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WSOP Champions Invitational

Day 1
Buy-in: 0
Players: 20
Prize pool: Classic 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

May 31 and June 1

Twenty winners of the World Series of Poker Main Event from 1972 thru 2008 were invited to take place in the WSOP Champions Invitational. The names of those at the tables along with the years they won their Main Event titles were as follows:
  1. Carlos Mortensen -- 2001
  2. Tom McEvoy -- 1983
  3. Jim Bechtel -- 1993
  4. Doyle Brunson -- 1976 and 1977
  5. Dan Harrington -- 1995
  6. Huck Seed -- 1996
  7. Phil Hellmuth -- 1989
  8. Robert Varkonyi -- 2002
  9. Berry Johnston -- 1986
  10. Peter Eastgate -- 2008
  11. Johnny Chan -- 1987 and 1988
  12. Chris Ferguson -- 2000
  13. Jerry Yang -- 2007
  14. Greg Raymer -- 2004
  15. Amarillo "Slim" Preston -- 1972
  16. Brad Daugherty -- 1991
  17. Scotty Nguyen -- 1998
  18. Chris Moneymaker -- 2003
  19. Joe Hachem -- 2005
  20. Jamie Gold -- 2006
All players started with 10,000 in chips and because this was an invitational, the results will not be included in the official WSOP records. Greg Raymer was very busy as he was also playing in Event #2, keeping an almost comical pace running back and forth between the two events. But he did bust out and went to focus his efforts on Event 2 to try and win some cash. Raymer and 9 others left the tables, leaving 10 for day 2. Here are the names of those 10 players with chip counts:
  1. Carlos Mortensen -- 42,375
  2. Tom McEvoy -- 31,000
  3. Jim Bechtel -- 30,475
  4. Doyle Brunson -- 20,250
  5. Dan Harrington -- 19,975
  6. Peter Eastgate -- 18,425
  7. Huck Seed -- 15,400
  8. Robert Varkonyi -- 13,450
  9. Berry Johnston -- 7,625
  10. Phil Hellmuth -- 1,125
Day 2
This had to be the ultimate Table of Death at this 2009 World Series of Poker. In 10th place, gone on the first hand was short stacked Phil Hellmuth who did what he could with 10 5 suited, only to give the balance of his stack to Carlos Mortensen. New champ Peter Eastgate was made to bow to old school champ Dan Harrington, ending up in 9th once Dan produced pocket A's that held to the river. Doyle Brunson finished in 8th, going all in with A 2 of hearts on a heart flush draw after the turn card. He lost to the pocket J's of Tom McEvoy and left the tables to a round of applause. Berry Johnston was silenced by the pocket 6's of Carlos Mortensen, finishing in 7th place. Huck Seed was eliminated in 6th also by Mortensen who won by a Queen kicker. Then Mortensen was halted in 5th after his paired Aces were not enough to overcome the set of 3's belonging to Jim Bechtel. But next to go was Bechtel in 4th after his paired Kings were met by the paired Aced of Tom McEvoy. And Dan Harrington then finished in 3rd, when his pocket 9's got crushed by the paired Q's of McEvoy.

Finally, we have the heads up between Tom McEvoy and Robert Varkonyi. It began with McEvoy having a 3 to 1 chip lead over Varkonyi. The last hand came when Varkonyi moved all-in on the turn with a club outside straight flush draw and was called by McEvoy who had 10c 9d. The river card was a K of clubs, making the higher flush in favor of McEvoy and earning the title Champion of Champions, (no gold bracelet but he did take home a 1970 Corvette and the Binion Cup for his troubles!).
  1. Tom McEvoy
  2. Robert Varkonyi
  3. Dan Harrington
  4. Jim Bechtel
  5. Carlos Mortensen
  6. Huck Seed
  7. Berry Johnston
  8. Doyle Brunson
  9. Peter Eastgate
  10. Phil Hellmuth