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Poker News: August 8, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 The Rebel Yell

HEADLINE: 12 million reasons why to play poker

Many expected this World Series of Poker to be the largest ever and the premonition came true.

The 8,773 players either paid $10,000 or qualified through a smaller tournament to get into the World Series of Poker event.

This marks the second year in a row in which the field has grown by over 3,000 players.

The amount of entrants created an incredible prize pool of over $82 million.

The top 12 finishers are guaranteed millionaires, but the big payouts are the top two spots.

Second place pays a little more than $6 million, but first place pays an unprecedented $12 million.

The winner of the tournament would have survived 11 grueling days of poker and can be guaranteed a variety of sponsorships and media attention.

The field was so massive that spectators had to wait hours in line.

"I want to take a couple of pictures," spectator Efstratios Tsalas said. "[I want to] feel a little bit a part of it."

Tsalas, like many others, was waiting for people to leave so he could get a chance to watch the action.

Entering day four (in reality it was day eight as the first day was chopped into four heats and day two was chopped into two), one name stood out above all the others.

Popular poker player Daniel Negreanu was still alive at the end of day three and was on the verge of rebuilding his crippled chip stack.

Negreanu would fight on, but in the end was eliminated in 229th place and take home $42,882.

The final table is tentatively set to take place on Thursday, Aug. 10.

The records were not just limited to the main event itself.

To many known professionals the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event was considered the "real championship."

Itconsisted of two marathon days of poker. Each day spanning at a minimum 14-hours of play.

Many players were seen jogging around the tables trying to keep awake and remain sharp.

The final table provided what ESPN wanted – a final table filled with known players which included two of the biggest names in poker: Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson.

In the end, popular cash game professional David "Chip" Reese outlasted Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate Andy Bloch to take home the prestigious title and $2 million to go with it.

This year, we saw Jeff Madsen, a 21-year-old internet poker player, win not one but two World Series of Poker bracelets and set a new record for the youngest player ever to win a World Series of Poker bracelet.

Madsen also made two other final tables in games different from the traditional favorite of Hold'Em.

His total winnings from this year's WSOP have added up to a little bit more than $1.4 million.

Another player who was making a splash at the World Series of Poker was the poker brat himself, Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth made history by becoming the most prolific WSOP player in history by cashing in six events bringing his total to 55 for his career.

There was one goal that he wanted to accomplish this year and that was to win his tenth WSOP bracelet, which would once again put him in a tie with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson.

Hellmuth got his first attempt to win a bracelet in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'Em event.

He held a chip lead for most of the day only to falter at the finish line and finish second.

Hellmuth would get another attempt at the Omaha Eights or Better event, but once again he failed to reach his goal and finished sixth.

He got one last attempt in the $1,000 No Limit Hold'Em event with rebuys.

Third time would be a charm for Hellmuth, as he was successful and won his tenth bracelet officially reclaiming his spot at the top of all-time bracelet winners.

With all the records being broken at this World Series, the question now remains: What records will fall next year?

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on August 7, 2006:

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