, is very much like last year's 14 hour marathon by the time it was heads-up between Jamie Gold and Paul Wasicka.

Overall the blinds and antes were minimal for the first half of the Main Event final table compared to the chip stacks, and the players were more aggressive than expected. It seemed that in every hand there was either an all in or at least a re-raise situation for the first few hours. The biggest name of the table, four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Allen Cunningham held onto his second-place chip position as long as he could but eventually began to slip. Gold, who didn't hesitate in knocking out the first couple of players, were treated for a bit into more tight play system and then came out swinging again.

There were few mistakes made at the table and those seemed mostly out of either fatigue or frustration. Richard Lee in particular made a few hasty calls that got him in trouble and eventually led him to sixth place.

When it came to the heads-up between Jamie and Paul, Jamie had nearly an 8 to 1 chip lead. While Paul certainly was playing good, he didn't seem to be quite good enough to overcome such a massive underdog status. The play didn't last long and the last hand went like this:

On a Flop of Q 8 5, Paul made the first move and put in 1.5 million chips. Jamie immediately raised all in. Paul talked it out and then called, rolling over pocket Tens. Jamie showed Q 9 and was in the lead with the better pair. The Turn came an Ace and with a River of a 4 Jamie Gold won Event 39.

Place Player, Location Prize
1 Jamie Gold, Malibu, CA $12,000,000
2 Paul Wasicka, Westminster $6,102,499
3 Mike Binger, Atherton, CA $4,123,310
4 Allen Cunningham, Las Vegas, NV $3,628,513
5 Rhett Butler, Rockville, MD $3,216,182
6 Richard Lee, San Antonio, TX $2,803,851
7 Douglas Kim, Hartsdale, NY $2,391,520
8 Erik Friberg, Stockholm, Sweden $1,979,189
9 Dan Nassif, St. Louis, MO $1,566,858

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